If you were to believe many of the feminist groups and those from the shelter movement you would think that every father is a deadbeat and abuser. Allegations of family violence are the weapon-of-choice in divorce strategies. I understand Lawyers, and paralegals in women’s shelters, call them “The Silver Bullet”. False abuse allegations work effectively in removing men from their families. The impact of removing fathers from their children as noted earlier is horrific.
There is a huge amount of misinformation that family violence is a gendered problem, in that most perpetrators are male and most victims are female. As such there can be a general acceptance for gender discrimination within the society which lends support to the gender bias against men practised in the courts. Yet, on a frequent basis we hear of mothers and women who are perpetrators of significant abuse even killing their children. To date most research and reporting has been focused on women but recently this has been extended to include and understand abuse from a male perspective.
The Canadian government undertook research in this area and in 2004 produced a report (Intimate Partner Abuse Against Men) that describes the issues faced by abused men. It also discusses how Stats Canada surveys have found that abused men are surprisingly common. In fact the research shows that equal proportions of men and women had been victims of intimate partner physical and psychological abuse.
Following is an introduction to the report which can be found in it’s entirety at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv cnivf/familyviolence/html/mlintima_e.html
I have also included and overview from RADAR-Canada (“Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting”) who have done significant research on this topic. The study group included Donald Dutton, Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Kim Bartholomew, Associate Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Eugen Lupri, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Calgary, Reena Sommer, PhD in Psychology (University of Manitoba), family counsellor, Grant Brown, DPhil (Oxford), LLB (University of Alberta), family law practitioner-
The bottom line is that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. At this point it is only the women who find this sort of treatment from the DV industry.
RADAR Canada Statement
Don’t let them wiggle their way into continuing the status quo. Don’t let them sabotage initiatives to help families. It ’s time to choose Real Families over the Legal fraternity.
An Article from the “Lawyers Weekly Newsletter” December 22, 2006.
Jay Hill favours presumptive joint child custody on divorce By Cristin Schmitz Ottawa
Former Conservative Party House Leader Jay Hill wants to bring presumptive joint custody to the new federal government agenda.
Divorce reform has not been identified as a key priority by the new Conservative government, but one of its spokespersons on family law says he will push to have presumptions in favour of “shared parenting” and grandparent access added to the Divorce
Act — a policy that could find favour with many Opposition MPs in the minority 39th Parliament.
British Columbia MP Jay Hill, a former Conservative Party House Leader and critic on custody and access reform, has been an enthusiastic advocate for presumptive joint custody or “shared parenting” since he was first elected in 1993. At press time, Hill’s name was widely mentioned as a potential Cabinet member.
Hill said he remains convinced that what he calls an “equal access to parents” presumption (as viewed from the child’s perspective) is essential to counter the gender bias in favour of mothers that Hill perceives in custody and/or access disputes.
He does not accept that joint custody presumptions promote strife. “I don’t buy it. I think it’s opposite,” Hill told The Lawyers Weekly on his cell phone as he campaigned in his Fort St. John, B.C. riding during the final week of the federal election campaign.
“We presume, when a marriage is intact, that both parents are ‘good parents’ — why, in heaven’s name, when the parents split up, is there not a presumption they are both still good parents and that the child deserves access to both?” he queried.
“I fervently and passionately believe that it should be the right of a child to equal access to both parents, end of story, unless it’s not in their best interests,” he continued. “I have pressed for amendments to the Divorce Act to automatically grant ‘shared parenting’ in the case of divorce or separation, except in cases of abuse or neglect or denigration of the other parent. On a personal level, that’s where I want the law to go, into the area of shared parenting as put forward by the 1998 joint Senate/House of Commons report For the Sake of the Children.”
Divorce reform is not one of the five priority items Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged to deliver on during a Conservative mandate, but Hill said he and likeminded MPs will push to get the subject on the national agenda.
The Conservative party nailed its colours to the mast at its first policy convention last March in Montreal in a resolution entitled “shared parenting” that is now official party policy:
“A Conservative government will make the necessary changes to the Divorce Act to ensure that in the event of a marital breakdown, the Divorce Act will allow both parents and all grandparents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children and grandchildren, unless it is clearly demonstrated not to be in the best interests of the children.”
While the new minority Parliament likely means the Conservatives will find it as difficult as the Liberals did to take on the hot-button issue of custody and access reform (the Liberals shelved their own contentious amendments while they grappled with their even more divisive same-sex marriage bill in 2005, the policies of the two parties stand in stark contrast.
Hill and other Conservatives are harshly critical of the Chretien- era Bill C-22, which died after being introduced in 2002 by former Liberal justice minister Martin Cauchon. Former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said he intended to revive, with a few changes, C-22. The bill, which won the support of the Canadian Bar Association, jettisoned the familiar touchstones of “custody”, “access”, and the “maximum contact” principle in favour of a “parental responsibilities ” model which divvies up child chare obligations and decision-making between the parents.
“We were opposed to that bill so there is no way that we would bring it back,” vowed Hill. “I felt that the legal language they were using actually moved us further away from the potential for automatic shared parenting. ”
Hill acknowledges that divorce reform doesn’t lend itself to quick fixes. “I don’t think that this is going to be a simple thing to get drafted properly, but I think that we will have to take some time to look at how we can move forward with the recommendations from that old [Senate/Commons] joint task force report For the Sake of the Children,” Hill said. “This is such an important issue to the future of our country because it’s our children’s future.”
Vancouver family law practitioner Lorne MacLean of MacLean Family Law Group, who supports the creation of a presumption in favour of shared parenting making for a simple divorce, defended the Conservatives’ stance on that particular issue.
“I would like to see things become more on an even keel [in family law policy], seeing that the tendency of the Liberals is arguably to pursue a more feminist agenda, and they have done that in the child support guidelines, and the draft spousal support guidelines, and the refusal to accept the recommendations of the For the Sake of the Children report,” MacLean explained. “Children shouldn’t forfeit the love and the guidance of two caring and concerned parents just because the marriage broke down,” he urged. “Parenting in an intact family is one of life’s most demanding tasks, and it’s even more so for a single parent, so with shared parenting each parent has a chance for a respite and the children continue on in sort of the status quo of two parents being very concerned about them. I am opposed to anything that interferes with that.”
Women’s Shelters – Hijacked by Feminists….Founder
In the past I have myself taken part in fundraising activities for women shelters and without question assumed honesty and integrity of this operation. I have since found out that this organization is ever willing to be used without any real justification or threat of violence to support women in dividing families.
It operates under a cloak of secrecy and although receives vast amount of government funding is accountable to no one. The common scam I referred to earlier goes like this. A woman who wants to leave a relationship leaves home and goes to the women’s shelter and I suspect makes accusations against their partner. I say “suspect” because it is done in complete secrecy. The women shelter never verifies or checks with the partner, will not answer questions if contacted and all information is kept confidential.
The matron of the shelter then accompanies the women to court, where the court is informed the women can not stay at the shelter. The judge then throws the husband out of the house, the wife moves back in and the deadbeat hubby gets hit with a court order to support the divided family….A perfect scam.
When spouses are in conflict and on the edge, everything should be done to save the family. Yet the feminists in the shelter movement see it as an opportunity to tip the scales the other way and remove another father. Destroying a family is done over and over again with the help of lawyers and judges who are willing accomplices and governments who are eager to bankroll the operation in return for the feminist vote.
No child, women or man should be subjected to violence. We have police departments and a criminal justice system in place to deal with domestic violence. Perpetrators should be charged (as should false accusers) and be dealt with accordingly. So why are the police not involved when shelters are approached? Could it be that there was never any reason for them to get involved? If there was, I’m sure the women shelter would be the first to call them in (as they should).
What gives such an institution the right to counsel women, after absolutely no investigation to take actions that are unwarranted, hurt children and add to the destruction of families? Over time this organization, has become an industry in itself with, it seems, unlimited public funding. If they had their way, there would be a shelter next to every Tim Horton’s coffee shop….There are now 540 publicly funded women shelters across Canada.
Abuse should not be tolerated in our society and if in fact it’s as prevalent as purported by the women’s shelter movement why aren’t the police, governments, social agencies and criminal courts not more directly involved? And if the incidence of DV is a gender equal as the statistics have proven why does public funding not apply to all members of the family?
My intent here is not to provide a detailed analysis of women’s shelters but to point our there are many unanswered questions. I believe a complete review by the auditor general is warranted as a minimum.
From: Jeremy Swanson….Ottawa
More and more….and even more money… into the black hole of ‘shelter industry’ funding. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. And no-one is checking the figures and asking where and to who the money is going. No-one is even investigating these “shelters” who is in them, where they are or the “numbered companies’ which run some of them. Its all just a blank cheque based on guilt. Every politician I know refuses to touch it because its the political ‘kiss of death’ and so the money just flows and flows and flows. An estimated One Billion dollars over a three year period in Ontario alone. In the end when someone does find the courage to take on an enquiry it will prove to be the greatest scam in Canadian history. Sadly and even worse no-one is listening to us now or even seemingly concerned never mind believing us. The real battered women-and battered men-are paid scant attention to while money lines the pockets of those who fleece the system under cover of shame and ideology.
The Modern day Shelter Movement – A Feminist Domain
Erin Pizzey became internationally famous for having started The first shelter (Britain refers to them as a refuge) for battered women in in Chiswick, London, England in 1971. She continued to run that program until 1982. In recent years the founder of women’s shelters has become outspoken about what the shelter movement has become and is now a critic.
Following are her insights from a National Post article that reflects her address to audiences in Canada.
Pizzey told audiences in three provinces that the shelter movement has been “hijacked” by anti-male feminists who, rather than being part of the solution, are helping to perpetuate abusive families.
Today, virtually all battered women’s shelters — including the one Pizzey founded — are operated by feminists whose analysis automatically stereotypes men as aggressors and women as victims. On both sides of the Atlantic, employment ads for women’s shelters routinely require that applicants subscribe to a feminist understanding of domestic violence.
As a result, the large number of women served by these shelters who require assistance themselves to interrupt destructive patterns are actually having their behaviour reinforced when shelter workers assure them they are not to blame.
For too long, says an authority on violence against women, society has ignored the fact that women can be violent too.
Pizzey says this sends a terrible message to children trapped in violent families. Kids learn that “this is what women do, this is what women are. My mother can batter me, hit me, beat me, shame me, humiliate me, and society ignores what she does. But my father has only got to lose his cool and he’s stigmatized, criminally charged and loses his family in divorce proceedings.”
Instead of stressing personal responsibility on the part of women who are themselves behaving inappropriately, Pizzey says today’s women’s shelters are fortifying a childish mantra: “He did it. He made me do it. It’s not my fault.”
Pizzey is offended by the fact that shelters promote the view that all men are suspect. “Give me an answer why men can’t work in shelters,” she demands, pointing out that the first money her shelter ever received was spent to employ a man to work with the children. “Many of them had never known a kind, gentle man.”
In sharp contrast to current policies, Pizzey’s shelter met with every willing man whose wife had fled there. Rather than keeping the shelter’s location secret, a sign loudly announced its presence in the community. In her view, the surveillance cameras and bulletproof windows of contemporary women’s shelters amount to “expensive paranoia.”
She says facilities that once taught people more humane ways of relating to one another have been turned into bunkers where an us-versus-them mentality festers. This has happened, she says, partly because battered women’s shelters receive millions in funding each year.
“I knew that once we were getting any form of recognition, but above all, any funding, we would be in serious trouble,” she says. “Because the feminist movement was hungry for funding. And it didn’t take long for them to invade a very small conference that we had and to vote themselves into the national [shelter] movement. And they began by saying: “All women are victims of men’s violence.”
Pizzey says she hesitated, for many years, to publicly criticize what was going on in shelters because she feared these very necessary facilities would lose public support and be closed down. Today she thinks the average person is sophisticated enough to understand that it’s not the concept of the shelters she’s critical of, but the feminist philosophy that currently permeates them.
“What we need to do is reclaim the shelter movement,” she says. “It was hijacked 30 years ago. It was used for false purposes.”
Men’s Shelter Movement – Filling a gap that shouldn’t be there
Fathers helping fathers – Thanks to Jeremy Swanson
Barbara Kay National Post
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Seven years ago, Ken Sandall’s wife walked out on him with their two young children. At the time, Ken was making $2,250 a month. A judge ordered him to pay $2,000 a month in spousal and child support. (Crazy allocations like this happen a lot in family court. But nobody does anything about it, even though lives are ruined.) He slept in friends’ basements and lived like a tramp, but he paid until he was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Ken was subjected to more humiliations, including false allegations of sexual impropriety with children. His further trials would make good reading, but so would all the other hundreds of stories I have on file about men who get a raw deal from angry women. Instead, I’d rather tell you what Ken went on to do after he got his life back together again.
Ken became a father’s rights activist. From experience, he realized that the one thing men suddenly deprived of their homes and families need more than anything else is relief from the intense loneliness they face. Typically, they have no clue as to their legal rights or obligations and are ill-equipped to negotiate the women-friendly family law maelstrom into which they’ve been sucked.
Ten days ago, under Ken’s direction, a new fathers rights support group — “Ottawa Fathers” — opened its doors for business. Ken had fairly humble expectations, but before the first day of business ended, he had fielded over 100 e-mails of interest, warm encouragement and petitions for assistance from the Ottawa area and beyond.
What makes Ottawa Fathers different from other father support groups, which focus on information-sharing, is that it offers peer support — they “walk the walk” of the family law journey on a case by case basis, as well as offering a temporary safe house for men who have been thrown out of their family home or who are escaping domestic abuse (yes, it happens more than either side likes to admit). They’ll help with paperwork, accompany a man to court, seek a sympathetic lawyer and, in short, just — you know — be there for them.
To my knowledge, this is the first Canadian initiative that is trying to duplicate for men services like shelters, counselling and paralegal guidance that are widely available for women, all generously funded by charities and government. Needless to say, Ken’s group will depend entirely on private funds. No men’s groups I know of receive a cent from government or charities.
A lot of the men Ken deals with are suicidal or victims of domestic abuse. About 800 men in Ontario kill themselves every year. Around half of them are at the time of their suicide involved in the family law system. If women were killing themselves in such numbers and had this factor in common, there would be a national outcry. But there seems to be little public interest in knowing why men feel so tortured during a process that is purportedly even- handed in its judgments. Of course it isn’t, the suicides are proof of that, and still the beat goes on.
Last summer, as an experiment, I asked a male friend of mine to call up Ontario organizations listed by Health Canada as recognized bodies dealing with “family” needs, including help for victims of domestic violence. I also called some, pretending to have a brother with a battering female spouse. Neither of us could get to first base in terms of actual service. There was help on offer for abusing men, and for abused women. Nothing for male victims of abuse by women.
Several of these organizations were funded by government and by The United Way of Greater Toronto. I spoke to the director of allocations at United Way. They have no intention of researching or funding domestic abuse by women against men for the foreseeable future.
Ken Sandall’s group is filling a gap that shouldn’t be there. You can learn more about Ottawa Fathers at
www.ottawafathers.piczo.com. Bkay@videotron.ca Response to National Post Article
No Justice for Fathers
Published: Friday, March 30, 2007 Re: Fathers helping fathers, Barbara Kay, March 28.
As a man and as a father, I thank the Post and Barbara Kay for the column concerning the abuse of men by the justice system. I lost more than 90% of my net financial worth of $1.2-million in hard-earned New Brunswick dollars. But I was lucky to have a brother who kept me rent-free until I got on my feet again. My friend Peter lived in his pickup truck for 18 months following divorce; my friend Gary slept in a broom closet at work for nearly a year following his divorce; and my friend Sheldon hanged himself in his truck, which became his home when he could no longer meet “support” payments.
Canada’s a great place to live, eh?
Alfred Watson, Arthurette, N.B.
This blog post includes an excerpt from the 2006 book Courts From Hell by Frank Simons
About Courts from Hell by Frank Simons
This blog post is an excerpt from his book Courts From Hell – Family InJustice in Canada. Frank Simons tells us since the introduction of the so-called “No-Fault Divorce” in Canada, the divorce industry has evidenced unprecedented growth estimated at $10 billion per year. The problem is that the Legal / Court industry thrives off the $B’s generated by Taxpayers and Families in crises. For this, they provide no value and in fact cause destruction of families by unnecessarily removing fathers from children’s lives and lowering the standard of living for all family members. This is done through unnecessary litigation, biased decisions and unreasonable support orders which escalate the conflict to perpetuate the status quo in support of their self-serving business. The Solution is to update divorce laws to reflect parental equality and get families out of court eliminating significant grief and $’s wasted by families and taxpayers.