Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mothers of Lost Children promoting policies of harm to children and gender discrimination in child custody cases to the US Congress

11 February 2014

The arena of child custody battles can lead to some of the most vile, hostile, and divisive behaviours parents can express which can be detrimental to the well-being of children. When these offenders get organized and perpetuate their hate as a group the outcomes can be even more detrimental. One such hate-group is Mothers of Lost Children.

As an advocate for the well-being of children and knowing the needs that they have, especially when their parents are going through divorce, I am keenly aware of the necessity of maintaining gender neutrality in child custody laws and policies. Gender neutrality allows judges to make decisions that consider the needs of the children first. The danger with hate-groups like Mothers of Lost Children is that they are motivated to eliminate one gender of parents from the lives of children based solely upon their selfish interest. Creating state policies which discard adverse factors – that either gender may exhibit -- such as mental illness, Domestic Violence, neglect or abuse in favour of gender based considerations puts children into dangerous situations.

Gender neutrality is the only legitimate means by which to advocate for the best interest of children. I am usually reticent to embrace any organization that is gender specific for inclusion into the policy formulation forum. This is not to say that they can't have legitimacy, as presentation of perceptions or needs generally attributable to a specific gender should be recognized. Gender specificity is surely justifiable in support or a particular gender but not so in policy application. As previously mentioned mental illness, Domestic Violence, neglect or abuse are not gender specific. All are found to be attributable to mothers in greater frequency while generally in greater intensity among fathers. To effectively manage and mitigate these incidents they should be approached in a gender specific manner but not to the exclusion of a gender from acts adverse to children.

I long ago seemed to catch the ire of father's rights groups by my inconsonance with their agenda when I proclaimed that most NCP – which are overwhelmingly fathers -- are deserving of that status. Like most of those boisterous and hostile leaders of father's rights groups, Mothers of Lost Children are just as likely NCP's because of their behaviours. Some of which are aptly demonstrated in their actions of attacking the character of any person who recommends that they not be the primary custodians. This behaviour is identical to what I saw in some of the most veracious and vindictive father's rights groups. Blaming society, corruption and, fathers for the damage these mothers have cause to their own parent-child relationships supports the rulings against them. These behaviours reflect their failure to accept responsibility. The hallmark of my child custody based life coaching – usually of NCPs – is that parents accept responsibility for their predicament.

Mothers of Lost Children recently sent out an announcement about their efforts to spread their message of bigotry. There they stated: “Many thanks to Andrew Willis of Stop Abuse Campaign for his crucial help in getting us a Congressional Briefing on October 2! We now have the issue of Protecting Abused Children of Divorce and Separation deep into the halls of Congress.” They go on to say “[f]our brave mothers filed a joint complaint on November 6, 2013 in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, against a variety of judges, court professionals and other officials in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.”[fn1] This is one of the tactics they use – attacking anyone who doesn't make a gender based decision siding with them – to intimidate those people who would seek to protect children from abusive mothers.

Their overwhelming bias and lack of concern for protecting children from all harmful parents is apparent in their request for parents to join in their judicial and legislative efforts. Specifically they say that “mothers from other states can join” and then they ask for the identity of the “partner/husband.” The evidentiary information they seek is only that which would be detrimental towards fathers;
“Criminal record (arrests and convictions)”,
“Reports of physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest”, and
“Intimidation against you that deterred you from reporting”.

They then ask for information about who was responsible for the “Removal of child(ren) from you after you reported criminal physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest.” Not surprising is that nowhere do they ask for court findings that substantiate their allegations or why they did not get custody of their children. Neither of those factors could support their agenda.

Mothers of Lost Children encourages the use of filing petitions for Domestic Violence Protective Orders as a means of absconding with the children and severing a parent-child relationship even when no act of or threat of Domestic Violence is alleged. An obviously bigoted and deceitful approach to child custody decisions should not be tolerated and Mothers of Lost Children should be ignored but they aren't. Those who do not join in their crusade to harm children are targeted for acts of intimidation and being publicly rebuked. After I was requested to make a presentation to the Indiana General Assembly on the subject of false allegations of Domestic Violence in child custody cases and my efforts to bring about gender neutrality and truth in DV cases I was personally vilified by the hate-group Mothers of Lost Children.

It is always my goal to promote healthy parent-child relationships in child custody cases. Yesterday I presented a Report to the Indiana Senate on the effect that banning civil unions would have on child custody. I am currently working with some legislators on crafting a bill that will provide opportunities for people involved in Domestic Violence to be entitled to assistance in breaking free from that. Included in my legislative proposal for Assessment-Treatment Confidentiality for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence I provide a copy of a Petition for an Order of Protection that did not include an allegation of abuse [page 12, paragraph 7].

That Petition was written by Angie Warnock. Particularly when I wrote about the murder of Angie Warnock and revealed how the alienation tactics she used which included filing that Petition I was again vilified by these hate-mongers. Interestingly when I wrote that posting I knew nothing about the case other than what I had read in the brief newspaper account which is included at the beginning of that posting. Instead I relied upon my years of experience in the field where I have identified traits that are common to particular personality dysfunctions such as parental alienation.

It should be the goal of all responsible parents to eliminate harms to their children. Unfortunately when one group of mentally ill unfit parents get together and collectively support each others' delusions it has the effect of perpetuating harm against their own children.

Being blinded to the reality of one's own behaviour because of an allegiance to one's demographic classification and clear expressions of their mental illness is the formula which allows the rational judicial officers to make the proper decisions which protect the children. We should be thankful for the “variety of judges, court professionals and other officials in Rhode Island and Massachusetts” who are standing up against these hateful parents who try to alienate the children.

Over the years I have served numerous parents who endured ongoing hostile parent-parent relationships. By facilitating acceptance of the parent's responsibility for his or her custodial situation and recognition of the responsibility of the judicial officers parents can progress toward an understanding of the dynamics the lead to better outcomes for children. These outcomes are not a result of policies favouring one gender over the other but in parents, regardless of gender, recognizing that it their behaviours and their responsibility to ensure the best outcomes for their children.

If you care for the well-being of children and believe that child custody decisions should be made based upon the facts of the case and the behaviours of the parents rather than a mandated award of custody based upon gender then please call or write your congressional representative and tell him or her so.

[1] retrieved from Equal Access Advocates, http://www.equalaccessadvocates.com/2013/11/24/ca-protective-parents-association/ 27 November 2013

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©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

1 comment:

MN1966 said...

There are alot of GOOD mothers just like there are excellent Fathers who are being mistreated in the courts because a PARENT any sex can make up horrible lies about the other. Laws need to be changed to make EITHER parent accountable for alienating their child against the loving, nurturing parent. It doesn't have to a Mothers "hate" group to get the attention of the Courts, what about the Father Rights Group? Why are there so many of you out there but nothing for us? I am in the same boat as you are, yes, my ex lied, alienated my child against me, he got custody of her because he was the FATHER because people like you are making us GOOD mothers look bad.... get the idea? The laws of Indiana do not apply to the best interest of the Child, its the best interest of the parent, who has more money, better attorneys etc. It comes down to the Good Ol'Brother hood.... So before you start assuming that a support group like MOFC are promoting policies that harm children, take a good look at several of the Fathers that you are advocating for. My ex had an RO against him when we went to Court, still got visitations, had verbal abused me in front of our child and threatened to kill me, he still go custody. So, yes, Mr. Showalter, before you go and blow air in the wind, think about it.... ANY parent can be a vile, abusive and heartless... all in the name of malicious intent to get back at their ex.