- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

The National Alliance for Family Court Justice, http://nafcj.org, has lobbied against deadbeat and abusive fathers for many years and for reasons including their fraudulent use of federal Department of Health and Human Services fatherhood programs for funding their custody litigation.

Children of our group members were featured in the PBS documentary “Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories,” cited by Carey Roberts in “M.O.M. squad capers” (Forum, April 16) The only negative responses received by PBS were from fathers rights activists, while PBS also received many supporting comments from psychological and health professionals concerned about the harm done to children by these men.

Just about everything the fathers’ rights activist say and do is a self-serving sham. They talk about shared parenting but practice sole custody for fathers and near-termination of maternal contact and rights with their children. Mothers are forced into supervised visitation on frivolous grounds of “interfering” with the father’s relationship with the children.

They falsely complain about widespread court favoritism toward mothers but conceal the fact most of their activists have sole or joint custody and receive child support instead paying support. On a local radio program several years ago, area fathers made these complaints about courts biases against fathers — but all these men claimed to be one of the lucky ones who got sole custody.

They conceal their role in promoting the discredited paternal child abuse cover-up “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS) methodology, devised by published incest advocate Dr. Richard Gardner. Fathers rights activists view Dr. Gardner as a ‘hero’ and had links to his works on their Web sites, until many professional organizations, including the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse issued discrediting reports on Dr. Gardner. Now they try to deny their past association with him.

PAS is based on the twisted notion a father is innocent of child abuse because the mother was upset and complained to authorities.

Being upset or angry is their definition of lying — but only for a woman. An upset man is a man who must have been wronged. Men who ally themselves with known incest advocates demand to be believed on their word and all complaining mothers are labeled as malicious liars. None of them ever labeled a man as an abuser or a liar.

Mr. Roberts’ Forum piece is full of other fatal flaws including: discrediting high favorable father-custody win rates with comments by a freelance writer for the Boston Globe, who is essentially one of their group and acts as their mouthpiece. I have a copy of a fathers rights newsletter which cites the 70 percent father-custody win rate, as an encouragement to seek for custody and not to believe the myth that fathers have little chance to win.

Mr. Roberts also ignored census report and frequent “laudatory” news stories about fathers winning custody at higher rates. He uses fake and misinterpreted statistics on female abusers, while ignoring the frequent news reports of fathers’ retaliatory killing of their children and/or the mother in “high”-conflict custody disputes.

Many professional statistical studies show high win rates for fathers accused of family abuse along with low rates of false allegations against fathers, while little is said about the known fact disputing fathers are the most vicious false accusers. Violent males often seek a protective order or assault charges against their female victims. Yet little is said about the high rate of dismissed complaints initiated by fathers against mothers.

The American Judges Association in Williamsburg, Va., released a report in 1996, “Domestic Violence and the Courtroom,” which noted that wife batterers and child abusers convince family court officials that their ex-wives are “unfit” or “undeserving” of sole custody in roughly 70 percent of contested custody battles. Since then, at least 23 states have conducted gender-bias studies — all with similar findings.

The big hidden factor is the federal fatherhood programs directed to courts and social services for their benefit. The fathers rights allies in Congress and HHS have worked for years to fund millions of dollars in specialized programs granted to state courts and social agencies for services such as enforcing noncustodial parents visitation and responsible fatherhood. Several judges have been forced to resign over gross misuse of these programs to enable custody switches to fathers accused of abuse and child support delinquencies.

In December 2005, fathers rights activists’ Senate allies got a $150 million earmark slipped into the “Deficit Reduction” bill which directed further funding for these purposes. Our group has obtained substantial evidence of misuse of these funds for paying fathers custody attorneys in deliberately dragged out high-conflict custody litigation, and PAS custody evaluators who rubber-stamp every woman a malicious liar and recommend sole custody to the father.

Fathers rights activists do have a lot to be scared about. Their scheme is unwinding and some of them will be prosecuted for what they have been doing for many years.

LIZ RICHARDS

National Alliance For Family Court Justice

Annandale, Va.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide