I just saw this piece on the dontmarry forum. Synopsis: A woman who was deeply involved with multiple fathers rights groups now claims that they’re all abusers, every last one of them. Oh, and count among the abusers those who were ever on the receiving end of a restraining order or false accusation of DV.
When dad is just bad
By MINDELLE JACOBS
What’s a conference on domestic violence without fireworks? An American speaker shot off a doozy here yesterday, charging that the leaders of some fathers’ rights groups are abusers who use the organizations as tools to harass women.
“It’s really important that we recognize that they’re gaining traction,” Rita Smith, executive director of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told an international women’s shelters conference.
In a later interview, Smith said her experience of men working on fathers’ rights is that many of the leaders are abusers or were accused of abuse.
“The agenda, often by the leadership, is to completely undermine women’s rights,” she said. “The ones that are the most dangerous are, in fact, creating safety problems for women and children.”
Many who join such groups aren’t abusive – they just lost a custody battle, Smith said, and are being used.
“Our responsibility is to try to figure out which of those groups are legitimate and which of those groups are simply a way for abusers to continue using the legal system to abuse women.”
Want more fireworks? Here goes. Smith also said domestic abusers who fight for custody in U.S. courts win full custody, joint custody or unsupervised access 70% of the time, regardless of the evidence of the mother.
She attributes it to a court gender bias. “For whatever reason, women are not believed,” she told me. “There’s this myth in the family court system in the U.S. that women lie about abuse to gain custody. There’s been no … evidence to indicate that’s true.”
Advocates and experts are trying to reform the U.S. family court system, she added. “It’s pretty broken.”
Her comments were echoed by speaker Sandra Ramos, who runs a shelter for homeless battered women and children in New Jersey and teaches college students about domestic violence.
Said Ramos: “When I tell my students batterers and child molesters get custody, they go, ‘No, that’s ridiculous.’
“If you have money for a good lawyer, you can win anything.”
Abusers fight for custody as a backlash, to try to regain control and hurt the victims for leaving them, said Ramos.
“Batterers are insecure cowards and bullies,” she added. “The way to hurt (their ex-wives) and not have to pay child support is to get the children.”
Abusive men win custody of their kids in Canada as well, said Jan Reimer, provincial co-ordinator of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters. “There’s a feeling that even if a perpetrator is abusing the mom, he doesn’t hurt the child,” she said. “The child is used as a pawn to get at the mother.”
Let’s count our blessings, folks, that the vast majority of custody cases are settled amicably outside court.
So enough about custody battles. There are 800 delegates — mostly women but a few good men — at this week’s conference of shelter workers and they all have incredible stories.
Ece Tuncay, who gave a presentation yesterday, is a clinical psychologist with a shelter in Ankara, Turkey, for female victims of human trafficking. There is another in Istanbul and they are desperately needed because Turkey is a destination country for trafficked women from countries like Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Moldova.
The women are tricked into thinking they’ll work as cooks or cleaners and then forced into prostitution, said Tuncay.
“They are not generally able to escape because a pimp always accompanies them.”
But there are hotlines the women can call and, in a strange twist of fate, Turkish johns sometimes feel sorry for them and call the police to rescue them, added Tuncay.
Her group gets the trafficked women safe housing and counselling. Then, with the help of the International Organization for Migration, the women travel safely home.
Every woman saved is a success story. As Reimer, the prime organizer behind this incredible gathering, commented to the delegates Monday night, shelter workers toil in the middle of a “hurricane of suffering” to keep women alive.
No other profession, she added, sees such a constant reminder of men’s inhumanity to women.
I give the last word to Smith who quipped to the hundreds of shelter workers: “I look forward to the day when we all have something else to do in our lives.”
E-mail Mindy Jacobs at email@example.com.
Letters to the editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know, this completely underscores how women can lie so easily and utter utter whoppers with consummate ease. Then when they’re caught with it, they get away without so much as a smack on the bum. Lenore Weitzman anyone?
This Rita woman was involved with FRA groups for God knows how long, she was definitely treated with kid gloves, probably set quite a few men on each other for alleged misogyny, and now after all that, she claims that the leaders are all abusers? What in the flying fuck? How can somebody believe this shit? Oh wait, she’s a member of the Royal Sex. The Emperor has no clothes and so on but “the parade must go on”.
Each woman is a double agent until proven otherwise. I’m not of the view that they are helpless creatures who can’t help but take part in a giant sisterhood where the only bond is to be born with a set of female genitals. Oh no, women like Rita Smith are pure evil.
Sits back and waits for accusations of misogyny to fly.