Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kansas: Domestic Violence Survivor & Mother who Testified Against the State has Felony Warrant Issued Against her for Wanting To see Her Babies!!

  1. KansasWatchdog Warrant out in Wichita for arrest of Cecelia Arnold for trying to see her kids. Reform badly needed. VIDEO: 2 hours
  2. KansasWatchdog

    Warrant out in Wichita for arrest of Cecelia Arnold for trying to see her kids. Reform badly needed. AUDIO:


 How can wanting to see your child whom the mother has never physically harmed be a felony, but yet, domestic violence, battery on another person (a physical crime, potentially fatal, bond $2,500.00)  is only a misdemeanor?????????  $10,000.00 bond

Listen to Cecillia Arnold:

Warrant Details  

Race: B Sex: F Age: 24
Height: 506 Weight: 150
Hair: BLK Eyes: BRO

Warrant Id: 92696
Court Case No.: 2009CR003679
Felony/Misdemeanor: F
Bond: $10,000.00


Compelling stories from parents and grandparents about problems with placement and removal of children

By Earl Glynn On December 4, 2009

Abused mom Cecillia Arnold lost her parental rights. She wants her kids back.

“I did all court orders and my girls were placed back home with me”

“The case workers changed many times. I couldn’t get through to them sometimes.”

“The reintegration itself … was going well”

“I had stability. I had a home. I had a job. I had everything that they would ask someone to do for reintegration to occur.”

“My abuser … was going to jail at the time at the time the girls were removed from home. He was incarcerated for, I think, it was two years for the crime he committed against me.”

“The girls were removed from home for the second time.”

“The assistant [Sedgwick County] DA … filed a petition for termination [of parental rights], and after … the trial termination was granted.”

“As of now I have not seen my children since March of this year”

“During the trial I had testimony from different people — the foster care parents … — their testimony was overlooked.”

“… bad experiences with DCCA …”

“They said the reason for termination was … me not following the reintegration plan. That was not true.”

“… the ball got dropped on me from the Agency that was contracted through the courts … They didn’t do the job that they were supposed to do, which resulted in my girls being removed from home”

Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau: “Her parents are in the audience … They have been denied custody of their grandchildren, too, and told there were too old; they were too sick.”

State Rep Bill Otto (R-LeRoy): “Your rights are severed?”

Arnold: “My rights have been terminated … I have no rights to my children. I have not seen them since March. I filed an appeal that didn’t go anywhere. I’m here today because I want my children back.” …

Otto: “Where was your lawyer?” …

Arnold: “I had court-appointed attorneys … I feel I could have done a better job representing myself” ..

Otto: “This should not happen to anybody … I’m so sorry.” …

Chair Kiegerl: “Your problem mainly is with the courts, although, I’m sure, the agency’s testimony was instrumental in the decision. … My heart goes out to you …I wish there were a magic wand that … we could use to solve your problem.”

Arnold left in tears.

Listen to Cecillia Arnold:

Watch this Kansas Watchdog YouTube Video of Arnold explaining her case.

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More on maternal deprivation. A study completed at McGill Universityconfirms maternal care has an effect on children. Imagine not having that maternal care…being deprived of your mother, and how it affects future suicide victims.

Remember Robert Hawkins, the boy who shot up the mall in Omaha, Nebraska.  His father had custody of him:

Throughout most of his life, he and his family were plagued by his psychiatric problems. The day after he turned 14, he was sent to a mental health treatment center for threatening to kill his stepmother with an axe.

Robert HawkinsRobert Hawkins

Four months later, he became a ward of the State of Nebraska, which lasted nearly four years. He had undergone two psychiatric hospitalizations, and was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, an unspecified mood disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and parent-child relationship problems. His extensive treatments cost the state USD$265,000.

On December 5th 2007,  Robert Hawkins, went to Westroads Mall in Omaha and fired against employees and customers in a department store, killing eight people and then he killed himself.

Maribel Rodriguez, Robert’s mother said in interviews she was deeply devastated. She hasn’t had custody of her son since Robert was around 4 years old but she said that had a good relationship with her son and felt the obligation to apologize for what he did. Robert was without hope, without faith and without courage she added.

Who was the first one he told “I love you” on his suicide note?  Mommy.  This is what maternal deprivation gets you.  Now, the information from the study…

Childhood trauma has life-long effect on genes and the brain

Study confirms effects of early environment in brains of suicide victims

McGill University and Douglas Institute scientists have discovered that childhood trauma can actually alter your DNA and shape the way your genes work. This confirms in humans earlier findings in rats, that maternal care plays a significant role in influencing the genes that control our stress response.

Using a sample of 36 brains; 12 suicide victims who were abused; 12 suicide victims who were not abused and 12 controls, the researchers discovered different epigenetic markings in the brains of the abused group. These markings influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function, a stress-response which increases the risk of suicide.

This research builds upon findings published last May that showed how child abuse can leave epigenetic marks on DNA.

But, in this, the first study of its kind, Moshe Szyf, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Gustavo Turecki, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry who practices at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute; Michael Meaney, a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Neurosurgery, who is also at the Douglas; and McGill postdoctoral research fellow Patrick McGowan have built on their world-renowned epigenetics work to uncover how parental care affects the DNA in the brains of a group of Quebec male suicide victims who suffered abuse as children. The all-McGill study is set to be published in the February 22, issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

“We know from clinical experience that a difficult childhood can have an impact on the course of a person’s life”, said Dr. Turecki.
“Now we are starting to understand the biological implications of such psychological abuse,” added Dr. Szyf.

“The function of our DNA is not as fixed as previously believed, said Dr. Meaney. “The interaction between the environment and the DNA plays a crucial role in determining our resistance to stress thus the risk for suicide. Epigenetic marks are the product of this interaction.”

Epigenetics is the study of changes in the function of genes that don’t involve changes in the sequences of DNA. The DNA is inherited from our parents; it remains fixed throughout life and is identical in every part of the body. During gestation and even later in development, however, the genes in our DNA are marked by a chemical coating called DNA methylation. These marks are somewhat sensitive to one’s environment, especially early in life. The epigenetic marks punctuate the DNA and program it to express the right genes at the appropriate time and place.

The researchers discovered that maternal care influences hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function in the rat through epigenetic programming of certain receptors in the brain. In humans, child abuse alters HPA stress responses and increases the risk for suicide.

In previous studies in laboratory rats, the group proved that simple maternal behaviour such as mothers who licked their pups during early childhood has a profound effect on the epigenetic marks on specific genes and effects on behaviour in ways that are sustained throughout life. However, these effects on gene expression and stress responses can also be reversed in adult life through treatments known to affect the epigenetic mark known as DNA methylation.

The brain samples in the latest study came from the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank, administered by Dr. Turecki of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. With the support of the Bureau du Coroner du Québec (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner), the McGill Group for Suicide Studies (MGSS) founded the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank (QSBB) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, to promote studies on the phenomenon of suicide. Research carried out on brain tissue can help develop intervention and prevention programs to help people suffering mental distress and who are at risk of committing suicide.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the National Institute of Child Health and Development (USA).

Please visit McGill’s website for this story.

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From BBC News:


Father and daughter

Fathers’ mental health problems can affect their children

Children whose fathers have mental health disorders are likely to have psychiatric or behavioural disorders themselves, researchers warn.

University of Oxford experts reviewed existing evidence and said, in the Lancet, there had been too much focus on mothers’ mental health issues.

They said boys in particular could be affected if their father had depression or was an alcoholic.

Mental health campaigners said men often had problems seeking help.


The Oxford team said it was not surprising much of researchers’ emphasis had focused on mothers as, in most societies, it is mothers who provide the majority of childcare – particularly when children are very young.

But they said the role of men had been “underemphasised” and that they had more influence on their children’s development than previously thought.

In addition, the peak age for men to be affected by psychiatric disorders is the same as the peak age for becoming a father – between 18 and 35.

Paternal depression during the postnatal period, measured at eight weeks after birth, has been associated with increasing the chance of the child subsequently developing behavioural and emotional problems from 10% to 20%.

Teenage offspring of depressed fathers also have an increased risk of various psychological problems, including depression and suicidal behaviour.

Around 2% of men are affected by generalised anxiety disorder, and children whose parents have anxiety disorders have a two-fold increased risk of developing such disorders themselves, researchers say.

Previous studies have also found links between a father’s alcoholism and an increased risk of conduct disorders, where children behave aggressively and destructively and abuse substances – particularly in sons.

Paternal alcoholism is also associated with an increased risk of mood disorders, depressive symptoms, poor performance at school, low self-esteem and problems forming relationships.

Adolescents whose parents have bipolar disorder are up to 10 times more likely than adolescents with mentally healthy parents to develop bipolar disorder, and three to four times more likely to develop other psychiatric illness, research suggests.

‘Nurturing role’

The Oxford team, led by psychiatrist Professor Paul Ramchandani, said more research was needed on how fathers’ psychiatric disorders affect their children’s development.

He said: “Fathers are more involved in child-rearing in countries including the UK than they used to be.

“In years gone by, if fathers were depressed and distant it may not have made much of an impact.

“We now need a more general understanding of what effects psychiatric problems in fathers can have on children.”

Emily Wooster, policy and campaign manager for the mental health charity Mind, said: “Men’s roles in bringing up children have changed significantly over the last century, with many dads now taking on an active ‘nurturing role’ so it’s important that there is more research into the relationship between fathers’ mental health problems and how these may affect their children.

“Mind has found that men often have difficulties coming forward and talking about their mental health problems, perhaps because of the way they are socialised into being ’strong, tough men’ who can’t show their emotions.”

She said the charity was due to launch a campaign next week calling for “male-friendly” mental health services and better support for men.

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Mother of children drowned in bathtub to speaks at House hearings for protective orders.

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Amy Castillo, the Montgomery County pediatrician whose ex-husband drowned their three children in a hotel room bathtub in 2008, is scheduled to testify in Annapolis today to support a bill that would make it easier to receive court-approved protective orders.

Here is her prepared testimony.

Before her husband killed their children, Castillo tried to get a protective order to keep him away. A judge denied her request. Maryland law requires "clear and convincing evidence" to grant protective orders. The billwould lower the bar to "preponderance of the evidence."

Efforts to apply that standard to protective orders have failed in the past in the Maryland legislature. The group Justice For Children also will argue for lowering the burden of proof.

Here is a video of Amy Castillo discussing her husband's guilty plea in October.

The legal issues involving child custody disputes and protective orders can be complicated, and difficult for judges to sort through, as was the case with the Castillo's.

-- Dan Morse

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Rebellion in the California court system



Vic Lee
More: Bio, E-mail, News Team

They call themselves "the alliance." Others call them rebels. They are a group of California judges who say the state's judicial branch is no longer serving the people and they are demanding reform.

Last month, Judge David Lampe from Kern County made a public appeal to the California Judicial Council to stop closing courthouses one day a month. It is a decision the council says it made because of the state's budget crisis.

Lampe says his plea fell on deaf ears.

"I believe that a lot of judges felt they did not have a sufficient voice in the decision that closed our courts," he said.

That decision was made by the 27 judges who sit on the judicial council. They make statewide policy and administer the multi-billion dollar budget for California's courts. Members of the judicial council are appointed by the chief justice of the state supreme court, who also presides over its meetings. The council's staff is called the AOC, short for Administrative Office of the Courts.

The court closures and employee furloughs have triggered an open revolt against the council by some of California's 1,700 judges.

"A very insular, elite group of folks has run this branch for now 15 years or so," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan.

Some judges began complaining that the judicial council and the AOC were becoming a remote bureaucracy; all too powerful and all too secretive with the court's budget. Last September, these judges formed what they called the alliance -- a sort of pro-democracy movement.

Lee: Is this something like Star Wars: Alliance versus evil empire?

Horan: You know, I must be truthful, there is a certain element of that and you're not the first person to notice it.

Judges Horan and Lampe helped organize the alliance which now has more than 200 members from across the state. They are shopping a bill in Sacramento that would create an advisory group of judges from each of the 58 superior court districts to provide oversight on the judicial council's budget decisions.

"The governance there is very much out of touch with the branch, out of touch with what's happening in the local courts and out of touch with the view of the public," Lampe said.

Alliance members point to the expensive upgrade project for the court's computer system during these lean times.

"They went from a month ago apparently $1.4 billion estimate to now $1.7. The numbers fly around and are mind-boggling," Horan said. "It's a million dollars per judge. One million dollars per judge by the time they're done."

The alliance complains that judicial council votes are almost always unanimous.

"There are 21 voting members currently of the judicial council," Lampe said. "Our research discloses that except for four instances over the last 13 years, all of their decisions have been 21 to nothing,"

The alliance says the council's staff, the AOC, has grown to a huge bureaucracy of nearly 1,000 state employees. The AOC gave pay raises to dozens of staffers during the height of the budget crisis when most judges took a voluntary 5 percent pay cut.

This angers alliance members like Judge Quentin Kopp of San Francisco.

"It is incompatible with the prudent administration of money," Kopp said. "It makes no sense to be adding to compensation for people in the AOC."

The AOC counters by saying despite the pay raises, there have been voluntary furloughs and no cost of living increases.

"So we've been very conservative in terms of our costs and payroll at the AOC," Ronald Overholt with the AOC said.

Judicial council members ABC7 spoke with bristled at the alliance's criticism of them, saying their decisions are influenced by a broad spectrum of judges.

"It's not just those of us sitting in that room, but it's about 500 judges around the state who sit on committees and bring reports to us and work very hard day in and day out," California Appellate Court Justice Brad Hill said.

"Everything is vetted, everything goes out for public comment," California Appellate Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said. "We seek public comment on every proposal, every rule, every idea."

The public, that is who the rebel judges say they are fighting for. After all, Lampe says, it is the people's court, not theirs.

"We do know the value of speaking with one voice as a branch," Lampe said. "I think to speak with one voice, that voice must first be found. Work with us to give the people a voice. Thank you very much."

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Mother Fights to Change Law After Husband Killed Children

Amy Castillo's husband killed their 3 children

Updated: Friday, 26 Feb 2010, 12:26 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 25 Feb 2010, 7:15 PM EST

BY SHERRI LY/myfoxdc

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - When Amy Castillo's husband, Mark, killed her three children nearly two years ago she knew he'd carried out his threat.

"He said well really the worse thing I could do is kill the children and not you so you have to live without them," Castillo said.

Fifteen months earlier she told a Montgomery County judge the same story but he denied her final protective order because there wasn't "clear and convincing evidence."

Castillo says she was devastated.

The interim protective order had already angered her estranged husband, who suffered from mental illness and transcripts show had planned to violently end his own life.

"I think he would have had to have hurt them before, in the past, actually physically injured them. All along I felt that you have to actually hurt someone or prove you sexually abused them before you can get any help," Castillo said.

It's happened over and over to victims of abuse in Maryland. Victims try to get a protective order only to be denied sometimes with deadly consequences.

Yvette Cade, a Prince George's County woman was burned four years ago by her ex-husband after a judge removed a protective order as well.

In Castillo's case she said, "It went from threats to now they're dead. There wasn't anything in between."

So today Castillo went to Annapolis to fight for the protection her children six-year-old Anthony, four-year-old Austin and two-year-old Athena did not get.

She testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in support of a bill that lowers the standard for protective orders to a "preponderance of evidence."

Maryland is the only state that requires the standard of proof for a protective order be "clear and convincing evidence."

At least three times previously, lawmakers in Annapolis have tried to lower this standard, making it easier for someone to get a protective order. Each time it failed.

"People are in dangerous situations and in Amy's case, the dear children lost their lives because of our high standard of proof in Maryland. That's unacceptable," said Delegate Sue Hecht (D) Frederick County, the bill's main sponsor.

Historically, the judiciary committee has been hesitant to change laws.

It took Hecht seven years to get a child sex abuse crime of violence law passed and expects another tough fight on this one.

She ran a domestic violence center for 12 years.

"We had a woman shot in the face of my home county. This year she had been denied a protective order in two counties before she got shot in the face," Hecht said.

No word on when the committee will vote, but the Frederick lawmaker, is hopeful she'll have the votes to get the bill out of committee this time. Even with a protective order critics say enforcement is sometimes lacking but at least it gives victims another tool.

"You have to have something in place where not only the woman feels like she's being back up but there's teeth behind that," said Eileen King, Regional Director for Justice for Children-DC, an advocacy group for children and families.

"I never tried to get a protective order again," Castillo said after failing the first time, "because I felt like not only was it not helpful, it was useless."

By seeking the protective order, "it made him much more angry," Castillo said and without it she had nothing to stop him.

Castillo says she can look back now and say "I told you so" and wonders if she got the protective order would her children be alive.


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Mother Backs Easier Access To Protective Orders

Mother Backs Easier Access To Protective Orders


Pat Warren


Click to enlarge

1 of 1

The mother of three children who were drowned in a downtown hotel bathroom by their father testified for easier access to protective orders.



The mother of three children who were drowned in a downtown hotel bathroom by their father testified for easier access to protective orders.

But as political reporter Pat Warren reports, not everyone is convinced it's necessary.

Dr. Amy Castillo hopes her devastating loss will somehow serve to help others in dire circumstances.

"I'm a pediatrician in Montgomery County, and I'm the mother who lost my 2, 4 and 6-year-old children when my husband drowned them in a bathtub in Baltimore almost two years ago," she said.

The deaths of her children at the hands of their father came just days after she tried and failed to get a protective order against her husband Mark Castillo.

"He told me that he could sabotage the house if he wanted to, and then he said, 'Actually I could kill all of you if I wanted to.' And then he said, 'The worst thing I could do would be to kill your children and not you so that you would have to live without them,'" said Amy Castillo.

A House committee is considering a bill to lower the burden of proof for obtaining a protection order from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of evidence. That's like going from "not a doubt" to "there's a good chance" that the person seeking the order could be in danger.

"I think that when you're in fear of your life and for your children, and you make that move to step out and do something about it, and then you go to get a protective order, and you don't get it, it's just really devastating. The other person is twice as angry, and you really -- it's like a discouragement to make a change in your life that needs to be made," said Amy Castillo.

But Montgomery County Delegate Luiz Simmons is among those who believe the clear and convincing standard is working, with only 14 percent of requests denied.

"When you examine them more closely, sometimes you find that the truth is a little bit more complicated than a bumper sticker," said Simmons.

The Maryland State Office of the Public Defender has taken a position of opposition to the bill.

Supporters include the Women's Legislative Caucus and the Coalition To Protect Maryland's Children.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Access Denied: The Barriers of Violence and Poverty for Abused Women and their Children (Jaffe, Zerwer, Poisson)


Access Denied

The Barriers of Violence and Poverty for Abused Women and their Children's Search for Justice and Community Services After Separation

Peter Jaffe, Michelle Zerwer & Samantha Poisson (2002)

Funded by the Atkinson Charitable Foundation. In this two-year study, 62 women were interviewed about their experiences in the legal system and their efforts to find legal and counselling services after separation from an abusive partner. Ninety-five of their children were interviewed as well. Focus groups were held with women involved with specialized domestic violence counselling. Although some women found assistancem others described a sense of re-victmization by legal, social service and mental health profesionals who lacked an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence. To provide the reader with a broader context, each section of the report contrasts the myths and facts juxtaposed with study facts and recommendations.

Download the Full Report or a Summary

Access Denied: Summary

Access Denied: Full Report


The 15-page summary can be ordered for $15.00 plus shipping and handling. The full report is out of print. Print off a copy of the publication order form for more information.

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Man charged in wife's death returns to Durham


Raven, Janet and Kaiden Abaroa in an undated photo

Posted: Today at 9:56 a.m.
Updated: Today at 1:23 p.m.

DURHAM, N.C. — Authorities on Friday brought a former Durham resident charged with killing his wife almost five years ago back to town to face a murder charge in the case.

Raven Abaroa, 30, was taken into custody Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, in Montpelier, Idaho, for the 2005 death of his wife.

Raven Abaroa, 30, was arrested Feb. 1 at his home in Montpelier, Idaho. He is charged with first-degree murder in the April 2005 slaying of 25-year-old Janet Christiansen Abaroa.

He arrived at the Durham Police Department shortly after 1 p.m. and declined to comment as investigators led him inside.

Janet Abaroa was stabbed to death in an upstairs bedroom at her 2606 Ferrand Drive home. She was pregnant at the time, and the Abaroas’ then-6-month-old son, Kaiden, was in the home. He was unharmed.

Raven Abaroa has maintained his innocence in the case. In an October 2007 interview with NC Wanted, he said he was at a soccer game in Morrisville when she was killed. He found her when he returned home, he said.

Kaiden was placed in the custody of his paternal grandmother after his father's arrest, authorities said.

Copyright 2010 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Woman Abuse Affects our Children An Educator's Guide by Linda Baker & Peter Jaffe (2007)

    Woman Abuse Affects our Children: An Educator's Guide

    Woman Abuse Affects our Children: An Educator's Guide

    by Linda Baker & Peter Jaffe (2007)

    A resource for elementary teachers, principals and guidance counsellors funded by the Ontario Women's Directorate.

    This Educator's Guide and its Facilitator's Manual were developed by an Expert Panel formed as part of the Government of Ontario's Domestic Violence Action Plan. The English-language panel developed these training materials to better support women and their children, and reduce abuse. The panel included representatives from provincial elementary teacher organizations, principal councils, school and Native guidance associations, Ontario faculties of education, community groups supporting immigrant and refugee women, and organizations from the violence prevention field.

    Download Copies

    Woman Abuse Affects our Children: An Educator's Guide (2.5 MB)

    Table of Contents

  • Importance of this Topic

  • Glossary

  • Understanding Woman Abuse Helps Us Support Affected Students

  • Power and Control Wheel

  • Equality Wheel

  • Results of the 2004 General Social Survey on Victimization

  • What Recent Surveys Tell Us about Children Exposed to Spousal Violence

  • Impacts on Children and Adolescents

  • Signs a Student is Having Difficulties

  • Potential Impacts at Different Ages

  • What Educators May See

  • Responding When Students Display Troubling Behaviours

  • What Educators May See

  • Strategies for Supporting Students

  • Ways to Support a Student Who Makes a Disclosure

  • Guidelines for When a Parent is a Victim of Woman Abuse

  • Reporting to the Children's Aid Society

  • Reporting Guidelines

  • Safety Planning

  • What Educators May See

  • School and Community Partnerships

  • Community Responses

  • School-Based Violence Prevention

  • Examples of Resources

  • Resources that Promote Healthy Equal Relationships

  • Where to Go for Help

  • Resources

  • Appendix A: Child and Family Services Act (Ontario)

  • Appendix B: Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession (Ontario)

  • References

    • En français

      A French-language Expert Panel worked concurrently to the English-language panel developing materials for the francophone Ontario community:

      Aide Enfants Témoins

      Ordering Information

      For information on how to order hard copies of the Educator's Guide and the Facilitator's Manual, visit the project's Resource Website.


      Other Resources on Children and Domestic Violence

      The Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (formerly called the London Family Court Clinic) is known around the world for our innovative approach to understanding children exposed to domestic violence, supporting their mothers, and creating resources for service deliverers. A range of resources is available to assist students, front-line professionals, volunteers, educators, and mothers who themselves have survived woman abuse. On our Children and Domestic Violence Resource Page, you find links to all the material on our web site related to this important topic.

      © 2004-2007 Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System

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      What Batterer Programs Can Do Demonstrably and Reliably with All Men Ordered by the Courts


      Filed under Ending Men's Violence, Paper.

      By Phyllis B. Frank, , Director, VCS Domestic Violence Program for Men

      Batterer programs often confound even those who work closely with them.  Courts, probation, prosecution, parole, advocates, and the public understandably have unfulfilled hopes about what batterer programs can accomplish.  After thirty years of consistent trial, error and more trial, the NY Model for Batterer Programs has devised a simple list of what we know we can accomplish and measure and what we cannot be certain we can accomplish.
      Batterer Programs Can Clearly, Easily and Certainly . . .

      • be used by courts as a meaningful sanction for domestic violence offences.
      • be used by courts to hold defendants accountable for a domestic abuse incident.
      • be used by courts as an appropriate sanction when the seriousness of the crime does not merit a more serious penalty.
      • be used by courts to monitor whether defendants are complying with a court order to attend a batterer program.
      • provide simple, fair policies and procedures that allow program participants to demonstrate compliance through objective behavior.
      • require that participants adhere to program policies and procedures.
      • objectively track compliance with program policies and procedures and provide straightforward, nonjudgmental compliance information to the court.
      • be effective with 100% of the participants – if courts consistently sanction those who do not comply with the court order to attend[1].

      Batterer Programs Cannot, with Certainty and Clarity . . .

      • know fully and accurately how a participant is behaving outside of the program.
      • promise that any participant will end abusive and controlling behavior either during or after his tenure in the program. 
      • infer reliable behavior change from  a participant’s apparent understanding of (or apparent enthusiasm for) information and skills presented in the program.

      Batterer Programs Should . . .

      • have an ongoing, supportive relationship with local domestic violence services.
      • participate actively in local Domestic Violence Community Coordination initiatives.
      • operate within the criminal justice system .
      • be ordered by courts (or agents of the court)  based on the crime committed, not on the personal or individual  traits of the perpetrator.

      Batterer Programs Should Not . . .

      • interact with partners of participants (that is the work of advocacy programs).
      • be ordered by the court if a crime merits a more serious penalty.
      • ever have staff replicate controlling and abusive tactics such as yelling, berating, mocking, shaming, humiliating.

      Batterer Programs Sessions Should . . .

      • impart a sense of confidence that ANY man can end his abusive behavior.
      • understand that men who batter are just regular people, from all walks of life, from all communities.
      • acknowledge that most intimate partner violence committed by men against women (as defined by the domestic violence movement) is not illegal.
      • understand that participants in batterer programs represent a miniscule percentage of the men who are abusing intimate partners.
      • engage participants with state of the art information, material, ideas, data, history, current events, films, etc. relating to domestic violence, sexism and racism.
      • teach about various successful social justice movements in the United States and the connections to the movement to end domestic violence.
      • present an analysis of men’s violence against women and its pervasiveness around the globe.
      • exemplify awareness of sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ethnocentrism, etc. and the interconnectedness of these oppressions with domestic violence.
      • model absolute respect, at all times, through interactions among staff and between staff and program participants.

      Batterer Program Suggestions to Ponder

      • Refrain from referring to programs as “BIPs,” which can be perceived as trivializing the seriousness of the crimes that resulted in the creation of batterer programs.
      • Refrain from referring to men ordered to batterer programs as “the guys” or any other informal, buddy-type language. 
      • Do speak about domestic violence in active – rather than passive –  voice; acknowledge agency of abuse in your language. For example, replace ““Eleven women died as a result of intimate partner violence last year,” with “Eleven men murdered their intimate women partners last year.”
      • Consider that batterer programs may not, in fact, play a role in enhancing the safety of the women partners of program participants.  Batterer programs may play a small role in enhancing safety for women, in general, if they contribute to the court’s ability to hold offenders accountable.  
      • If domestic violence is universally accepted as a human rights and criminal justice issue, then batterer programs should not provide treatment or rehabilitation. Rather, they should be consistent with effective and appropriate social justice and criminal justice responses.

      [1]  100% effective mans that every participant experiences that he has not “gotten away” with the act that resulted in his court appearance.

      © Phyllis B. Frank

      845 634-5729 ~ ~

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      Custody dispute over children brings charge

      http://www.romesent news?newsid= 20100224- 141238

      A custody dispute at Park Drive Manor II Monday landed a Utica father in City Court Tuesday on accusations that he threw his two young children onto the floor.

      Police said Bob W. Szewcyzk Sr., 25, of 766 Mary St., Utica, went to the apartment at 12:45 p.m. without permission for a custody exchange with his ex-girlfriend. In a statement to police, Szewcyzk’s ex-companion said that her brother owned the apartment, and she was visiting when Szewcyzk drove up with their two children, a 1-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

      The woman said she brought the children inside, which is when Szewcyzk decided that he wanted the children back, she told police.

      Authorities said Szewcyzk pushed past the woman when she tried to block the front door and trespassed inside the residence, despite both his ex-girlfriend and her brother telling him to leave. Authorities said Szewcyzk picked up his two children and tried to carry them out of the residence.

      When he was blocked once again by his ex, police said Szewcyzk threw the young children onto the ground. The woman told police that he eventually picked them back up and ran out the back door of the apartment to his vehicle, but by then police had arrived.

      Szewcyzk is charged with one count each of endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree harassment and trespass, police said. Bail was set and not met at $500 cash or bond by City Court Judge Daniel C. Wilson on Tuesday, and his case was adjourned to March 3.

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