Friday, July 30, 2010

Mother’s Day Proclamation at the White House 1870 and 2010

Mother’s Day Proclamation at the White House 1870 and 2010

Mother’s Day Proclamation at the White House 1870 and 2010

Mothers' Day Proclamation

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Mothers of Lost Children at the White House on Mothers Day, May 9, 2010

Whereas: Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that children’s exposure to traumas such as child physical abuse, incest and witnessing domestic violence have severe negative effects that can last a lifetime and that childhood adverse experiences are the major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death in the United States[1]; and

Whereas: Domestic violence is a strong predictor of child physical abuse, increasing the risk from 5% after one violent act to 100% after 50 violent acts[2]; and

Whereas: Child sexual abuse allegations are extremely rare in custody cases (2-6%)[3], are just as likely to be true as at any other time (two-thirds are substantiated)[4], and fathers are far more likely to intentionally make false allegations (21%) than mothers (1%)[5]; and

Whereas: Domestic violence, child abuse and incest may not become known until the child’s parents separate, and abuse may begin or escalate after separation; and

Whereas: Non-scientific theories such as alienation theories which assume that the children’s reports of physical or sexual abuse are coached or fabricated by the protective parent result in children being inappropriately ordered into unsupervised contact with their identified batterers and molesters[6]; and

Whereas: Violent parents (usually fathers) are much more likely to seek sole custody and are successful about 70% of the time[7]; and

Whereas: More than 58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States[8] and a growing number of children are murdered while in their violent parents’ custody and control[9]; and

Whereas: Children’s physical and sexual safety is fundamental to their health and welfare, and must take precedence over abusive parents’ claims to custody or visitation.

Therefore: Be it resolved that:

  1. A Congressional Hearing on family court abuses and corruption be convened.
  2. A complete investigation be ordered by the President, requesting that the U.S. Attorney General investigate family court policies, practices and procedures in California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Hawaii, states from which advocacy organizations receive an unusually high number of complaints that children are ordered to live with batterers and molesters.
  3. A Federal Grand Jury be convened to ensure that these children are with their safe parents.

[1] and

[2] Ross, Risk of Physical Abuse to Children of Spouse Abusing Parents, 20(7)Child Abuse & Neglect, 589-98,1996

[3] Thoennes & Tjaden, The Extent, Nature, and Validity of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody and Visitation Disputes, 14(2) Child Sexual Abuse & Neglect, 151-63, 1990

[4] Brown, Frederico, Hewitt & Sheehan, Revealing the Existence of Chidl Abuse in the Context of Marital Breakdown and Custody and Access Disputes, 24(6) Child Abuse & Neglect, 849-85, 2000

[5] Bala & Schuman, Allegations of Sexual Abuse When Parents Have Separated, 17 Canadian Family Law Quarterly, 191-241, 2000

[6] Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,; and unpublished research by Geraldine Stahly, PhD

[7] Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,; American Judges Foundation, Domestic Violence and the Court House: Understanding the Problem…Knowing the Victim,; and unpublished research by Geraldine Stahly, PhD



Mothers' Day Proclamation

Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870.

Arise then...women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts!

Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,

For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country,

Will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with

Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe out dishonor,

Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil

At the summons of war,

Let women now leave all that may be left of home

For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means

Whereby the great human family can live in peace...

Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,

But of God -

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,

May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient

And the earliest period consistent with its objects,

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,

The amicable settlement of international questions,

The great and general interests of peace.

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