Showing newest 9 of 10 posts from October 2009. Show older posts
Showing newest 9 of 10 posts from October 2009. Show older posts


Canada, Child Custody, and the Shared Parenting Fail

Canada has been hot spot between fraudulent parental alienation theorists and pedophiles because it is the supposed liberal land. It is always being used an example for a variety of matters on child custody. For example, shared parenting in Australia is failing and they are considering enacting a more "Canadian" model.

It is said that in Canada, the family court system rules based on whatever parenting arrangements were in place while the family was intact. They presume that it is in children's best interest to try to continue the previous pattern of caretaking. Makes sense. Any early childhood educators and developmental scientists would agree. However, this has all the shared-parenting/fathers' rights people enraged. (see Father Involvement)

The shared-parenting proponents and the vocal minority of father's rights groups are best known for privileging child contact over safety and creating a hype about a war against fathers--a war, that doesn't exist. And they do it by making statements like this:
In Canada judges order maternal custody in over 90% of cases. They offer breadcrumbs to dads through the use of a legal fiction called joint custody but physical custody goes to mom who rules...judges still award maternal custody in a 9-1 ratio to moms.
This depiction would make it seem like fathers are getting beaten by a system that is "robbing" them of their children. However, a critical analysis would reveal that most men accept maternal care arrangements not only because that is the way it has always been [within their own households], but also because they benefit from it. (see Shared Parenting Lies)

Look at it another way: Most child custody arrangements and divorces are settled amicably, and without the assistance of the court (80%-90%?). How then, is there a "war" in which women are "awarded" child custody most of the time? It is like saying there is a war against able-bodied persons who want to use scooters. (see Fathers Pretend About Caretaking Responsibilities in Joint Custody)

The law does not need to balance the gender difference in child custody. This isn't affirmative action. The supposed disadvantage that fathers have been at has allowed them to hold all of the positions of power, namely economic. Fathers, individually need to change their behaviors so that they are [more] involved in child caretaking responsibilities. But first, we may want to address this:

The Role of Fathers in Risk for Physical Child Abuse and Neglect: Possible Pathways and Unanswered Questions:
"In one of the first studies directly examining fathers’ involvement and child neglect risk, Dubowitz et al. (2000) reported that fathers’ greater direct involvement with child care was positively linked with higher child neglect risk...

fathers, as well as father figures, are highly overrepresented as perpetrators of physical child abuse, particularly in its most severe forms ...

Given that fathers provide, on the whole, substantially less direct child care than mothers (Margolin, 1992; Yeung, Sandberg, Davis-Kean, & Hofferth, 2001), these proportions of fathers and possible father surrogates as perpetrators of severe child abuse appear as rather startling.

Father's Rights and the War on Women and Children: They Can't Handle the Truth

A recent study by the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center in Seattle confirms these results (Kernic et al., 2005). The researchers analyzed documentation on more than 800 local couples with young children who filed for divorce in 1998 and 1999, including 324 cases with a history of domestic violence. They found that evidence of domestic violence did not appear to change how courts decided custody. In other words, fathers who were violent were just as likely to receive custody when they asked for it as fathers who were not violent. Only 17% of fathers with a known history of domestic violence were denied child visitation and they were no more likely than other fathers to be required by the court to have a third party supervise child visitations.(Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation, Dallam. S. J., & Silberg, J. L. (Jan/Feb 2006). Myths that place children at risk during custody disputes.)

Attorney-writers like Robert Franklin purposefully misrepresent protective mother organizations by labeling them as "anti-dad." This is how they promote hatred (not unlike anti-choicers) and incite rage. Protective mothers are against abusive dads, and if many dads fit into that category, that is hardly to be blamed on women.

Attorney-writers like Robert Franklin also purport to be about children's rights, but only insofar as it pertains to the best interest of the father's control ("children's rights to paternal access"). This is in opposition to a children having individual rights of their own (autonomy), such as the right to choose how they would like to live post divorce, the right to choose to establish and/or maintain relationships with absent parents, the right to be protected from abuse, etc.

For every piece of "social science research" that fathers' rights groups highlight, there is another body of research that says the reverse. This is most likely related to affiliations with research universities who perform work under fatherhood grant money from the Department of Health and Human Services (specifically, the Administration of Children and Families). Are these selective studies unbiased? Maybe we'll never know. But we do know that upon careful analysis of host of statistics, from a variety of sources, from a variety of dates, internationally, mothers are not doing the most damage.

For example, in 2005 research, Filicide-Suicide: Common Factors in Parents Who Kill Their Children and Themselves:
Twice as many fathers as mothers committed filicide-suicide during the study period, and older children were more often victims than infants...Thirty cases of filicide-suicide were identified, resulting in a sample comprised of 10 (33%) mothers and 20 (67%) fathers who had committed filicide-suicide over the time period.

In Shaken baby syndrome in Canada: Clinical characteristics and outcomes of hospital cases:
The biological father (43%), followed by the biological mother (26%), was most often identified as the responsible caregiver with the child at the time of the injury, even though the primary caregiver was usually the biological mother (67%), followed by "other" (35%: 18% babysitter, 17% unknown) and then the biological father (18%)...

The perpetrator was identified in 240 cases (66%), with the biological father being the most common (50%), followed by the stepfather/male partner (20%) and then the biological mother (12%). Overall, the perpetrator was male in 72% of the cases; 15% of perpetrators had a previous charge or suspicion for maltreatment of a child in their care.

In Analysis of Perpetrator Admissions to Inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury in Children :
the most common perpetrator was the father, followed by the mother's boyfriend, and then by the mother...45 (56) No: 32 (36)

In Nonaccidental head trauma as a cause of childhood death:
Twenty-seven of the inflictors were male and three were female; therefore women were much more likely to report the event, even though they were much less often the perpetrators. Biological fathers and other father figures accounted for 24 (80%) of the 30 perpetrators.

In The Co-occurrence of Child and Intimate Partner Maltreatment in the Family: Characteristics of the Violent Perpetrators:
fathers were significantly more likely to maltreat both their partner and child than mothers and mothers were significantly more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than fathers. Paternal Family fathers conducted the highest amount of physical and/or sexual child maltreatment while Maternal Child and Maternal Victim mothers perpetrated the highest amount of child neglect.

In Unilateral retinal hemorrhages in shaken baby syndrome:
The perpetrators were male (100%) and 11 (92%) were the babies’ fathers.

In Risk Factors for Physical Child Abuse in Infants and Toddlers :
Most often the perpetrator was the father or stepfather;

In Child deaths from family violence in Dakahlia and Damiatta Governorates, Egypt:
The majority of perpetrators were males (75.62%); they comprised children fathers in 60.98%, while female perpetrators represented 24.39%; they comprised the children mothers in 7.32%.

In Childhood deaths from physical abuse:
Fathers formed the largest group of perpetrators, followed by mothers and childminders.

In Perpetrators and their acts: data from 365 adults molested as children.:
The majority of the perpetrators (62%) were either biological fathers or father-surrogates. Ninety-nine percent of the perpetrators were known to the victim; 97% were male.

In Household composition and the risk of child abuse and neglect:
Abuse and neglect were both maximal in father-only homes...high risks of abuse and neglect in father-only and step-parent families.

In Analysis of caretaker histories in abuse: Comparing initial histories with subsequent confessions:
76% of perpetrators were male; 56% were the child's father; 34% were the child's mother.

In Neonatal Injuries in Child Abuse:
Men are the abusers in 90% of cases. The abuser is usually the biologic father or, in some cases, the mother's boyfriend. The most common female attacker is a babysitter.

In Child Deaths Resulting From Inflicted Injuries: Household Risk Factors and Perpetrator Characteristics:
Perpetrators were identified in 132 (88.6%) of the cases. The majority of known perpetrators were male (71.2%), and most were the child's father (34.9%) or the boyfriend of the child's mother (24.2%).

In Victim, perpetrator, family, and incident characteristics of 32 infant maltreatment deaths in the United States Air Force*1:
The caretaker-perpetrator had a history of abuse in childhood (23%), was male (84%), the biological father of the victim (77%), and a first-time parent (54%)...The incident had the infant-victim crying (58%) and alone with the caretaker-perpetrator (86%) on the weekend (47%) at around noon in the home (71%).

And this next one is extremely important, because fathers' rights groups don't seem to understand what they reveal in their own data (ie. if 84% of mothers get custody, then only 16% of dads, or others?, get custody...and if, during that 16% of the time, dads are causing the aforementioned harm, then................ see Liz notes for a great breakdown)

In The Role of Fathers in Risk for Physical Child Abuse and Neglect: Possible Pathways and Unanswered Questions:
"In one of the first studies directly examining fathers’ involvement and child neglect risk, Dubowitz et al. (2000) reported that fathers’ greater direct involvement with child care was positively linked with higher child neglect risk...

fathers, as well as father figures, are highly overrepresented as perpetrators of physical child abuse, particularly in its most severe forms ...

Given that fathers provide, on the whole, substantially less direct child care than mothers (Margolin, 1992; Yeung, Sandberg, Davis-Kean, & Hofferth, 2001), these proportions of fathers and possible father surrogates as perpetrators of severe child abuse appear as rather startling.

And it doesn't stop...From the NIS-3 (broken down by Silverside):
Harm Standard

  • Children living with their only their mothers experienced maltreatment under the Harm Standard at a rate of 26.1 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads? 36.6 per 1,000.
  • Children living with only their moms: 10.5 per 1,000.
  • Children living with only their dads: 17.7 per 1,000.
Physical abuse
  • Children living with only their moms: 6.4 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 10.5 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their moms: 16.7 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 21.9 per 1,000 children.
Emotional Neglect
  • Children living with only their moms: 3.4 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their fathers: 8.8 per 1,000 children.
Serious Injuries
  • Children living with only their moms: 10.0 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 14.0 per 1,000.
Moderate Injuries
  • Children living with only their moms: 14.7 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 20.5 per 1,000.
All maltreatment (abuse and neglect)
  • Children living with only their moms: 50.1 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 65.6 per 1,000.
Endangerment standard

All Abuse
  • Children living with only their moms: 18.1 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living only with their dads: 31.0 per 1,000.
Physical Abuse
  • Children living with only their moms: 9.8 per 1,000 children.
  • Children living with only their dads: 16.5 per 1,000.

So, where's that "twice as much" of the child injury that mothers commit? Is this what you were looking for?
Abused children presented a different pattern in connection with the sex of their perpetrators than did the neglected children. Children were more often neglected by female perpetrators (87% by females versus 43% by males). This finding is congruent with the fact that mothers and mother-substitutes tend to be the primary caretakers and are the primary persons held accountable for any omissions and/or failings in caretaking. In contrast, children were more often abused by males (67% were abused by males versus 40% by females). The prevalence of male perpetrators was strongest in the category of sexual abuse, where 89 percent of the children were abused by a male compared to only 12 percent by a female.

And then there's always the latest (2009) StatCan Report:
Police-reported family violence against children and youth

Male family members were identified as the accused in a sizable majority of family-related sexual (96%) and physical assaults (71%) against children and youth.

Family homicides

In 2007, almost 4 times as many women were killed by a current or former spouse as men.

Parents were the perpetrators in the majority of child and youth homicides committed by family members. Fathers (54%) were more likely than mothers (34%) to be the perpetrators.

Are these statistics also anti-dad?

Why would a family court judge ignore well-founded evidence of child injury or sexual abuse and grant custody to the abuser? If you can't think of any reason, you obviously haven't participated in, nor investigated any family court players. Why did Judge Timothy Blakely steer cases to the firm that did his divorce? Why did Judge Mark Ciavarella send juveniles with petty crimes to a particular facility? Why does Michael J. Bone still get away with practicing psychology, when his license is suspended? Why did Judge Jose Padilla deny Dawn Axsom's relocation request which resulted in her, and her mother's murder? Why did Judge James Souk give the Leichtenberg boys over to their suicidal father, who then killed them? Why did Judge Joseph A. Dugan Jr. deny Amy Castillo's permanent protective order, and instead gave the kids over to the father, who drowned them one by one in the bathtub? Why does Judge Shawn Briese continue to rule on a case in which the court of appeals decided that his former actions were a violation of due process and an abuse of his trial discretion? Why don't we have access to the Florida Judicial Qualifications Committee complaints to see for ourselves who is doing what, without the fox guarding the henhouse?

Ask any poor person who has presented in a court of law, especially against a wealthy litigant, if they felt they received a fair and impartial trial. Uh, gee, you probably can't think of any reason why they wouldn't.

It is obvious that there is pervasive bias against mothers in the family courts because we operate in a sexist society in which men still hold the cards. And the women that do climb the power ladder can not be presumed to have conquered misogynist thought because it is embedded in our culture.

Women are "given" 84% of custody not because there is a battle, but because the role of women as caretakers has not ever changed. Most men are comfortable with, and agree to this arrangement as it is a continuation of what existed in the household. While it is sexist to assume that the mother is the best child caretaker, it is also ignorant and dangerous to assume that the father knows how to provide for the child beyond financial means--if he has not previously done so.

We could give you a myriad of examples, especially if more women being abused by the court system would come forward. And oh why wouldn't they come forward? First, because many judges place gag orders in these civil court cases. Second, because of retaliation. Women lose everything and so most want to stay anonymous because they still have that glimmer of hope that the system is just. There is no reward for reporting domestic violence and sexual abuse. There is no promised land when you flee to protect your children.

To argue sexual abuse on the basis of the prefaced word, allegation, is short-sighted at best. Everything in court is an allegation, EXCEPT parental alienation, you see, because parental alienation syndrome was constructed to negate "allegations" of sexual abuse. Parental alienation is so legally crafted that there needn't be any evidence to prove that the mother is causing it--only that it is "present" based on the actions (or inactions) of the child. On the other hand, if the mother doesn't have all her documents in order, or a high-priced attorney, any "evidence" can be dismissed by the judge. This doesn't mean that the abuse has NOT occurred. In multiple cases that we have seen, Child Protective Services (CPS) has substantiated the abuse, but the judge has dismissed it. The child psychologist has substantiated the abuse, but the judge has ignored it. And not every mother calls on CPS to assist because CPS has a history of mistreating mothers and the children they are supposed to protect. Furthermore, family violence cases are at a distinct disadvantage in that they are not tried in criminal court.

And not one case that Robert Franklin mentions has the court found real evidence that the mother was abusing the child during, or prior to involvement with the family court. The court, aided by the father's attorney and other players, derive at the conclusion that the mother is being abusive in "alleging" the abuse and insisting on justice. The family court system routinely silences protective mothers by focusing on her behaviors, instead of the evidence. In this way, she appears to be the current threat and the past documented evidence of the father's abuse is rendered mute.

If you consider the "ease with which temporary restraining orders are obtained," you must also consider the ineffectiveness of such orders in preventing death or injury and also the relative ease in which they are denied based on judicial interpretations of what "imminent danger" is. A woman filing a protective order is writing based upon what she knows based on past/present circumstances that she has experienced. The judge decides if legal paper protection is warranted based upon his own thoughts. The only people who benefit from this are the media and surviving family and friends--once they follow the trail post-mortem.

CPS and the law enforcement are merely a subset of the court system that are operating under sexist assumptions. They are often trained by trade organizations, like the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), which promote theories such as parental alienation syndrome and sexual parity in domestic violence. The protection and safety of women and children is secondary to the rights of fathers.

Robert Franklin highlights the Jonea Rogers case but omits a more pertinent example of injustice. Joyce Murphy "kidnapped" her daughter after failed attempts to protect her from her [alleged] sexually abusing father--who accused her of parental alienation. Sole custody was awarded to the father, who, 6 years later, was caught molesting three other girls.

Speaking of sole custody, a 19 year old Canadian woman just successfully sued her father, whom she resided with in sole custody, for years of sexual abuse.

And none of these even come close to summing up protective mothers' cause against abusive fathers and the lack of protection for themselves and their children. There aren't enough threads in a California King sized Egyptian cotton sheet set to describe this true epidemic.

This piece was written in response to a Glen Sack's author's bashing of Kathleen Russell's article, Child abuse: when family court gets it wrong, in the Christian Science Monitor. Thank you to the many that contributed to this piece. Thank you to the mothers so courageous enough to name names.

See Also: Are Good Enough Parents Losing Custody to Abusive Ex-Partners?


Single Mothers, Absent Fathers, Pirates, Global Warming and All in Between, the third

And so I'm still thinking, when controlling for income and racial "issues," how can single motherhood still be all that bad?

If you have a two-parent, mother-father household, then there should be more monetary and emotional psychological resources, simple by the mere addition of another person, not necessarily a "father." But does double the parents equal double everything?

I'm thinking of this: If mother and father are in a relationship with a child present, then, technically, the time is now divided between the partner, and the child. And I thought I remembered somewhere in the Bible it saying something about putting your spouse first (meaning, before the children). So, now the child gets less time from each parent, but more time from them combined (all things being "equal").

Well, that's great and all, but this is assuming that the dual parent relationship is all gravy. On the flip side, do the children of single mothers not have any interaction with any other individual (with whom they can have a parental-type relationship)?

In Children of Single Mothers: How Do They Really Fare?, the author points out the following (emphasis mine):
...national substance abuse survey, based on 22,000 adolescents, found more substance abuse among the children of single mothers than among the children of two biological parents. But, considering the rhetoric about single parenting, I was struck by how few of the children of single mothers had substance problems - 5.7% -- and how similar the number was for the children of two biological parents - 4.5%. A difference of about one percentage point is not a very big return on twice the love, attention, and resources.

...It's not that two was a magical number of parents - on the average, the kids did better living with a single mom than they did with a dad who was married to a stepmother. The best living arrangement of all (with regard to substance abuse) included three adults - typically, mom, dad, and a grandparent.

What about grades? Relationships with siblings and friends? There's research on those questions, too. In a nationally representative sample of many different kinds of households - two-parent biological households, single-mother households, adoptive households, stepmother, and stepfather households - there were no differences at all. What mattered was NOT how many parents there were, or whether the parents were biologically related to the children. Instead, whether children had problems with their grades or with their siblings or friends depended on whether there was a lot of conflict within families, high levels of disagreements between parents, or endless arguments between parents and kids.

Sometimes children of single parents do better than children of married parents. For example, a study of hundreds of 10- to 14-year olds and their parents showed that in their day-to-day lives, single parents were friendlier to their children than were married parents. The children of single parents also spent more time with people in their extended families than did the children of married parents.
and from It Takes a Single Person to Create a Village (same author)
a study about single parenting and reading performance published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The author, Hyunjoon Park, compared the reading scores of 15-year olds in single-parent vs 2 biological parent households, in five Asian countries. In only one of them, Japan, did the children in 2-parent families read significantly better than the children in single-parent families. In fact, in two of the countries, Thailand and Indonesia, the children from single-parent households were actually BETTER readers than the children from 2-parent households.

I know, I know, some of you may say, apples and oranges. But if you look critically, can an absent father, in and of itself, be all that much of a problem? If we take a biological father, and inject him into the single mother household, will everything be fixed?

Can we now get past all of this simplistic thinking? Or are we still looking for those pirates?


Imminent Danger Protective Measures Denied by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla, in Arizona

UPDATED!! 10/21


(emphasis mine)

Woman wanted to flee with son before apparent murder-suicide

Peoria woman later killed in apparent murder-suicide

by Dustin Gardiner - Oct. 20, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

A Peoria mother whose body was found Friday had recently tried to leave Arizona after receiving threats from her apparent slayer, but a judge denied her request, court records show.

Two weeks before she was killed, Dawn Axsom pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County Superior Court to let her leave Arizona with her son because she feared Gabriel Schwartz, the toddler's father, would harm her or their boy.

Padilla denied the 26-year-old's request and ordered the pair to attend parental counseling together.

Axsom's body was found in her Peoria residence Friday. Police also found the bodies of Schwartz, 28, and Lisa Braden, 56, Axsom's mother.

Schwartz is suspected of shooting and killing both women before turning the gun on himself, Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said Monday.

Tellef said the violence likely began in the downstairs kitchen, where Schwartz shot Braden. Then, Schwartz went upstairs, shooting Axsom in the master bathroom and killing himself in a bedroom.

Police discovered the grisly scene at about 10 a.m. Friday after Axsom didn't show up for work and a friend and the friend's mother went to the home, located in the 7400 block of West Sierra Street, to check on her.

When the friend knocked on the door, she heard Axsom and Schwartz's nearly 2-year-old boy crying upstairs.

The woman called police, who arrived and found the child unharmed inside his crib.

"When the officer took the baby outside, he covered (the child's) eyes so he couldn't see anything," Tellef said, recounting the scene.

Friends and co-workers who gathered outside Axsom's residence Friday said she was having ongoing custody problems with Schwartz and expressed frustration that the court system wouldn't let her leave Arizona when she knew Schwartz might harm her.

Court records show Padilla granted Axsom a protective order against Schwartz four days before the Oct. 6 hearing where he ordered her to attend parental counseling with him and denied her request to relocate to Maryland with the pair's son.

Axsom's son was placed into the custody of state Child Protective Services.


Now, let me summarize what happened...I know, strange, why am I summarizing AFTER the fact? BECAUSE THE SHIT IS FUCKED UP AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND IT!

--Mother has ongoing custody problems with the father in the court system

How does a mother have "on-going" problems? It should be open, and closed.

--Mother KNOWS the father's intentions because he threatens her

Refer back to "on-going" problems in the court

--Mother asks for a protective order, Judge grants it

Paper doesn't protect, it just leaves a trail

--Mother asks to be able to leave the state with her son

Because this, will actually protect her, short of having a gun.

--Judge Jose Padilla denies the request to relocate

Because then, the father wouldn't have access to kill his father's rights

--Judge Jose Padilla orders parental counseling to be attended by the parents, TOGETHER

Because if someone's threatening your life, you all should be able to work it out, for the child's sake

--Father kills his son's mother, her mother, and himself, but kindly places a blanket over the child so as not to witness

--Motherless, grandmotherless, AND fatherless child, now goes into CPS custody


In situations of family violence, trade organizations like the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), with their host of judges, attorneys, GALS, and psychologists, push seminars and trainings which obscure violence and mask it with the psychological profiling of women. Co-parenting/shared parenting/parenting coordination, mediation, and parental alienation syndrome are highlighted as solutions to the endangerment of women and children.

PUT AN END TO THIS MONEY-MAKING, MISOGYNIST SCHEME THAT IS GETTING FAMILIES KILLED!! These same people are simultaneously creating new laws and ignoring the old ones (aka make your own rules and teach everyone else to follow them):

(emphasis mine)
The Trial of the PARENTING LITIGATION CASE Under Florida’s New Parenting Statute

Host - Norman D. Levin, Esq., AAML Fellow, Longwood

Speaker - Deborah O. Day, Psy.D , Orlando

Speaker - Jorge Cestero, Esq., AAML Fellow, West Palm Beach

Subjects will include:

  • Understanding the new statute in the litigation context
  • Assessing Your Time Sharing Case From Day One
  • Locating Your Best Witnesses
  • Drafting Your Proposed Parenting Plan
  • Using The Psychological Consultant to Plan Your case
  • What does the Proposed Parenting Plan need to have?
  • Do we need a Social Investigation and Recommendations Regarding the Parenting Plan?
  • Should we have a Guardian Ad Litem in our case
  • The Social Investigation and Recommendations Regarding The Parenting Plan. How is it performed? What will be done? What is the Professional looking for?
  • Examining the Social Investigation Evaluator.
  • What questions should you ask?
  • What questions should you avoid?
  • Getting Agreement on Parenting Plan Provisions in contested cases.
  • What is Time-Sharing?
  • Where did Primary Residence go?
  • Will filing a Dependency Petition help in our case?
  • What Former Case Law is affected by the new statute?
  • Tools To Use in the Contested Parenting Case
  • Mediation/ Parenting Coordinator or Co-Parenting Counselor – Which should we have?

Fees Per Presentation

$179 for each computer sign-on
March 20, 2009 11:45 am to 1:45 pm
Information about Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County, Arizona:

Judge Jose PADILLA
Judge Jose PADILLA Current Assignment: Family
Assignment History:
Department: Family Court
Year: 9/2005
Location: Northwest Regional Court Center in Surprise
Work History:
2005 - Present: Judge, Superior Court in Maricopa County
1987 - 2005: Founder, Law firm of Jose S. Padilla
1977 - 1988: Registered Nurse, Phoenix Memorial Hospital, Arizona
1984 - 1987: Attorney, Gutierrez, Contreras, Padilla and Salaiz
1977 - 1984: Registered Nurse, Central Nurses Registry
  • J.D., 1984, Arizona State University
  • Bachelor's, Nursing, 1979, Arizona State University
  • AA, Nursing, 1977, Glendale Community College
  • Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
  • Former member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Participated in leadership roles of La Raza & Barrio Law Student Organizations during law school
Community Involvement:
  • Participated in free legal clinics held at Justice of the Peace Courts in South Phoenix and West Phoenix

According to court testimony, Axsom’s estranged husband, 28-year-old Gabriel Schwartz, had been arrested twice for DWI, was unemployed, and had made two failed suicide attempts...Judge Padilla granted Schwartz visitation rights, requiring a drug & alcohol and mental health evaluation to be completed within 60-days.


Belize Survivor, part 102

Not only was the jewelry going well, but the furniture division of the Lost Gringo Trading Company was also on the move, and Max hired a crew of four woodworkers. Although the prototype of the improved deck chair had turned out beautifully, he was still discontent with the amount of time it took to make each one. Unable to fabricate the crescent moon and develop the chairs at the same time, Max hired two more employees dedicated to the exclusive production of John's orders. Further preoccupied with efficiency and materials projections, he began to spend a lot of time at the hotel talking with local businessmen.

"Ntombi, I have got to find a way to make these chairs faster so we can bring down production costs. I think the key to the whole thing would be to buy two more machines: a double-sided planer and a bell saw. First, the wide planks would get run through the planer which grinds both sides smooth in one process. After that, the plank would go through the bell saw, which makes multiple cuts. This would create instantly workable slats, already cut to size. Then all we’d have to do is drill and route the edges and wire them up. I’m thinking we could produce thirty percent more chairs and reduce costs by almost twenty percent."

"Are machines like that available here in Belize?"

"No way. Somebody would need to go to the States again. I went the last time; I was thinking maybe you'd like to go this time."
The States. It had been so long since Alexis had been there; she couldn't even imagine what it would be like. After five years, many things were sure to be different. In a way the prospect excited her, but in other ways she didn't know if she had the nerve. She wasn't used to life in any lane any more, let alone the fast one.

"Of course, it wouldn't just be a buying trip," Max continued. "We can't afford any dead-heading. I'll arrange for you to take a shipment of ‘moons’ with you and you can deliver them to John. Also, while you're in Miami, you can buy more bulk silver."

"And you're comfortable with me handling the arrangements for shipping back the machines?" she asked tenuously.

"Sure Ntombi. We'll go over all that stuff in detail before you leave. I have the name of a contact in Miami who will be able to help you find a Rockwell machinery dealer in the area. We can call him before you go. His name is Sid, and he’s a friend of a guy I met recently at the hotel. I think you met him here at the house one day – a big tall guy named Brad Tongas."

The sun had been down for two hours when Alexis finally pulled into the driveway a few days later. It had been a long selling trip to Belize City and she was dog-tired. Gathering the jewelry display board and the jumble of packages, she started up the stairs of the house. Max and Brad Tongas were sitting around the coffee table, involved in an animated discussion. In front of them was a small plastic bag, dusty with white powder, a mirror, and a razor blade. Long white lines were laid out and a rolled-up U.S. hundred dollar bill lay beside it. Max was laughing.

"Hey Alexis, just in time. You remember Brad."

"Yes, I do," she said, coolly. "Max, can I see you in the bedroom for a moment, please?"

He walked in behind her as she threw the stuff down on the bed. "That was a little bit rude. What's the deal?"

"Where is Jordan? Is he in bed?" she demanded.

"Yeah, he went to sleep about an hour ago."

"And suppose he should wake up? You've got drugs lying on the coffee table."

"He's just a little kid. He'd be half asleep and wouldn't know what was going on anyway. Boy, are you uptight. Why don't you come out
and do a line or two?"

"Why do you have that man in the house?" Alexis persisted. "I don't want him here."

"Don't take that fucking tone with me,” he snapped. “He's my guest. I invited him.” She looked into Max's eyes. He was sky-high; his eyes shone wildly and were as black as two pee holes in the snow.

Alexis backed off immediately; it was wise to pick her battles when it came to Max. "I'm sorry. It's just that the guy makes me very nervous. A little smoke in the house is one thing, but cocaine is something else. Did you know he carries a gun? I saw the bulge in his shirt on the first day met him."

"I'm sure you're wrong," Max argued.

"I saw it."

He paused, then changed the subject. "So, did you get your airline ticket?"

"Yes. I'm booked for Wednesday on the morning flight."

"Good," said Max, beginning to relax again. "Now come on out and sit with us for a while. Have a snort or two. I know you’re probably tired, but this will wake you up."

"I don't want to wake up. I want to go to sleep.” She kissed him on the cheek. “Goodnight.”


Single Mothers, Absent Fathers, Pirates, Global Warming and All in Between, part deux

I found some inspirational material for this part deux (a continuation from this). I'm going to insert my commentary/objections/observations/2 cents, whenever the spirit hits me (in bold blue):

Testimony of
Michael Tanner
Director of Health and Welfare Studies
The Cato Institute

Before the:
Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Youth Violence

June 7, 1995

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Committee:

My name is Michael Tanner and I am the director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the committee on an issue of extreme importance to the American people. There is no doubt that juvenile crime is a serious and continuing problem in this country. There are many factors contributing to the rise in juvenile violence and crime, from the glorification of violence in the media (and who, exactly controls this media?) to the failure of the "war on drugs." (the juveniles doing the drugs, or selling the drugs?) But, today, I would like to focus on a factor that has received far less attention -- the relationship between the welfare state and crime.

Last year, the Maryland NAACP released a report concluding that "the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today." (please tell me this is a sick joke) (1) Their conclusion appears to be confirmed by academic research (you mean "academic research"). For example, research by Dr. June O'Neill's and Anne Hill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (oh yeah, cha-ching, that good ol' DHHS money) showed that a 50 percent increase in the monthly value of combined AFDC and food stamp benefits led to a 117 percent increase in the crime rate among young black men.(2)

Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. First, children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity. (single-parent? single mothers and single fathers? single grandmothers?) According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior.(3) Moreover, O'Neill found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single- parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father is present. (Is that present 100% of the time, 75%, 50%, 25%? Does it matter? What kind of father?) Nearly 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes, as do 43 percent of prison inmates. (What is a fatherless home? Is the father dead? In prison? Down the street? In the military? With his other babymama(s)? With his mama or grandma?) (4) Research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.(5)

As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead (Barbara Dafoe Whitehead is co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Fiscal YearOPDIVGrantee NameAward TitleSum of Actions

noted in her seminal article for The Atlantic Monthly:

The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation's mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.(6) (Wait, is it family break-up, or single mothers? The first is an action/verb, or possible cause, the latter is a possible consequence of that action, or noun?)

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O'Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Oh god, not them again). Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7)(Okay, serious pause here. Can someone explain to me how the study controlled for all of those variables, when, only those at a certain poverty level can get AFDC and how can you compare them to the non-poor? In fact, you have to be dirt poor--basically no child support income or any other income to get AFDC, now known as TANF) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)

The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada's social-welfare system on family structure concluded that "providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women."(9) (I'd like to know if providing additional income to anyone, "encourages" them to have more children.)

Of course women do not get pregnant just to get welfare benefits. It is also true that a wide array of other social factors has contributed to the growth in out-of-wedlock births. But, by removing the economic consequences of a out-of-wedlock birth, welfare has removed a major incentive to avoid such pregnancies. A teenager looking around at her friends and neighbors is liable to see several who have given birth out of wedlock. When she sees that they have suffered few visible immediate consequences (the very real consequences of such behavior are often not immediately apparent), she is less inclined to modify her own behavior to prevent pregnancy. (Okay, so check this out, DHHS Child Support Enforcement, in cahoots with the family court system, and "encouraged" by fatherhood programs, is reducing child support amounts and waiving arrears for fathers in order to get them to take part of their children's lives aka shared parenting because they say that the "research" shows that men who take part in their children's lives, are more likely to pay their child support. Is this also effective in helping men to avoid future pregnancies? Especially poor men?)

Proof of this can be found in a study by Professor Ellen Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania, who surveyed black, never-pregnant females age 17 or younger. Only 40% of those surveyed said that they thought becoming pregnant in the next year "would make their situation worse."(10) Likewise, a study by Professor Laurie Schwab Zabin for the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that: "in a sample of inner-city black teens presenting for pregnancy tests, we reported that more than 31 percent of those who elected to carry their pregnancy to term told us, before their pregnancy was diagnosed, that they believed a baby would present a problem..."(11) In other words, 69 percent either did not believe having a baby out-of-wedlock would present a problem or were unsure (And what is wrong with that? This is merely a value assessment).

Until teenage girls, particularly those living in relative poverty, can be made to see real consequences from pregnancy, it will be impossible to gain control over the problem of out-of- wedlock births (So, the only ones that need to do anything are teenage girls? Did they get pregnant through immaculate conception?). By disguising those consequences, welfare makes it easier for these girls to make the decisions that will lead to unwed motherhood (And is "unwed motherhood" really the problem--because I see that the first sentence in this paragraph mentioned poverty . Which is it?).

Current welfare policies seem to be designed with an appallingly lack of concern for their impact on out-of-wedlock births. Indeed, Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare.(12)

I should also point out that, once the child is born, welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future (Why should she get married? I thought we wanted to foster independence? And does it matter who she marries, or does it have to be the baby's daddy?). Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10 percent increase in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers.(13)

As welfare contributes to the rise in out-of-wedlock births and single-parent families, it concomitantly contributes to the associated increase in criminal activity.

Secondly, welfare leads to increased crime by contributing to the marginalization of young black men in society. There are certainly many factors contributing to the increasing alienation and marginalization of young black men, including racism, poverty, and the failure of our educational system. However, welfare contributes as well (And you know welfare is way more important than trying to change racism, economics, and education). The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family. They are in effect cuckolded by the state. Their role of father and breadwinner is supplanted by the welfare check. (I would think that a welfare check tells a woman that she doesn't need a man to provide for her; and the goal would be that, one day, she could provide for herself. If a man thinks he is supplanted by a check, then obviously he had nothing else of value to offer.)

The role of marriage and family as a civilizing influence on young men has long been discussed. (and it is an antiquated, disgusting, sexist viewpoint) Whether or not strict causation can be proven, it is certainly true that unwed fathers are more likely to use drugs and become involved in criminal behavior.(14)(And these are the men we want in the household?) Indeed, single men are five times more likely to commit violent crimes than married men. (Is this controlled for age, income, education, etc? And, more importantly, are these criminal men fathers?)(15)

Finally, in areas where there is a high concentration of welfare, there may be an almost total lack of male role models (Or, there is an abundance of bad male role models. Why are we acting like these men are missing? They are present in the community). This can lead to crime in two ways. First, as the Maryland NAACP puts it, "A child whose parents draw a welfare check without going to work does not understand that in this society at least one parent is expected to rise five days of each week to go to some type of job."(16) (Does a child who's parent gets a disability check not understand either? Or an inheritance check? Is it the type of check, or the situation?)

Second, boys growing up in mother only families naturally seek male influences (Is this a fact? Or do they seek people who have similar interests? And are boys seeking this because their father is absent, or because their mother is also "absent," given the circumstances surrounding surviving poverty?). Unfortunately, in many inner city neighborhoods, those male role models may not exist. As George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty, has noted, the typical inner-city today is "almost a matriarchy. The women receive all the income, dominate the social-worker classes, and most of the schools." (And I would say that this view is false, because it would mean that women hold the power--which is far from the truth) Thus, the boy in search of male guidance and companionship may end up in the company of gangs or other undesirable influences.(17) (because he needs more support, be it from a father, mother, extended family, after-school group, etc)

Given all of the above, I believe it is clear that our current social welfare system is a significant cause of juvenile crime and violence in America today (What is the cause of global warming, again?). Exactly how welfare should be reformed is undoubtedly beyond the scope of this hearing. The Cato Institute's position, however, is well known ("the mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace") Our research indicates that the current federal welfare system cannot be reformed. Accordingly, we have suggested that federal funding of welfare should be ended and responsibility for charity should be shifted first to the states (Responsible Fatherhood) and eventually to the private sector (the church, and other agencies that get monies FROM THE GOVERNMENT).(18)

In conclusion, let me simple say that, whatever Congress eventually decides to do in the way of welfare reform, I hope that you will recognize the disastrous consequences of our current welfare system. The status quo is plainly and simply unacceptable. The relationship between our failed social welfare system and juvenile violence and crime is one more urgent reason for reform.

Thank you. I would be pleased to answer any questions.

You can see the full letter and citations here.

Anyone care to argue now?


Single Mothers, Absent Fathers, Pirates, Global Warming and All in Between

In 2009, I can't believe people are still making the argument that single motherhood causes most of the societal ills, namely high crime rates and teen pregnancy. Have we still not acquired any critical thinking skills along this journey? What about the millions of dollars grant money from DHHS to study all of these problems? How many years do they need in order to figure out the answers?

In this article, it says that 1 in 7 girls at a certain high school in Chicago, are getting pregnant. The principal in this school states,
"It can be a lot of things that are happening in the home or not happening in the home, if you will. Absentee fathers are another factor."
Is that the best answer that he could come up with?

How, exactly, are absentee fathers contributing to this rate of teen pregnancy?

No, I'm serious, I really need someone to explain to me how NOT having a father allows for a teenage girl to get pregnant.....or better yet, maybe you should first detail what, exactly, is an "absentee father"?

I don't have a link to the following information, but it was provided by my favorite rape-apologist, Paul Clements:
"(I)n a recent study by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation. Comparing statistics for its Kids Count report, the organization reported that Detroit ranks No.1 in unmarried births among the nation's 50 largest cities. Of the 16,729 babies born in Detroit in 1997, 13,574 were black, 1,679 were white and 817 were Hispanic. Seventy-one percent were born to unmarried mothers. This compared with a state average of 33 percent and a 50-city average of 43 percent."

Detroit is the worst offender on our list of America's most dangerous cities, thanks to a staggering rate of 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 "

So what does this prove?...that black people have more babies in Detroit?...that if 71% of the babies were born to unmarried mothers, that 71% were also born to unmarried fathers?...or does this include fathers who are already married but are having extramarital children with women whom they cannot dually marry?...does this mean that the father is absent just because the mother is unmarried?...or are the mother and father together, without a state-certified marriage?

And what does all of this have to do with the crime rate?...does this prove that since Blacks are having the most babies, they are causing the most crime?...are the children of most unmarried mothers, criminals?

Single mothers cause higher crime rates?
Absent fathers cause higher crime rates?
Unmarried parents cause higher crime rates?


Higher crime rates cause single motherhood?
Higher crime rates cause absent fatherhood?
Higher crime rates cause parents to be unmarried?


Poverty is the cause single motherhood and/or higher crime rates?
Lack of education is the cause of single motherhood and/or higher crime rates?
Absent fathers are the cause of single motherhood and those same fathers are responsible for the higher crime rate, which is why they are absent?


Higher crimes rates causes single motherhood and single motherhood, in turn, causes higher crime rates?


Are pirates decreasing, which is resulting in global warming?


Oconto County, Like Many Others

Internationally, mothers and their children are being forced into continuous contact with the men who abused them. We ask abuse victims to leave, and chastise them when they stay. When the abuse victims do leave, we ask them to let down their natural defense mechanisms for the sake of the abuser having a relationship with the kids. We study family violence through research and build supervised visitations centers with massive grant monies from the U.S. Government, spinning victims backward, instead of assisting women and children in rebuilding their lives and helping them move forward. When the mothers (and/or children) are killed, everyone is so surprised and asking what they should have done.

Safety is not a priority, fathers' rights are at the forefront. Everything is geared toward the best interest of the baby's daddy. Law Enforcement, Child Protective Services, Child Support Enforcement and the Family Court System are in collusion to destroy mothers' autonomy and mechanisms for self-protection and the protection of their children....and you wonder why that one kid in the classroom is so withdrawn?...........and you wonder why that kid in the classroom is acting like such an asshole? You thought that the biggest problem those kids were facing was the lack of a father in their lives. Did you ever consider that their biggest problem was the presence of their father in their lives?

Deep Down in America, in some place they call Oconto County:

In 2003 my abuser forged my signature and had it notarized on a court stipulation giving him "50/50" custody and all back child support dropped, this is a paternity case. The notary was his real estate/insurance agent. The only reason I found out about the forgery is that he tried to remove our daughter, Michaela from daycare and they contacted me immediately.

I filed a police report regarding the forgery, the DA, Jay Conley, he said that "even though we know who the likely suspect is there was no proof that my abuser, Craig Hensberger, did this". Even though no one else would benefit from such an arrangement but the "likely suspect". I got a handwriting analysis done on my own and presented that evidence to the DA, he stated that only "proved it was not my signature", he refused to do anything.

I went to court in front of Family Court Commissioner, Frank Calvert, of Oconto County, who just happened to be the GAL on my divorce/custody proceedings in 1997 who recommended custody to my ex abusive husband, John Fetterly.
my former abuser's anger began to escalate and he vandalized three vehicles of mine which rendered them useless as well as loosening all the lug nuts on my tires
It was also Mr. Calvert who made sure that in his recommendations that in order for me to have primary placement with my older three daughters I was to have a "stable living environment away from Craig Hensberger". In 2003 Mr. Calvert moved up in ranks from lowly GAL to Family Court Commissioner and even with me expressing to him my concerns of his ability to be impartial I was ignored, chastised and intimidated by him. He refused to hear or see any evidence regarding the forgery and kept it as is, "50/50" custody and ordered child support in the amount of $25 per week based on 50/50 custody even though the father had placement every other weekend.

The weekend of Fathers Day in June 2005 my daughter was in the custody and care of her father. On Saturday of that weekend he was arrested for his second DUI in less than a year with our daughter as a passenger in the middle of the day. At this time I had decided to move out of the state and per the county rules sent a certified letter to my former abuser to notify him of our move. He refused the certified letter and it was returned to me, although he was alerted that I was planning on moving and then filed an objection to my move. We again went in front of Frank Calvert who appointed GAL, Aaron Krzewinski. They ordered that my child stay in her current school but that Craig’s mother was to do all the transportation and supervision of placement. This was when my former abuser's anger began to escalate and he vandalized three vehicles of mine which rendered them useless as well as loosening all the lug nuts on my tires which could have killed me as the tire fell off while traveling to work one morning.

FCC Frank Calvert chastised me in court for not have legal representation...and ordered that I drive roundtrip every weekend because my abuser's license was suspended.
Finally in October 2005, I moved in with my mother who lived well within the 150 mile radius I was allowed to move without notifying him. In December he served 20 days in jail for his DUI w/our daughter (the minimum is 30 days) and he also was allowed out on "Huber" so that he only had to report to jail at night when he was done working or not working. After he did his time he filed a motion to enforce placement when he was in jail for most of December. Again FCC Frank Calvert chastised me in court for not have legal representation and stated that if he could make me move back he would. He then gave my former abuser every weekend custody and ordered that I drive roundtrip every weekend because my abuser's license was suspended. He stated that it wasn’t “his fault I moved, it was mine”. He also refused to review child support and the $25 weekly was upheld.

In August 2006 I moved back to Oconto County with my then fiancé’ soon to be husband, Chad Tipton. It was the Labor Day weekend and we were set to drive her for visitation with her father. My daughter stated that she was scared to go because her father was putting his finger in her “butt crack” down her pants, she made a motion of up and down. She made this revelation and stated how uncomfortable it was to her. I immediately contacted Marathon County CPS who interviewed my daughter. They did make a TPR and advised that Oconto would then handle it when we moved there after that weekend.

During the first weeks of September 2006 my daughter was met at her school by Oconto County CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel. After not hearing from Ms. Silbernagel, I contacted her and she was very volatile towards me.
[Oconto County CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel] stated that “driving drunk with his child didn’t make him a bad father, he made a bad choice.”
Stating that she didn’t believe my daughter, that she believed she was “coached” and that she had children younger than my daughter who could provide specific details such as smells, times of days, etc. but my daughter did not. She stated that she knew of my “history with CPS” and reporting false allegations of sexual abuse. I asked her to explain as I had never made any other report to CPS regarding sexual abuse. She referred to another CPS worker that I had allegedly spoke to in 2004 regarding my older daughter. She made comments that she “knew ALL about me” etc. When I pointed out that my daughter is in danger as her fathers history of driving drunk. She then stated that “driving drunk with his child didn’t make him a bad father, he made a bad choice”. She refused to take any action and the matter was closed.

In May 2007 my former abuser decided to file for sole custody of our daughter as his behavior was to the point of madness since I was getting married on July 7, 2007. It was during this time that FCC Frank Calvert recused himself finally after I had filed a complaint against him with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission regarding his impartiality and biasness. By this time he was already facing charges of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon as he tried to run my then fiancé and 13 yo daughter in a grocery store parking lot one night as he waited outside for us. During that summer he was given every other week custody and they kept it that way until school started. Every bad behavior he gained more and more custody as the GAL was continually getting more money.

my daughter came home and said that her grandmother had forced fed her soup and then her vomit while threatening to beat “her ass” with a wooden spoon if she didn’t eat it
By January 2008, last minute he agreed to joint custody and dropped his sole custody claim. In February 2008 my daughter came home and said that her grandmother had forced fed her soup and then her vomit while threatening to beat “her ass” with a wooden spoon if she didn’t eat it. I contacted CPS and was told that the same CPS worker Carrie Silbernagel whose last name was now Burke as she married would contact me. After I told her of the force feeding incident she stated that she wanted to get down to the bottom of this “once and for all”. She suggested to take my daughter to a neutral third party who would interview her, I agreed. Although she only needed one parents permission she made the appointment at the Child Advocacy Center when it was the fathers placement time to avoid any of my ‘coaching’ etc.

On February 25 my daughter was picked up by Carrie Silbernagel Burke and had my child interviewed by Sara Schumacher who was a forensic interviewer for child abuse victims. The interview was recorded and transcribed. During the interview not only did my daughter tell of the soup incident but once again how her father sexually abused her. She told both Sara Schumacher and Carrie Silbernagel Burke that he father had instructed her to lie that day to them. By that afternoon I received a call from Carrie telling me that they were substantiating the abuse and placing my daughter with me. I thought that the nightmare was finally over. The CPS worker advised my husband and I that it would be a good idea if we left town for the night, get a hotel room as when she contact Craig he was extremely upset. She also advised that we should immediately file a child abuse restraining order for the TPR would not help protect my daughter very long. She explained that they would be filing a CHIPS (child in need of protection) petition and she would be in contact with us.

The next day I filed child abuse restraining orders against Craig and Betty Hensberger and it was granted by Oconto County Richard Delforge for 30 day pending the CHIPS petition.
my former abuser contacted my ex husband and had my older daughters recant their statements
By March CPS was already back pedaling and we were advised by Carrie Burke that Corporation Counsel, Robert Mraz, stated that I was already “protecting my daughter in Family Court” when in fact there was no such order but only the one in which she was to go every other week. Then CPS offered for both parties to sign a stipulation agreement for “co-parenting” classes for both parents. They never even ordered any alcohol or drug assessment for Craig whose history of alcohol abuse was severe. My attorney at the time, Michael Perry, advised me not to agree to the stipulation and also my former abuser refused to sign.

Also in March he was acquitted of his charge of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon. Somehow my former abuser contacted my ex husband and had my older daughters recant their statements. When this was brought forward to the DA, Jay Conley of possible witness tampering, he stated it wasn’t because Craig only talked with my ex husband.

On May 21, 2008, my daughters 10th birthday, an Administrative Appeal was held by recused FCC Frank M. Calvert. My lawyer and I were not privy to this hearing in which my former abuser, his attorney, Corporation Counsel, Deputy Director of Oconto County CPS Greg Benesh and Carrie Burke were a part of.
Mr. Calvert’s assistant Julie Depouw stated that perhaps Calvert “forgot” he recused himself.
The only reason my attorney learned of this hearing was due to my abusers attorney, John D’Angelo, sending a copy of the hearing in which Mr. Calvert unsubstantiated the sexual abuse allegations. My attorney advised me to get the recording from the hearing and I did. What I heard was chilling as my character and credibility was more of an issue than the actual abuse. Especially in which Mr. Calvert snickers and makes fun of me that he’s “well aware of the difficulties with Ms. Fetterly-Tipton”. My lawyer instructs me to file a complaint with the judicial commission as Mr. Calvert had recused himself and he had no right to hear that case. When I requested the CD recording of the hearing Mr. Calvert’s assistant Julie Depouw stated that perhaps Calvert “forgot” he recused himself. A complaint was filed with the judicial commission regarding the ongoing bias and unethical practices of Frank M. Calvert.

In July 2008 my former abuser wanted his placement times back. We went to court and after my two witnesses testified, Sara Schumacher and Greg Benesh, Judge David Miron ordered a recess. My lawyer, my former abuser’s lawyer, GAL Krzewinski met in chambers. My lawyer returned to say that the judge was not going to hear any more testimony because so far we had not proven that there was any substantial change in circumstances for change in placement. He also stated that due to her father subpoenaing my daughters counselor, Jennifer Werner, her supervisor wrote to the judge to tell of his disdain that she was being ‘used’ as a pawn in this proceeding and she had no knowledge of the ongoing custody dispute (her counseling records do not reflect that). My lawyer stated I had to agree to two supervised visits, one overnight unsupervised, one weekend unsupervised then back to week on week off, providing that GAL Krzewinski and newly appointed counselor, Mike Mervilde, found no reason for that schedule, and they didn’t.

When I had tried to make further appointments with Mike Mervilde I was thwarted by saying that he was only court ordered to see her twice. When I requested copies of her counseling records I was told that my daughter wasn’t the patient, her father was.

By the very first unsupervised visit my daughter came back stating her father was drinking and driving with her. Every other week she was coming home from his home with lice.
I was found in contempt by Judge Miron and it was ordered that my daughter be forced to live with her abuser for five weeks straight, I was not allowed visitation.
CPS said that wasn’t neglect. My daughter refused to go for visitation and in October her father filed his first of three contempt motions on me. I was found in contempt by Judge Miron and it was ordered that my daughter be forced to live with her abuser for five weeks straight, I was not allowed visitation. This was when I was first accused of PAS, a.k.a. ’brainwashing’ her. The judge stated that he believed that I had “poisoned” my daughter against her father. When I shook my head slightly the judge yelled at me to not shake my head at him. She left on 10/31/09 and returned on 12/05/09. During that time she was tormented and tortured by her father and grandmother. My daughter still says that was the worst time of her life.

In February my daughter came home and said her father caught a 8lb Walleye and kept it alive in his 100 gallon fish tank for two weeks. He then proceeded to use her and sign her up for three different fishing derbies in one weekend with the same fish. He told my daughter if she told no one she would receive an ipod. The total of $150 of prize money that was won in my daughters name she never saw one penny or an ipod.
Her father was caught in his lying, cheating and stealing but blamed her for “ratting him out”. This was the turning point that my daughter lost any last respect for her father, she would ask me, “why would he do this to me?”, I had no answer, I still don’t.

She missed a weekend visit in March, by Monday he went to her school with the police to pick her up. She refused and the Gillett police officer, Gary Pemmrich, threatened my daughter that he would take her down to juvenile hall, she would be placed in foster care, she would never see me again and that she would have to go to a new school. It was after this hat my former abuser brought me to court again for contempt, the judge did not find me in contempt and dismissed it. This was when Judge Miron made a threat that perhaps neither parent was fit and maybe he would put her in foster care.
He then changed the order that each parent could pick up the child directly from school rather than the police station as the drop off.

Judge Miron made a threat that perhaps neither parent was fit and maybe he would put her in foster care.
Shortly after she returned from her week placement stating how cold she was at her fathers, stating his electricity was “broken”. The next week it was the same, finally CPS was alerted that there was no electricity, running water/plumbing, refrigeration for food etc. They then began staying at his mothers small two bedroom home, my daughter was given a choice of either sleeping on the living room floor or the unfinished basement. By August my daughter had been frightened several times by her grandmother driving her drunk, specifically one occasion where they took her out with them to the bar and as the grandmother stumbled out of the bar she proceeded to get into the wrong vehicle and then drove them home, drunk.

My daughter asked to stay at my home on his weekend 8/7/09 due to her older sisters coming for a visit. She kept saying how relaxed she was, how well she slept in an actual bed in her own room. She called him and told him she would not return to his mothers house because she had no bed or bedroom there. By 8/12/09 he filed a motion of contempt on me but waited until last minute 9/18/09 to have me served. Due to the untimely notice it was dismissed, He soon filed another contempt. At no time after school started did he ever go to school to retrieve his daughter. In court on 10/14/09 he and his mother perjured themselves that she has her own room, I’m brainwashing her, they don’t drink. When asked why he didn’t go pick her up he would say he was “working” or he was “busy” but I was being held accountable. On 9/4/09 we drove up to the grandmothers house for my daughter to retrieve her clarinet. We requested the assistance of Oconto County Sheriffs Deputy Ryan Zahn, who happens to be the nephew of Craig Hensberger, grandson of Betty Hensberger. At no time did the grandmother attempt to keep my daughter at her residence, her father according to his testimony was working.

Since the contempt motion being served on 9/18/09 my child has began sleep walking, having night terrors, and was placed on Xanax for her sleep disturbances and anxiety issues
Judge Miron found me in contempt and ordered me 30 days in county jail, with it stayed and ordered that my daughter be picked up by her father on 10/16/09 after school. I was also found in contempt and ordered 30 days in county jail for claiming my daughter on my taxes even though he has an order to do so the IRS will not allow him to since he unlawfully claimed her from 1999-2007. Also because she lived with me exclusively from Feb 2008-August 2008 which the federal government agreed I could claim her. Judge Miron also made his threats again that maybe he would “contact CPS because neither one of us is a fit parent and maybe he should take he away from both of us”. He stated that maybe foster care was the best place for her.

Since the contempt motion being served on 9/18/09 my child has began sleep walking, having night terrors, and was placed on Xanax for her sleep disturbances and anxiety issues brought on by her father. She has stated she is not going with her father ever again, she can’t and won’t. She won’t be in school tomorrow due to her flu and is adamant that nobody can make her go, not even me.

See Also: Is It A Crime to Protect Your Children?

It's time to take allegations of abuse seriously


Tyler Perry's Pain, Black Men's Gain, Black Women's Shame

Hello all, I'm back for a minute because of an e-mail I have just received. I have had thousands of things to blog about, but the murders are just too much, the corruption is just too much...It is all getting stuck in my head and the words aren't flowing out as easily anymore. I'm at a point where I think that I am past my pain, but because of vicarious trauma in my support of others, I can't really heal.

I began watching Tyler Perry's movies when they could only be ordered online at the cost of about $30. I've never been a "churchy" type person but I always enjoyed the advertisements for those Black churchy type dramatic plays that would air on t.v. Watching Tyler Perry's movies was like fulfilling my wish of being seated in one of the churchy play audiences. I loved the singing (not particularly the content), the level of energy, and the sheer entertainment of his plays/movies. Then he hit the big screen.

It wasn't until after several big screen productions that I realized that all of Tyler Perry's movies were really the same: they dealt with pain within families and the resolution was almost always identical. That resolution involved seeking a new relationship, or repairing the current one through Christ/God. On the surface, it doesn't seem like there is anything wrong with that. Why? Because too many people are just that simple--boy meets girl, they get married, they have baby, they live happily ever after, amidst the daily complications like infidelity, spousal abuse, and economical concerns. But it AIN'T that simple and I'm so sick and tired of men trying to represent women's issues by framing them around what men think our relationships and healing should look like.

Look, everyone has an agenda when they choose to exhibit their talents and choose their professions, I've spoken about this specifically regarding the field of psychology (never trust a psychologist, out of all professions). If it hasn't already been researched and concluded before, I'll say it now: I really believe when people choose their field, they are engaging themselves in a battle of self-healing and resolution that they were never able to previously accomplish, or never able to let go of.

Check this out from Tyler Perry's own mouth, in light of his new movie, Precious (emphasis mine):

It took me through some raw emotions and brought me to some things and places in my life that I needed to deal with but had long forgotten. It brought back memories so strong that I can smell and taste them. Like, when I was very young, my mother decided to leave my father...she had had enough of his insanity. She loaded me and my two sisters up in an old Cadillac that he had bought for her, and drove to California. When he realized she was gone, he called the police and reported the car stolen, as it was in his name. My mother was arrested and my two sisters and I were put in the cell with her. He and my uncle drove from Louisiana to California to get us. We spent several days in jail waiting for him. He bailed her out and couldn't wait to get her into the car. He got into the back seat with us and beat her black and blue from California to Louisiana, as me and my sisters watched. Even though I was only two or three, I know that this had to have some effect on me.

I'm tired of holding this in. I don't know what to do with it anymore, so, I've decided to give some of it away...

Memories at 40: Not long ago, I was asked to speak at an engagement. I walked in and I was told that they had assigned a person to take care of me while I was there. She walked up to me, all of 5'2” of her, and asked if I needed anything. I looked at her and started to sweat. It took me back thirty-something years to her apartment. I couldn't have been more than 10 years old when I went over to play with her son and Matchbox cars. She opened the door in skimpy lingerie. There was a man sitting on the couch, smoking. She told me that her son was in the bedroom. I was there playing with him about 20 minutes when I heard the man arguing with her. He said he was leaving and slammed the door. She came into the bedroom and told me that I had to go home. She told her son to take a bath and she locked him in the bathroom. I was at the front door trying to get out, when she came in and laid on the sofa and asked me if I wanted the key. I told her I had to go home as it was getting dark. She put the key inside of herself and told me to come get it, pulling me on top of her.

Memories at 40: “What the f*#K are you reading books for?! That's bull*#*T!"

"You F*#*ing jackass! You got book sense but you ain't got no mothaf*#*en common sense! You ain't sh*t and ain't never gonna be sh*t!” I heard this every day of my childhood. As my father would beat and belittle me, he played all kinds of mind games with me. He knew I loved cookies as a kid, most kids do. So he would buy them and put them on top of the fridge and when I would eat them he would beat me mercilessly.

My mother was out one night, as she loved to play bingo, and my father came home...mad at the world. He was drunk, as he was most of the time. He got the vacuum cleaner extension cord and trapped me in a room and beat me until the skin was coming off my back. To this day, I don't know what would make a person do something like that to a child. But thank God that in my mind, I left. I didn't feel it anymore, just like in PRECIOUS. How this girl would leave in her mind. I learned to use my gift, as it was my imagination that let me escape. After he was done with his rant he passed out. Since my aunt lived two doors down, I ran to her. She saw me and was horrified. She loaded her 357 and went to kill him. Holding a gun to his head, her husband came and stopped her.

Memories at 40: I got a call not long ago from a friend. He told me that a man that I knew from church when I was a kid had died and he didn't have any insurance. His family was trying to reach out to me to see if I would pay for his funeral. I quickly said no, but I wish I would have said yes. There is something so powerful to me in burying the man that molested me. I wish I would have dug the grave myself.

Memories at 40: I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had a crush on a little girl across the street. She would come over to my house and we'd play. She was about 12 or 13. One day she stopped coming and when I asked her why, she told me that my father was touching her. I didn't believe her, so I talked her into staying one night. We were both asleep -- she was in one bed and I was in another. I opened my eyes to see my father trying to touch her and her pushing him away. I moved in my bed trying to make him think I was waking up. He looked over at me and left out of the room. Not long after that, he beat me mercilessly for something again. Another mind game set up, so I told my mother what he had done. The blood drained from her face. We left that day. We were at my Aunt's house and he came there about 1am. Not long after that we were back at home. Nothing would compare to the random, drunken, violent beatings I would receive from then until I was 19.

Memories at 40: We would spend the summers in the country, with my father's adoptive mother. As a kid I was always sick. I had asthma and he hated it. He hated that I wasn't strong and viral like him. He hated that I couldn't be in the sawdust, pollen and the raw lumber like him. He hated that I liked to read and write and draw. He hated that me and my middle sister were darker-skinned than him. He didn't think he could make a dark baby. He just hated everything about me I guess. Anyway, I had to go to the doctor every Tuesday to get shots to control my allergies. When his mother found out she said, “Ain't nothing wrong with that damn boy...he just got germs on him. Stop wasting all that money.” When my mother left to visit some friends I heard what sounded like water running in a tub but it was sporadic. She came and got me out of the living room leaving my Matchbox cars on the floor. She said she was going to kill these germs on me once and for all. She gave me a bath in ammonia.

Tyler Perry has experienced abuse in every form from witnessing family violence to being sexually abused. He should be at the forefront of October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month right now. No wonder why his movies have the plots that they do with the resolutions they do--they are FANTASY based on Tyler's Perry's own imagination--that same imagination he used to escape from abuse.

Unfortunately for his audiences, they may not see it as such...more like Tyler's movies are the millennium's parables--presently applicable and to be utilized in our daily lives. This sickens me because, as I stated, and as I can remember, each of Tyler Perry's movies that has been about women has involved that woman committing herself to a relationship in order to be complete. Where is the time allotted for the self? Can a woman not be successful on her own? Is everyone woman incomplete without a love match?

Does Tyler Perry NOT understand the structure of the patriarchy and how it allows for this type of family violence, and furthermore how he is complicit in it by not addressing the roots of all of this violence? Can Tyler Perry not address men directly about men's violence?

I don't mean to hold Tyler Perry as some sort of philanthropist or social movement icon. All he is doing is repeating the same-ol-same, but it is significant this time because he is a person of color and I feel that my people are so impressionable, especially the youth that are watching these movies. And again, Black women are getting left in the dust as someone else is trying to paint our stories, with the wrong brush. Stop selling us these pipe dreams and show us what real courage, strength, determination and success looks like. The beauty of life is variety.