A short Story by Rikki Dombrowski for her English Class—(She only got a “C” for this awesome piece of writing)

Dec. 9th, 2007 at the time she was not aware that these were her memories - 3 days before her own 13th Birthday she shared this with me.

I did die then - the fog machine - her knowledge of the attack planned before it happened-

She is a beautiful writer and in that she will be only as ok as I am..

And I will live for forever for her I will fly high- and never will we fall again…


It all started the night of the dream, the dream when my life turned upside down and inside out.

I practically had a normal life. I had a mom and dad; I had two sisters and an annoying brother. I am 13 years old and my name is Kira.

It was about 12 am and dead silence in the house. I was sitting up in my bed with sweat pouring down my face. I was just sitting there thinking about the nightmare I just had.

In the nightmare all I saw was fog and a person running through the house; it was like I was that person. It was like I was following a person. I heard my sister scream and saw her jump out of the way of the person. She was scared of him….her.

My other sister, mother and my brother were in the corner of the hall crying and saying to each other ‘whatever happens I hope she doesn’t hurt us’.

As the person or girl I should say walked into the dining room. I saw me. I was just laying there- barely moving. My father was in the room to but he left as soon as I entered the room.

“Kira get up or you going to be late for school again’, my sister Lisa said annoyed by my sleeping in late.

She is 15 and always trying to act like mom. ‘Kira get up now… Kiraaa..!”

‘Fine, I’ll get up’ I yelled from underneath all my covers.

I didn’t realize I had fallen back asleep.  I looked over and looked at my alarm clock it was ten minutes till 7, I had plenty of time. I rolled back over and started to fall back asleep; I heard a crash and my mom yelled. I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to see what she was yelling. It turned out all it was, was the fog machine and fog was going everywhere just like in my dream.

Later that morning after I finished getting ready. My little brother Kyle was annoying my two sisters just like always; told me how mom broke the fog machine.

Then Lisa, Kelly, Kyle and I all went to school.

We all got home around three o’clock. That’s when it all took a turn for the worst. I went into the dining room to do my homework, mom, Lisa, Kelly and Kyle were upstairs doing something.

I heard someone at the door and I went to go get it, Dad got there before me. As he opened the door some woman walked in and asked “Are you sure you want to do this?”  “Yes’ dad said quietly “yes, I am sure”.

She pulled something out of her pocket and at the moment I knew what was happening, my nightmare was coming true.

‘Nooooooooooooo’ I screamed at the top of my lungs “How could you”. Don’t you love us..?

I turned to run upstairs to tell mom and everybody when, I hit the ground, that’s it, I don’t remember what really happened after that. I just remember waking up in the hospital with Lisa, Kelly and Kyle staring down at me. Tears were in there eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I mumbled. Kelly took turns with Kyle telling me what happened. They told me exactly what happened in my nightmare. My sister Lisa upset,

“Well Kira… mom and dad... well...I don’t know how to tell you this, well…..

…’Mom and dad..are dead.” Kelly said as tears poured out.

The woman who came in and did all this, the one who killed mom and dad, tried to kill you along with them. They tried to stop her but she killed them in the process. The police said her name was Marie. ‘She was a professional killer’, Kyle piped in’

So dad must have hired her to do this.

“Why did she not hurt you guys,” I asked weakly. “Well we were all upstairs in Kelly’s room hiding” Lisa said as she sat down by Kyle.

“Oh, so she saw me, tried to kill me killed mom and dad instead and hurt me.” So she’ll come back and try to kill me to finish what she started. Right..? “

“I think so” the police said as he entered the room. We have been tracking her down, but we have not caught her yet. We need your help.

Within the next 24 hours, the police and my family- what was left of us, devised a plan to catch Marie. It was Sunday, July 24th. I was at the ‘steak house’.

The ‘steak house’ was where we stayed so that when she came the police could arrest her.. before she finished off with me.

It was about 12 am. And I was sitting in my bed.. with sweat pouring down my face. I was just sitting there thinking about the nightmare I had just had. Dead silence in the house.

I heard some one at the front door, I crept down to see what or - who it was..? I saw a shadow of some one, but no one was really there. So I went back upstairs to go to sleep.

Every now and then,

I wonder ‘what happened to Marie, the police never caught her., and they may not. We just don’t know.


The Batterer As Parent



Failures of U.S. Courts Forces Mothers to Turn to International Law


Failures of U.S. Courts Forces Mothers to Turn to International Law

Organization Of American States
Submitted by Dianne Post, Inter-National Attorney
Ten mothers, one victimized child now an adult, and six organizations working in the field of child abuse and family law filed a petition on 10 April 2007 at the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. against the United States for the pattern and practice of courts awarding custody or unsupervised visitation to child abusers and molesters. The petitioners come from KansasGeorgiaCaliforniaNew YorkArizonaNew JerseyOhioRhode Island,Illinois and Nevada. (CONTINUING READING HERE) 

 Battered Mothers file Human Rights Violation Suit Against US to IACHR http://bit.ly/10QSWof 

On May 11,2007, just before Mother's Day weekend, ten mothers, one victimized child, now an adult, leading national and state organizations filed a complaint against the United States with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. Their petition claims that U.S. courts, by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters, has failed to protect the life, liberties, security and other human rights of abused mothers and their children. 

For more written and supplemental testimony of Claudine Dombrowski see here http://bit.ly/16OTg8A

Related Documentaries:
* Breaking The Silence: Children’s Stories
* Interviews - Battered Mothers Custody Conference {WARNING: GRAPHIC}
* No Way Out But One
* More…..and more and more here
* Family Court Crisis – Our Children At Risk
* Domestic Violence Continued Through Child Custody Litigation

(Dombrowski et al v. US 2007) IACHR  http://bit.ly/16LP5wj


Occupation: Nursing, Co-founder & Webmaster of American Mothers Political Party, Kansas Mothers For Custodial Justice, Kansas Family Court Reform, International Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Battered Mothers Custody Conference

State: Kansas

Corruption Experienced: Domestic Violence, Criminal Courts, Lack of Prosecution, Family Court, Government Corruption, Attorney Misconduct, Deprivation of Civil Rights, Deprivation Constitutional Rights, Deprivation Basic Human Rights, Maternal Deprivation, Torture, Other

Subject Type: Victim/Survivor, Domestic Violence Activist/Advocate, Expert Speaker/Consultant

Complaint Details:
My name is Claudine Dombrowski, I have one daughter Rikki who will be 18 in December 2012. We are victims of Judicial Corruption in Topeka, Kansas. Our Case leads the suit filed at the (IACHR) Inter American Commission on Human Rights (Dombrowski et el v US 2007) on behalf of all Mothers Nationwide for the practice and policies of US courts routinely granting child custody to abusers and pedophiles when Battered Mothers file for divorce. Petition can be viewed in its entirety on the Stop Family Violence website. www.stopfamilyviolence.org/pages/308

I am a US Army Veteran, Co-founder & webmaster for American Mothers Political Party. In 2006, I was placed on the Kansas Secretary of State’s, Address Confidentiality Program - Safe At Home for Victims of Domestic Violence. I was a psychiatric nurse for thirteen years with the State of Kansas and the Veterans Administration, Until December 2000 when I was placed on 100% physical disability related to the violence inflicted by the batterer.

I, like many Battered mothers thought that I had the right to be free from Violence. I was wrong. Due to both the Criminal and Family Court Failures. Having been beaten with crowbars, thrown out of moving vehicles, have had both wrists and several ribs broken, thrown through plate glass windows, tied up, raped, sodomized then left in a crawl space for several days. Just to name a few of the Criminal Assaults-by an already 8 time criminally convicted perpetrator to include but not limited to: (Battery, Attempted Battery, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Legal Process, Possession of Marijuana, Violation of Open Container law, Violation of Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence and Terroristic Death threats)

Even with 8 criminal convictions, the perpetrator filed for custody of my child in family court and after being ‘beaten’ with a crow bar to which he admits, but was never charged, but in fact was given early release from probation for ‘good behavior’ and Without motion from any party the Judge simply on his own issued an 11 page Order by ‘snail mail’ giving complete custody of my daughter to an admitted and convicted batterer. I was immediately placed in supervised visits after a complete suspension of any contact with my daughter. The past 13 years I have had minimal contact w my child and absolutely no contact at all this past 3 years. Due to the ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ access to justice – deniers, whom advocate for the perpetrator, who state; ‘that is not in the best interest of the child to know that her father is a batterer,’ and instead of protecting mother and child, all contact was to be eliminated between myself and my child.

I last held my daughter 13 years ago.

The Criminal Courts have failed to offer to myself and my daughter equal protection under the law, failed to use simple common sense in giving a victims child to the admitted and convicted perpetrator.

The complete ‘Failure of Justice’ for myself and for my daughter, in criminal and in family court, our denial of any ‘Access to Justice’ is the current state of the Courts, the lawyers and Mental Health so called experts known as Therapeutic Jurisprudence - a lucrative business that denies access to justice to society’s most vulnerable victims, battered mothers and their children and only for profit. It’s monetary, it’s all about the money and it can be prevented.
Eliminate all Therapeutic jurisprudence –do-gooders-Psychologists, Gal’s, case managers, return to Rule of Law not the Rule of man.

The lesson is clear – do not report abuse. Or never see your child again.


Will new rules help N.J. divorce debate? (Only If Mothers Are Allowed To Leave w Her Children)


NJ.com : Will new rules help N.J. divorce debate?

Will new rules help N.J. divorce debate? (Only If Mothers Are Allowed To Leave w Her Children)

Documentary targets family courts and custody evaluators. "No Way Out But One@


Documentary targets family courts and custody evaluators. "No Way Out But One"

http://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2012/12/documentary-targets-family-courts-and.html?m=1 Documentary targets family courts and custody evaluators


Holding My Hand Through Hell: Susan Murphy Milano – Rest In Peace My Sister!



Holding My Hand Through Hell: Susan Murphy Milano,First: 9781888160673: Amazon.com: Books.

Susan Murphy-Milano

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” -William Shakespeare

Earth lost a warrior this week and heaven has gained an angel.  Our hearts are heavy with the news of the passing of our friend and sister in arms, Susan Murphy-Milano.

I remember the first time I spoke to Susan on the phone when I was in the midst of my family court nightmare.  Here was a very busy woman who had taken time out of her day to speak to me about her experiences with losing her son to an abuser.  She never minced words, she told it how it is, I loved that about her.  It was a long hard road for me during that time for my family and I but they will all tell you that her phone call to me was and is the most important for me.  I will tell you that there is no better inspiration than to listen to Susan talk of her childhood filled with violence and then ultimately finding her mother killed by her police officer father in a murder-suicide.  There is little to feel sorry about yourself or to think that you cannot change the world, she did.

I know I have thanked her for being my soul sister many times, but I want to say again and on behalf of all children and mothers that live the nightmare Susan has had to.  Thank Susan, you inspired, empowered and never cease to amaze many of us who will continue to fight and carry on your legacy.  Susan was the most humble of creatures and right now I can hear her say in her commanding voice that she is no hero.  But she is and I hope that she can let them know up there we could use a little help down here, then again, I’m sure  she has already.


Suing The Abuser Tort


Suing The Abuser Tort.pdf



The Experience of Abused Women With Their Children's Law Guardians–GAL’s


Hart Sussman - Civil Tort Suits






Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence


Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence.doc



Criminal Rewards The Impact of Parent Alienation Syndrome on Families


Criminal Rewards The Impact of Parent Alienation Syndrome on Families.pdf







The Hero’s, The Warrior’s: The ‘Survivors’ - October Domestic Violence ACTION Month


October means a lot too many people, fall, Halloween, preparing for winter- but to 1 in 3 women it represents Domestic Violence Awareness ACTION– (Intimate Partner Violence) month.

For 18 years, I have been a hardcore advocate/activist. I have met and worked with so many wonderful people like Susan Murphy Milano, Delilah Jones,  Mo Hannah, Barry Goldstein, The Battered Mothers Custody Conference, Stop Family Violence, The Leadership Council, DV Leap….  the list of organizations and people who some like myself and others because they simply care - all work year round -- are endless.

Not to mention all the hundreds of mothers who have lost custody because of abuse. I spent the last 15 years networking mothers on a national and local level – even international. In October we really pound it out — we do all year, but by storm we take it to the internet, the streets, the conferences, the National and State AG’s, Coalitions, judiciary and the community. This is “our month” to further not just awareness - but solutions.

Domestic Violence aka Intimate Partner Violence, rape, torture, and death – IPV: A Human rights issue that is violated from the beginning and it seldom ever ends, has not gotten any better – only worst.

Awareness? Oh, we are all ‘well aware’ - 1 in 5 high school girls will report being abused by their boyfriend either physically or sexually before they graduate. 1 in 3 women you know has survived it, is going through it, or maybe she died ‘accidently’ e.g. drowned in a dry bath tub, (this btw is a very common ‘accident’ the many mothers have) falls, blunt force trauma, or you know of, or have heard of, the father viciously slaughter his entire family, the wife, mother and children – most all are under age 10. And EVERYONE in their life time will know someone or be intimately affected by Domestic Violence (DV) – Intimate partner Violence (IPV)

I am a survivor. The color purple bleeds. 296588_240990569286453_876103963_n

I am boycotting the yearly rally I have attended here in Topeka, Kansas since its inception 17 years ago – I have never missed a single rally. Not one. October was my month to ‘be the change’ to take my knowledge and experience and expound upon it. To let others know- ‘NO it is NOT alright to live in constant fear’.

But after the City of  Topeka, Kansas, Removed Domestic Violence from Cities Ordinance codes  - in essence ‘decriminalize’ Domestic Violence, last October 2011 – (THIS STILL REMAINS) – The City Ordinance prohibiting DV has not been re instated, but ‘dog at large’, tall weeds, prostitution, drunk and disorderly’ along with  all other misdemeanor’s and misdemeanor assaults – remain.  But NOT ‘Domestic Violence’ – still remains retracted. The county does its best but the case loads are over whelming.  But again—it’s just Domestic Violence cultural attitudes.

I simply cannot go out to the rallies, marches, activities - screaming at the top of my lungs – chants, (more lies.) Slogans like “Get Out” – “Get Help” – “You Don’t have to live this way” – you have all heard them. They are all lies. 1 in3 – yet we still do our community customs of:  ‘See we care about___(fill in the blank) – but; (really it’s just an annual fall walk, political shoulder rubbing, a few victims find validation (if it’s their 1st one).

‘Policy and procedure’ – ‘Women and Children are top Priorities’ everyone ‘talks the talk.’  Still—no one holds these most evil of society’s criminals accountable – it’s just domestic violence, as they turn away from the realities of it every other day of the year. No one ‘walks the walk’ except those survivors turned advocate/activist. They are the true hero’s and warriors, shakers and World changers. They do it so that no one else will have to endure needlessly or die needlessly as so many already have.

Coercive-Control Domestic Violence as Evan stark so clearly writes in Coercive Control – “Why the domestic violence revolution has stalled” and further explains it as what it really is. Human rights violations. It is a pattern of coercive control, emotional, physical, verbal that chains the victim to the perpetrator,  sometimes they break free, sometimes they endure, some survive, some die and sometimes they leave – only to find that living w a batterer was much easier than dealing with the abusers in the judiciary, criminal courts, family courts.

1 in 3 women.  How many of those three have children? You can quote me stats all you want but the very fact that the leading cause of death to pregnant women is homicide by their male partner and the very real fact that Mothers are vanishing, the fact that the cemeteries’ are filled with women and children who were of the most profound types of crimes a complete stripping of autonomy, prisoner of war, concentration camp – comes close. It is their dead bodies in that fill those cemeteries.

64795_482000300228_469045_n It’s not about awareness; this has been ongoing since the beginning of time. We all know about – some judge, some ignore, some become impassioned. But Domestic Violence – Intimate partner Violence exist because we as a society socially accept it - Bottom line. It is acceptable to beat your wife. Beat your kids, murder them all under this so called “domestic violence’ umbrella. Ahhh ‘so sad’ we say, the media articles write “he was such a nice guy”  in regards to yet another familicide or murder-suicide within the family.

The most dangerous place for a woman is in her home.  A man’s castle is his home. This actually goes a long way in showing why Domestic Violence is a societal accepted norm.

A man’s home is his castle- how many men are removed from ‘their’ home and placed in a shelter. None. They take the victims, mothers mostly with usually small children to a ‘shelter’? Shelters are for animals, the stay is the same for both the animal shelters and the battered mothers – about 2 weeks. Then….with many mitigating and very coercive factors, mother returns to  the “Man’s castle – HIS home’ with her children. On average, if mother survives, she will leave 7 times. -- Then she will think that like all those slogans above that she is better than that, she and her children don’t have to live like that in fear 24-7. I mean look at the rest of the world- they don’t go through what she goes through – or so she thinks, again its all lies. 1 in 3. But so ‘perfect the couple appeared’ – such a nice family” so quiet and on and on…… when we hear finally outrage.

Not tragedy but outrage, as you see every crime of IPV is preventable. Every murder of another mother and her children, preventable.

Trag·e·dy (trj-d) n. pl. trag·e·dies - 1. A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances...


With blinders on, we as society see the world through rose colored glasses. Perfect. The perfect wife, the perfect family the perfect father. All lies. Domestic Violence RARELY ENDS –except in death.

mothers_vanishing The blood flows.  Another mother disappears. Mothers Are Vanishing.

Those mothers are always up and leaving their kids, their purse, cell phone car etc….. this is the nuts and sluts view of our society. But if a man ups an disappears leaving behind his wallet, his car his cell phone – something IS wrong, became harmed in some way  accidental but usually  would be seen and viewed from society’s rose colored glasses as a crime. I mean men (who truly are the nuts and sluts) would never leave.

Further, many States, like here in Kansas, the Federal and State Grant Funding for Domestic Violence  ”… is to encourage the battered mothers to go back to the abuser.!” WHAT?  We have taken giant leaps over tall buildings, sometimes it is like for every ‘one’ good we achieve – we get thrown back into the dark ages. Well, that is the goal. Oppression, slavery, ownership, entitlement and belief system, of not only the batterer, but that of society’s.

I have no doubt, that ‘We… ‘will eventually change that too.

So here is to the true Hero’s -The real Warrior’s

The ‘Survivors’ - Who Take What happened To them and indeed create a ‘Better’ world as a result.



Special Dedication to Susan Murphy Milano – Holding My hand Through Hell

Holding My Hand Through Hell

Holding My Hand Through Hell is much more than a story of survival, the book is a re-enactment of how God reaches through the fire of chaos and brings peace and hope. A woman questioning her faith through a multitude of experiences finds herself continually in the midst of battle, within her own relationships, and through the thousands of high risk intimate partner violence victims whom she rescued and became a thread in the tapestry of her life.

"More than a memoir Holding My Hand Through Hell is like a true crime drama played out through the years of one woman's life."

The premise of Holding My Hand Through Hell is gripping, yet heart wrenching, and readers say they are compelled to follow Murphy Milano through her journey to the end. After years of torment and abuse, her Chicago Police Department father murdered her mother in the family home, and took his own life,  but Murphy-Milano decided not to be another crime victim, but to survive the worst tragedy of her life and make sure it didn't happen to others. Leaving a lucrative career as an investment banker, she spent the next 20 years in the trenches with other victims of abuse, like her mother, enriching the lives of each and every one who enlisted her help.

Often shunned by traditional domestic violence organizations, Susan Murphy-Milano became like a one man band, utilizing unique strategies specific to each individual she helped. Using her connections within courtrooms and the media, she found herself face to face with some of the worst abusers, often questioning whether God would bring her through the next crisis.

“My Sear Sweet Susan - Had it not been for the hell we endured we would have never met, you have taught me and thousands of other’s how to be the –change- we want, by your selfless, 200% nonstop commitment and compassion. Thank you sister! You are my hero!” xoxo C


Angry, Radical Men's Groups - They Are Dangerous And They Need To Be Stopped.



Attack of the 50-Foot Feminist Agenda

Angry, radical men's groups believe males are being victimized by out-of-control judges and politicians. They're wrong and they're dangerous and they need to be stopped.

By Barry Nolan | Boston Magazine, September 2012

angrymenIllustration by Chris Kasch

Every Wednesday at noon, the Governor’s Council gathers at the Massachusetts State House. The eight-member council is an elected but little-known body that serves as the governor’s advisory board; oversees things such as pardons; and approves or rejects appointments for state judgeships. That means it has a lot of influence on how state laws wind up getting interpreted and carried out.

Amid the smattering of lobbyists and state officials at council meetings, there is always a member of the Fatherhood Coalition, a Massachusetts-based organization that was founded in 1993 to steer state laws in a direction more favorable to fathers. Sometimes it’s Joe Ureneck, the group’s chairman, who attends. He’s a small-business owner who, while going through a divorce, became concerned with the system’s “sexist bias.” Other times it’s Patrick McCabe, a soft-spoken part-time accountant from Hyde Park whose divorce left him similarly disturbed. McCabe, in fact, is running for a seat on the council this November.

Ureneck and McCabe aren’t exactly shy and retiring at the meetings. Along with the rest of the Fatherhood Coalition, they do their best to shut down judicial nominees they view as insufficiently sympathetic to their agenda. A nominee, for instance, like David Aptaker, who in 2010 was up for a position as a Middlesex probate judge. As a bit of background, one thing the Fatherhood Council is particularly concerned about is restraining orders, which it insists are used in a way that’s biased against men. In fact, the group has been pushing legislation to change the system. That’s why the coalition was alarmed by Aptaker’s nomination—according to a post on its website, Aptaker’s “lack of understanding of the restraining order laws made it clear he was not fit for the bench.” So after discovering that the nominee had failed to disclose donations he’d made to two disgraced politicians, the Fatherhood Coalition showed up at a public hearing, registering complaints that he couldn’t be trusted because of his donations. Under pressure, Aptaker eventually withdrew his application. “Whether you agree with them or not, their point of view has become the elephant in the room,” says Mary-Ellen Manning, a council member from Salem. Watertown’s Marilyn Petitto Devaney, who’s been on the council for 14 years, says the presence of the Fatherhood Coalition has “changed the way we do business here.”

Aptaker’s story underscores a disturbing trend: Men’s rights groups, convinced that men are the biggest victims of modern society, have been busy attacking, defunding, and repealing laws that have been very effective at protecting women and lowering rates of domestic violence. And rather than just ranting and raving on the Internet, these men have been pulling political levers to change both state and federal laws. That they’ve done so with remarkable success ought to make everyone very, very scared.

If your last memory of men’s groups is Robert Bly and the boys banging on drums in the woods, you likely have no idea how the movement has mutated. Today, men’s rights groups tend to be organized around the belief that this country has launched a “war on fatherhood.” To them, the rise of feminism resulted in the fall of man, with males now being relegated to the periphery of society. In their eyes, the media portray men as feckless buffoons, legislative bodies unfairly target them, and biased courts blindly punish guiltless husbands. (Full disclosure: I was a producer of the 2011 documentary No Way Out But One, which examined the family court system.)

Nationally, groups like Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) and A Voice for Men have helped slow the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act—which would provide $660 million in funding for shelters, legal aid, and other programs to protect battered women—by convincing conservative House Republicans that the law shouldn’t include immigrants, Native Americans, and LGBT victims. SAVE claims the law is biased, noting in a fact sheet titled “Seven Key Facts About Domestic Violence” that “female initiation of partner violence is the leading reason for the woman becoming a victim of subsequent violence.” In other words: She was asking for it, officer.

Locally, the Fatherhood Coalition (which has seven active chapters and a few hundred members across the state) is joined by Fathers and Families, a “family court reform” advocacy group founded in 1998 that now has 50,000 e-mail newsletter subscribers. Fathers and Families claims to have the “largest membership base, the highest media profile, the most funding, and the most successful legislative representation of any family court reform organization.” It’s a bold claim—and quite accurate. In 2001, for example, the group won changes in Massachusetts law that lowered child support by 15 percent.

Then, last year, Fathers and Families and the Fatherhood Coalition achieved a major victory with the passage of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which removed the requirement that men pay alimony after retirement. The success of that bill allowed them to fine-tune their technique of advancing legislation: Get the governor to appoint a task force to examine the issue, secure a seat on the task force, influence the ultimate consensus, and then send it to the legislature.

Also last year, the men’s groups tried another approach to changing laws: submitting a ballot initiative. They had hoped to use that strategy to overturn 209A, a law that seeks to prevent domestic violence by allowing judges to grant emergency protective orders to men or women who have a reasonable fear of harm from another person, often a partner. That law is stacked against men, according to Ureneck, who also helms the Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform, a conservative group advocating for tougher enforcement of immigration laws. “The fundamental idea behind 209A,” Ureneck tells me, “is that men are inherently batterers and women are fundamentally victims.” Ultimately, Attorney General Martha Coakley shut down the group’s attempts to overturn the law via ballot initiative because the state constitution doesn’t allow such initiatives to deal with the “powers of courts.”

Now, men’s rights groups are pushing another bill that would change court guidelines in custody proceedings, moving from the standard of doing what is in the best interest of the child to making shared custody the default. That sounds reasonable enough—good parents should certainly be able to play a meaningful role in their children’s lives after a divorce—but the proposed law has no provision for judges to determine whether one of the parents was violent in the relationship, which is a pretty glaring hole. And studies show that shared custody is one way that emotionally abusive spouses often seek to extend their control after a marital breakup.

In spite of that, men’s groups have convinced more than a quarter of Massachusetts House members to cosponsor the bill. In the face of that pressure, Governor Patrick in July appointed 18 people to the Working Group on Child-Centered Family Laws, which is examining current regulations and trying to come up with a consensus on future guidelines. Men’s rights groups, including the Fatherhood Coalition and Fathers and Families, managed to get three of their members in the group, but there are no representatives from mothers’ groups. (One member comes from a domestic violence organization, however, and another from the Women’s Bar Association.)

“They’re organized,” says a Beacon Hill insider. “They’re vocal, they can be vociferous…and they’ve capitalized on the success they had with the reform alimony laws.”

And men’s groups are having successes like this all over the country. Rita Smith of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence told the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report that such groups have “taken over the courts,” and that they have “been able to get custody evaluators, mediators, guardians ad litem, and child protective service workers to believe that women and children lie about abuse.”

Let’s be clear: There is no “war on men.” It’s true that the family courts should be better staffed, and better trained to sort out the truth, assess the risks, and ensure that kids are kept safe, happy, and healthy. And men’s groups certainly have every right to try to change the law. That’s how democracy works.

But that’s all the more reason that civil rights and women’s groups need to wake up and get involved, something they’ve been slow to do. When I spoke to Toni Troop of Jane Doe Inc., a Massachusetts sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy group, she assured me that “People see through their rhetoric and their repeated attempts to undermine safety for the real victims of domestic violence.” Really? Then why have they been so successful at changing the law? More women’s and mothers’ groups need to start attending these meetings and demanding a seat at the table.

They also need to remember how bad the past was. Back in 1993, before the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, then-Senator Joe Biden conducted a three-year investigation into the causes and effects of violence against women. Afterward, he issued a searing report that helped lead to the 1994 passage of the original bill. In that report, Biden wrote, “…violence against women reflects as much a failure of our nation’s collective moral imagination as it does the failure of our nation’s laws and regulations…it deserves our profound public outrage.” Nearly 20 years later, it’s time to get outraged again.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/2012/08/angry-men-feminist-agenda/


My Friend, My Sweet Dear Susan Murphy–Milano


(((Susan))) holding you close in my heart baby.!!!!


Funding Challenge


               Susan with Dr. Akoury at first chemo treatment

As quoted in a Chicago Tribune article over the weekend, Susan Murphy Milano says she doesn't know if she'll make through the end of the year with her cancer battle. That could very well be true.

Susan has had a total of 4 chemo treatments, has done very well with them, made progress, but has to commit to 9 more chemo treatments, as well as strictly follow a regimen to build up her body in order to prepare it for surgery in several weeks. She has a great team, all working together with her to make this happen and to continue with ongoing treatment.

The challenge to make this happen is funding. Although many have stepped up and generously given from their hearts and pocketbooks, we must, once again, appeal to the public for help.

In order to fulfill the commitment to the treatments we need to raise at least $1000-$1500 per week for the next 9 weeks. Yes, do the math, it's quite a sum!

We know that there are many of you who have donated that can not afford to do any more, we thank you and understand, but, do you know people, perhaps in your circle of friends, who may wish to participate?

The outpouring has been great, and we really hate to keep asking, but don't know what else to do.

We are working diligently to follow up on all of the resources many of you have sent our way. Sometimes it seems like we're buried under mountains of papers to fill out, swimming upstream with so little time to devote to it.

As we once again appeal to you, we'd also like to thank each and every one on the supporter's list on this site, with special thanks to CUE Center for Missing Persons volunteers. What a family you all are! You do so much as it is, on your own time and your own dime, to help families of the missing, it just amazes us that you've taken Susan under your wing and called her your own.

To Denise Brown and Danielle Pierre for stepping up and featuring many colleagues of Susan's on their tribute radio show, we thank you for the donations your show was able to bring in and we hope they will continue.

Also, to all of you who have consistently shared articles about Susan, the EAA,Document the Abuse, and the work that will continue, no matter what, we offer our gratitude. Especially to Document the Abuse colleagues Sandra Brown of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, Pastor Neil Schori and all others connected who have given their time and dollars. It can't be done without you all.

And...every day we are thankful to Dr. Dalal Akoury, MD at AwareMed for being the compassionate, knowledgeable and caring physician that she is. She's been so generous with her time and resources and is determined to do all she can to help Susan get the cancer under control.

We are running out of options, as well as time. Susan has a terrific team of doctor, oncologist, surgeon, and caretakers who are all working very hard to keep her going, but, with no health insurance, and no income to help with expenses, there's only so much that can be done.

Delilah at 4:16 AM


Leaving The War Zone: A Battered Mothers Memoirs For her Daughter


CHAPTER 7 – The Witch’s Hat


The Witch’s Hat

This past few weeks have been pretty good. I usually get very sad when summer ends. The pool, the heat. This has been one of the absolute hottest summers I can ever recall in my 46 years. Triple digits were the normal. On Labor Day, my window AC went out. So the following week I stayed in the pool. Stayed cool. I love the solitude of being out in the country. The quiet, the peace. My raw nerves – turned inside out this past two decades have taken such a toll on me. The stress, the emotional pain has shown its self through physical outlets.

During the summer, the memories of being in the pool with my daughter, growing up in a pool myself, and the memories’ of my mother. Memories suck. Their were so many bad ones. So much suffering. The torture camps not unlike those of the concentration camps, the fear, the 24-7 fear.

The beatings were almost like a release. A Release of that constant fear. As then for a a day, maybe two. All was quiet. Constant chaos soon followed.

Present day, in healing from trauma, sometimes one simply cannot recall all the ‘things’ that happened. The mind works like that. It takes care of us. So when trauma is enduring to survive within the mind, you block that ‘trauma’ out. This is a normal thing, a healthy thing and one that is built in to our human composition, of coping adapting and evolving.

The thing is, with the blocking of all that bad – went the few precious moments we had, Rikki and I. With even thinking about her, the pain of her loss the pain of the past ‘constant’ 14 years of court litigation (Continued abuse, torment) I have had to put her few pictures away. This past year I have slowly began to convert the old VHS tapes into digital and DVD. I have for all these years been unable to look at them. The pain immense. Even in her photographs, complete strangers could even see in her once very happy , dancing sparkling eyes disappear. Each years school photo they diminished until finally the light was gone altogether.

The only photos I was allowed to have, from kindergarten through 6th grade. In them alone shows the years of agony she suffered. SCAN PHOTOS HERE Each year, her eyes were darker, until finally the light in them was completely gone. So in order to survive, I have had to put those photos away, in a scrap book. Again, at the loss the helplessness and agony of my baby girl who was robbed of everything, especially her mother. A childhood of fear, loss and torment. Destined to follow her through adulthood.

The good memories are precious few, those years were as well stolen, tainted with the ever ending struggle of court abuse, but we were together and we made those few times good. It is no wonder that when the bad is blocked the good as well because they are all attached to the torment our human rights, we had none. We still do not.

But this year, as I was packing up my summer clothes, preparing for winter, thankful in fact as the summer damn near killed me. To hot even for hell. I was going through what few things remain from my life. Not much. A few old boxes. It was sorta like a treasure hunt, I saw of course things that reminded me of all the bad, things of my baby girl that I have promised to preserve for her. A gentle smile crossed my face.

Then just out of nowhere a Witch’s hat. My hat. Then I recalled the most wonderful of all memories. Halloween. Fall, the entire month was always ours. That was the only one thing that was consistent, one thing that did not come with pain inflicted by the abuser himself or his court whore proxy’s.

No one wanted that day, Halloween, not like every other holiday, even mother’s day we were robbed of all. Dad always got her every single holiday. As he was the non custodial parent, I just the evil bitch mom who wanted to set herself and her daughter free of torture. But, Halloween….. became ours. We celebrated the fall the holiday throughout the month. We decorated beginning with fall and working into the Halloween spirit. On this day, we could be anything we wanted. This day was always a ‘safe’ day for us. Nothing bad ever happened. It was ours, it was special and we had so much fun.

Every year we would add more to our ‘holiday’ boxes - cool Halloween decorations themes. We had an entire 12 x 15 ft. room filled with storage boxes of nothing but fall and Halloween decorations. Throughout these last 13 true hell years, those were all but lost a little at a time, then a lot. Until about 3 years ago, when I stopped seeing anything. As I did not put them up. Eventually, it left my mind as well. Once again, Those precious few good memories attached to the bad.

But this witch’s hat, out of nowhere - in what few things are left at all, (not even enough to fill a 10 x 10 ft room) this hat was ‘just’ there. Instantly I had a very comforting feeling, placed it on my head and continued to go through seeking winter clothing, packing summer clothing. Not really thinking about it nor the significance of the hat - just that all was well, like it had always been there. Just a nice feeling, a feeling odd to me, comfortable somehow ‘connected’ in a life long ago forgotten. The hat has been with me every day since, not consciously aware that, I kept it nor that it is always close to me.

But as the days began to pass I realized that it was in my car, on the couch,- kinda like with your keys and billfold. The peacefulness of fall all around, the critters all doing their scurrying around, the trees with the ever so slight sound of the old tired leaves scorched from the summer also awaiting the first freeze, before they turn the most vibrant of all colors - fall colors. The winds slightly beginning to shift. Yes the world, the seasons, Mother Nature. So very beautiful. So with all this and preparing my little house for winter, cleaning rearranging, feeling alive, being creative, thinking about absolutely nothing. There sits this witch’s hat.

About a week later, actually just a few days ago - the movie ‘twister’ came on TV late I just happened to be up the with the rain storms this week, they have gone from muggy hot to the classic fall cool. Rikki’s absolute number one favorite movie back then in the late 90’s was “Twister”. As I watched it I was thinking about how granny had dubbed her soaps over Rikki’s twister tape, and Rikki in tears said “granny, you taped your soaps on my twister tape’ – she was heartbroken. Lmao  - So was Granny, bless her heart, she was able to get not one but several more tapes of “Twister”. Yes that was a good memory. J

Still the witch’s hat, sits near. I see it has a purple feather and purple stone. Then, I recall why I bought that particular witch’s hat, its purple for the color of anti domestic violence. Even way back then as new a survivor, that purple was sacred. So now I have not only the memory of the Halloween but the subtle deeper meanings coming through as well. I survived, my daughter was safe. (back then – late 90’s) But, Still all is well. These memories are without any fear or pain. They just feel good. Atop my aching heart as I grieve the loss of my child. And at this point all resources long ago depleted to keep that special connection with her. It died when my mother died. The courts and daddy made sure that we never spoke again, nothing. Just gone. Like my mom. But in a more brutal way. You see I know my mom is with Jesus, Rikki however is with pure evil. Brutal does not come close.

Then the following day, the movie ‘Hocus Pocus’ came on…. Then it was more freeking awesomeness…!! To go along with the rest our ‘safe’ zone of Halloween of course our favorite Halloween movies!! All Disney of course, Rikki was not in school yet and she was legally kidnapped by the age of 7.She began kindergarten in the house of hell, and without her mother. He killed her soul then, a thousand deaths she went through. I was not allowed to be anywhere near her, not allowed to comfort her, to just hold her. L It was several year before I was even allowed to see her ‘supervised’ and then we could not hug we could not talk about what happened, we could not talk about hope, the future, we could not talk about our past out home our life, only what Rikki was currently doing with daddy dearest. Her sadness poured out of every pore her entire body eminated a pain that would knock the wind out of any ‘real’ human.


With “Hocus Pocus”, I watched it, loved it, and with warm memories of Rikki (before dad stole her). Then came the movie ‘Halloweentown’ omg. This was absolutely number one favorite for our ‘safe zone’ time. There were two. HalloweenTown and HalloweenTown 2. As I watched them, a flood of so many wonderful memories opened up.

Like I had opened up the door and let the fresh air in, these movies, inspired by the witch’s hat were the answer. If I can get to Rikki these movies especially HalloweenTown, deep inside her blocked off heart - a door will open for her too. I somehow know this with every fiber of my being.

I have time. My main goal is for her to just ‘watch’ them. I have began to rip and burn them for myself, but I want Rikki to ‘watch’ them. So I will buy them and have them sent to her. Not from me of course and hope they still make it into her DVD player- just movies packaged and sealed, nothing mom could have ‘sneaked’ in. Nothing from ‘mom’ so perhaps she will one day watch it. Directly to her from Amazon maybe.

My hopes are that now – perhaps I can begin to write to you. As I said before, it just hurts to bad to the point of panic, anxiety, chest pains and inability to breath. Avoid pain. That’s what we do naturally. And although it pains my heart now as I write this, it is not debilitating, it is welcome, and it just feels right. Like everything else around me - and busy it is – fall. The power of higher than anything else - that special power of Mother Nature. God’s creations and the ‘ultimate justice’. Just wait - the leaves have not even begun to change yet and I plan on doing every fall Halloween activity I can, the healing has finally begun. I guess, it is just time.

The witch’s hat made me feel good. LoL as I look at it now. It sits kinda like the witch hat in harry potter, bent over at middle, old and knowing just comfortable. I smile. I love you my daughter my dearest sweet Rikki.

Just believe what the heck - you ain’t got nothing to loose, I sure do not, plus - it just feels good. I do not know where I will be from one day to the next or even if I will be. Weather this will be the first day of the rest of my life or the last day - it will be the best day I can make it.

Of all that I have done, wished to have done – MOTHER was and is the BEST Blessing, the truest love, the Laws of Nature and everything that I had never dreamed of- but what I wanted more than anything.


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam Crackpot Logic



Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a Scam

Crackpot Logic

"Here is how crackpottery works in real life: let's say I am a crackpot and I have invented a miracle cure for the common cold. My magic cure is to shake a dried gourd over the cold victim until he is all better.

If I shake the dried gourd long enough, the victim's cold will get better. My miracle cure always works, it is 100% effective, it is extremely reliable. I deserve recognition for my medical breakthrough. Anyone who wants to dispute myclaim prove that it doesn't work — that all those people who got better, didn't get better.

"The crackpot's logic is perfect, and perfectly loony. "Crackpots come in many varieties, but they all have one trait in common -- they don't understand how science works." -- Paul Lutus

Parental Alienation Syndrome/Disorder, Shared Parenting, Co-parenting, Fathers Rights, Fatherhood exaltation, Children need both parents, DSM-5, False Abuse Allegations, women lie, children lie, daddy is always perfect no matter what.

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Guardian Ad Litems, Custody Evaluators, Parenting Coordinators, Mental Health Experts, Sexual Abuse Prevention (SAPA) Reintegration therapy, shock therapy, false memory syndrome, Draptomania, Family Court Judges, Best Interest Child, Co-parenting therapy, Borderline, mommy caused daddy’s bad behavior, that lying bitch should never have left she and her children are owned.

Psychiatry is a theory, not fact not science. Just a court appointed pocket money lining industry.

Amy J. Baker and Parental Alienation: Behind the Veil of Ignorance

The Ever Expanding Parental Alienation Theory: Amy J. Baker's Research Revisited


A Collaboration Of disease mongering

“Disease mongering” is the effort to enlarge the market for a treatment by convincing people that they are sick and need medical intervention [2]. Typically, the disease is vague, with nonspecific symptoms spanning a broad spectrum of severity—from everyday experiences many people would not even call “symptoms,” to profound suffering. The market for treatment gets enlarged in two ways: by narrowing the definition of health so normal experiences get labeled as pathologic, and by expanding the definition of disease to include earlier, milder, and pre-symptomatic forms (e.g., regarding a risk factor such as high cholesterol as a disease in itself).



The Manufacture of Madness: Psychiatry Is Social Control Used Against Non Conformists.



  • Dr Thomas Szasz died aged 92, an indefatigable critic of conventional psychiatry, that it offended human dignity infringed rights of the individual.

“A damning indictment of the psychologizing – and undermining – of the American legal system. With righteous wrath and devastating wit, this sweeping critique should stir national debate.”

Whores Of The Court

Margaret Hagen, Ph.D, reveals how expert psychological testimony is a total fraud, showing how the courts have increasingly embraced not a cutting-edge science but, instead, a discipline that represents a terrifying retreat into fantasy and hearsay; a discipline propelled by powerful propaganda, arrogance, and greed.

Dr. Hagen sounds a clarion wake-up call, offering some startling – and much-needed – recommendations about how we can reclaim our own ability to judge and supplying vital advice on how we can protect ourselves from the ravages of psychological testimony in our own lives.

PSYCHIATRY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL! Dr Thomas Szasz, who has died aged 92, was an indefatigable critic of conventional psychiatry, maintaining that it often offended against human dignity and infringed the rights of the individual.


Dr Thomas Szasz - Telegraph

Dr Thomas Szasz, who has died aged 92, was an indefatigable critic of conventional psychiatry, maintaining that it often offended against human dignity and infringed the rights of the individual.

Szasz argued that the concept of “mental illness” was little more than a metaphor without any pathological referent — that is, it was not based on evidence of disease or other organic malfunction. In an interview in 1969, he said: “When metaphor is mistaken for reality and is then used for social purposes, then we have the makings of myth. I hold that the concepts of mental health and mental illness are mythological concepts, used strategically to advance some social interests and to retard others, much as national and religious myths have been used in the past.” In one of his books, The Manufacture of Madness, he compared the 20th-century tendency to define aberrant behaviour as mental illness to the 17th-century practice of accusing nonconformists of witchcraft.

His seminal work, The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct (1961), was reprinted many times — although Charles Krauthammer, the American columnist and a former practising psychiatrist, once declared: “Thomas Szasz is the kind of author no one reads but everyone knows about.”

According to Szasz, the “helping professions” had established a “Therapeutic State” which interpreted many, perhaps most, dysfunctional and illegal forms of behaviour as the result of factors outside of individual agency. He further argued that such a dominant perspective led to an assumption that individuals are not responsible for their actions; prison terms for felonious crimes, he suggested would be preferable, more condign and more just than time-limited detention in a mental institution.

In addition, he argued that some types of behaviour, for example the consumption of illegal drugs, are incorrectly labelled as “addictions”, implying that the individual has no control over his or her actions.

Interestingly, Szasz, as a lifelong libertarian, abjured making drug-taking illegal, even as he argued that such imbibing was stupid. Throughout his career he insisted that the right to ruin one’s own life was inviolable — even the right to commit suicide .

The author of nearly three dozen books and more than 1,000 articles, Szasz had a long and distinguished career as a Professor of Psychiatry at the SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, where — at constant risk to his employment — he criticised what he saw as abuses of psychiatric practice which compromised citizens’ freedom. Even the psychiatrist E Fuller Torrey, however, with whom Szasz had frequently crossed swords, conceded at the time of Szasz’s death that, while he disagreed with Szaszian theory regarding a number of major issues, “he made a major contribution to the issue of the misuse of psychiatry”.

Szasz’s work was often misinterpreted and disparaged in the press, which linked him to the “antipsychiatry” movement — one which Szasz reviled and ridiculed (among his recent books was Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared). He reserved a special contempt for the Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing, a pillar of the anti-psychiatry movement who became a hero of the counterculture in the 1960s.

The son of a lawyer and landowner, Thomas Stephen Szasz was born on April 15 1920 in Budapest. As a schoolboy he played chess and bridge, and at the Royal Hungarian Training Institute he added tennis and ping-pong to his repertoire. Then, in 1938, his family moved to the United States, and he read Physics at the University of Cincinnati (where his uncle, Otto Szasz, taught mathematics) before continuing his studies at the university’s medical school.

Szasz was an intern at Boston City Hospital, and in 1945 took up a post at Cincinnati General Hospital. The next year he moved to Chicago, where he trained in psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

For six years he worked at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and ran his own private practice before being called up in 1954 to serve with the Medical Corps of the United States Naval Reserve at Bethesda, Maryland. He then joined the SUNY Health Science Center.

He received many awards, including the Alfred R Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship and Writing from the Drug Policy Foundation; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute for Public Service; and the Rollo May Award from the American Psychological Association. He also gave his name to the Thomas S Szasz Award for Civil Liberties.

Thomas Szasz married, in 1951, Rosine Loshkajian. She died in 1971, and he is survived by their two daughters.

Dr Thomas Szasz, born April 15 1920, died September 8 2012


Just "The Good Ole' Boys" - Kansas Judges - Appeals Court Upholds Kansas Judicial "Merit" Selection --- "WHAT?''


Read story here:
Kansas Judicial System - Case Managers - Court Whores : Kansas Judges - The 'Merit' Selection - The "Good Ole Boys"

Kansas Judges - The 'Merit' Selection - The "Good Ole Boys"

"To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism." — G. Edward Griffin

Appeals Court Upholds Kansas Judicial Selection --- "WHAT?'' 2012 Sept. 14th - Kansas Judicial "Merit" System Upheld By the Good Ole Boys' - the unpublished opinion -


Comments on Kansas Case Manager Guidelines 2012


From: angelfury@live.com
To: thompsona@kscourts.org
Subject: Comments on Case Manager Guidelines 2012
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 13:50:54 -0500

Comments Below Submitted with permission of Liz Kates


Claudine Dombrowski

Just 'another' Kansas Case Management - (non) Success Story, one family - 3 generations ruined and counting  - *ker-ching* 




PARENTING COORDINATION issues - pros and cons Parenting Coordination is a Bad Idea.   Why:

Let's start with the problems with parenting coordination that every lawyer knows: inappropriate delegation of the judicial function, impediment to court access, and denial of due process. And so on...

The parenting coordinator concept encroaches on family liberty interests, bringing the government behind the closed doors of people's lives, injecting into the private realm a third party who is not in any way more capable than either of the parents are to make day-to-day decisions about their own families, values, and goals.

Parenting coordination is a made-up, make-work field that has been invented by bottom-feeding extraneous "professionals" who have literally reproduced like bacteria in the family court system.

There are no studies indicating that parenting coordinators make good decisions, improve the lives of children or parents, or improve child wellbeing. And, there is no reason to believe they would.

What qualifies a person to make personal family and childrearing decisions for other people -- what physician a child should go to, what school, other academic decisions, what extracurricular activities a child should participate in, family routines and scheduling decisions, seating decisions at the bar mitzvah or soccer game, and so forth? What qualifies a person unilaterally to interpret a court order, or "fill in the gaps" in the details of a legal document, a "parenting plan" (a violation of freedom of contract)? What qualifies a person to do "parenting coordination" to "help other persons implement" a legal contract (marital settlement agreement), as a supposed neutral?


What constitutes "success" at parenting coordination? Who knows. To the parenting coordinator, perhaps getting a nice fee.

To a judge, perhaps that he thinks he's eliminating work, clearing his docket, or just putting off disputes to another day, or another judge. If a judge thinks this is good for the court system, he's mistaken, because parenting coordination will make the congestion worse in the long run. While the parties are being denied immediate access to the judge, the presence of a parenting coordinator counterproductively requires that the door be left continuously open in the case, generating additional issues. The parenting coordinator's ideas introduced into the case, the minutiae that now has a forum, and the inevitable iatrogenic problems virtually guarantee that this is a short-sighted nonsolution to court congestion. Some of these issues may or may not be immediately apparent, and may even avoid detection in short-term surveys of pilot projects (assuming such studies otherwise are methodologically sound, which is unlikely.) The problems nevertheless are foreseeable. And relieving court congestion by hindering litigants' access to court (without regard to whether this is beneficial to families) is, in any event, of dubious validity as a rationale for the denial of due process.

So if relief of court congestion isn't a measure of success in parenting coordination practice, then what is? To one of the parties, that he or she now has an ally? That one of the parties is happy? Parenting coordination advocates of late have been busily setting about to create satisfaction surveys (not unlike the self-serving "evidence" that we saw upon the implementation of mandatory parenting class programs). But that a given litigant is satisfied would not be an indication of success at all unless we know with certainty that that party generally has the more meritable position. It might well be an indication of the complete breakdown of justice. Just as with the parenting class and court docket faux research, we also would have to discount these on studies based on lack of credibility because of $elf-$erving corruption, as well as unintended bias that is built in because of non-random subject selection, unwarranted optimism, self-reporting respondents' fears that negative comments could come back against them, and other methodological problems.

How about an objective measure of success, such as increased family well-being? How is this possible when people are burdened with tasks and negotiations and meddlesome reportings of the details of their days to third parties, when their time and money is consumed, pointlessly, when their privacy is intruded upon by the government like this, and when they are forced to kow-tow to the dictates of a court-appointed, decision-making autocrat in every area of their most intimate lives? It's not.

Are there better child-rearing outcomes? As compared with what? Defined how? And if not, what the heck are we supposedly doing here? Under any definition, increased child wellbeing has not been shown to flow from any of the ideas of applied therapeutic jurisprudence, i.e. trade promotion, in the family courts. (In fact, increased well-being in the population generally has not been demonstrated by any research from the burgeoning of psychological interventions and therapies over the decades.)

Just as with custody evaluators and guardians ad litem, and even to a large extent, the practice of mediation, there is no way to do any decent studies in this area. Benefit is not even apparent informally across demographic groups. Don't fall for self-serving industry articles spinning speculation. Research will never demonstrate any benefits from many of these ideas, including parenting coordination, because credible studies simply cannot be done. Even, inappropriately, after the fact. (If you don't understand why, contact me privately and I will direct you to material on social science versus science, experimental methodology, logic, and how to do critical reading and thinking and not be such a credulous patsy.)

The parenting coordination concept is an infection that causes all of the problems that custody evaluators and GALs bring into the family court system, and then some. Again, what qualifies a third-party stranger parenting coordinator to make daily family life decisions for other people? Nothing. And nothing ever will. Many of these kinds of decisions are made based on a free individual's own private life, relationships, desires, work needs, schedule, and personal values, beliefs and goals. The parenting coordinator makes decisions based on the parenting coordinator's own private agendas, preferences, motives, work needs, values, beliefs and goals -- and which party the parenting coordinator just happens to like better (which already is the unfortunate but real basis for most of custody evaluator and guardian ad litem opinings). The decision-making is based on, inter alia, intangible personality things as well tangibles such as who likes them and pays them timely and well.

Many, if not most, lawyer parenting coordinators as well as many mental health professionals, notwithstanding their ostensible "training", completely lack psychological insight. That's because it's not a function of academic training. Parenting coordination also is not "co-parenting therapy" (which rarely works anyway -- witness all the mental health professionals lobbying, writing, organizing, promoting, bucking for the authority to be mini-judges and dictators in a "parenting coordination" role.) Most mental health professionals also lack a clue regarding the repercussions in law of their ideas (a more obvious deficit, since they are probably not lawyers), yet these are people supposedly interpreting and "filling in the gaps" in legal documents!

The primary reason there is no valid "training" to be had is that there is no body of expertise, no foundation of knowledge, upon which to base any such training. It's... all just made up. Maybe they're smart? Well, not versus all possible litigants by a long shot, and no stranger will understand the daily life and routines, family members' needs and personalities, the interactions going on in someone else's household or the effects of their ideas in practice unless they actually spend considerable time in that household. Which, of course, they don't.

To go back to the court congestion problem that is moving the legislatures and courts to embrace the parenting coordination lobbyists' arguments: parenting coordination provides a forum for the arguing of minutiae that, in the absence of a parenting coordinator, the parties would have to work out, and learn to work out, on their own, or just let go. In other words, it addresses issues that wouldn't be there in the first place! It cannot prevent the litigation of issues that aren't within the purvue of the parenting coordinator to begin with, but still must be addressed by a judge. With regard to these other issues, however, when the parenting coordinator makes a bad decision, or oversteps authority, simply because this was the decision of a third party, that opens the door to the courthouse for matters that otherwise would not have had a forum, or would not have existed at all. The very presence of a parenting coordinator, like an uber-parent for the parents, itself creates opportunity for petty squabbling, encouraging it because, ironically, just like a misguided inept parent, the third party (getting paid for his time) is ready and available to intervene in all manner of disputes, thus retarding rather than encouraging growth and cooperation. Conflict is something that harms children. 

Parenting coordination creates its own conflicts. And it not only encourages new conflicts, but creates a number of other foreseeable harms.

Parenting coordination is expensive, even at hourly rates less than the ordinary rates charged by these professionals when they do real work. This is so because the cost is for extra work, on top of the lawyers and litigation expenses the parties still have to maintain; the parenting coordination process actually does not eliminate any of this. Rather, it adds on additional professional expenses to handle minutiae that otherwise would not be creating expense. Ultimately, it's very expensive because any expense that does not yield something of equivalent value is a waste of money. Moreover, having a parenting coordinator at the ready permits one party to spend the other's funds by unilaterally contacting and choosing to bring issues before the parenting coordinator. Generally, both parties have to pay a portion of the parenting coordinator's fees; usually these are divided 50-50, and timely payment of the parenting coordinator's fees also becomes a matter of high concern for the parenting coordinator, adding that issue into the case.

Once appointed, the parenting coordinator has absolutely no incentive to work himself or herself out of a job. The potential amount of work is open-ended and in large part able to be self-generated by the parenting coordinator. The schedule is flexible and the royalties can go on indefinitely, until the parenting coordinator is removed (but not "for cause" because this would have to be based on criteria of success that largely is unable to be established). (How nice for the parenting coordinator.)

Frequent and typical make-work by the parenting coordinator includes forcing people to include the parenting coordinator in all communications and emails, provide the parenting coordinator in advance with parents' and children's schedules and activities, meet at the whim of the parenting coordinator, provide the parenting coordinator with school documents and medical records, and the like. Churn, churn, churn, duplicate, churn...

Parenting coordination intrudes on privacy. Among other things, parenting coordination permits the state via a state-appointed agent to demand information and details about people's lives that then can be brought back into court by the opposing party, effectively becoming ongoing compelled government discovery, contrary to the Fourth Amendment.

Individuals who choose to do this "work", to become parenting coordinators, are the equivalent of paid yentas and neighborhood meddlers. They tend to be individuals who cannot make a go of practicing the profession for which they were ostensibly educated and licensed -- the incompetent, the inexperienced, the nincompoops, the untalented, the lazy and/or the burnt-out. A good number have ulterior agendas, conscious and subconscious, either political agendas, or agendas of the psychologically issued psychic vampire or petty tyrant variety. Many parenting coordinators have axes to grind and strongly held personal beliefs about how other people's lives should work, what constitutes "fairness", fathers' or mothers' rights, parental values and roles, and so forth, as well as a need to re-visit, re-live and normalize their own family-of-origin issues.

A big draw for doing parenting coordination work is, of course, that while parenting coordination promoters tout the "lower cost", meaning that they are willing to settle for lower fees per hour for this work rather than their other work, the work itself is relatively brainless. And it's unregulated and practicably unable to be regulated. There is no efficient or effective oversight. Being unregulated means that there is no recourse against the parenting coordinator for malfeasance or malpractice. For good measure, as added insurance against malfeasance, many, if not most parenting coordinators require the parties to sign various consents and waivers of liability. Some statutes and procedural rules have formalized the lack of accountability as well. (How nice for the parenting coordinator.)

If you've heard argument otherwise, that the field was chosen in order to "help" (dictate to other) people, or because they were "frustrated" as lawyers or psychologists or mediators in not being able to "help" (dictate to other) people, then given the relatively lower (albeit no-overhead) hourly fees charged for parenting coordination, ask how much unpaid voluntary work the person has done. Query why this ostensible advice-giving do-gooderism wasn't just done through their church, or a community charity agency, and offered to all-comers in their avocational spare time on a no-obligation basis, while in their regular working time, they just continue to practice the profession for which they actually were trained and licensed. That's how good samaritans and persons with kindly, charitable intent usually "help" when that's the actual motive and they already have a real profession to practice in the family court field.

The nature of the function as designed enables parenting coordinators to churn money by insisting on all manner of crap that involves them, under circumstances in which their decisions cannot be second-guessed, even by a judge. The parenting coordinator's "work" cannot conveniently be reviewed by a judge because the "proceedings" with a parenting coordinator are informal, undocumented, and outside of the court and due process. In many jurisdictions, the parenting coordination practice essentially is professed to be "confidential except when it's not." (More on this, below.) Also, there is no criteria of "success", no standard of satisfactory practice. All fuzzy. If and to the extent acts or omissions of the parenting coordinator are contested, no matter what occurs, the parenting coordinator simply can "remember" conversations and events differently from the way they really happened. If contested, the parenting coordinator also can -- and will -- employ the ready CYA alibis of "high conflict custody case" and one parent's ostensible irrationality or prevarication.

Many of the lawyers, mental health professionals, and erstwhile mediators and guardians ad litem who want to do parenting coordination have no actual experience themselves as parents, let alone as caregiving parents, let alone as single parents -- or with blended family issues, or with children with particular issues, or in "shared parenting" or divorced situations. Some do, and as noted, more often than not, they are normalizing their own issues. These advice-givers do not necessarily hail themselves from successful well-functioning families. Parenting coordinators bring to their job their personal opinions and values and speculations founded on their unknown personal backgrounds, including some of the most dysfunctional (and undisclosed) personal familial histories, and implement their personal and political agendas. They are the antithesis of "wise persons", who generally are not found among neighborhood gossips or those who relish involving themselves in the mundane details of other people's lives.

Time spent with the parenting coordinator, where not catering to the dysfunctional weak or abusive litigants who are hoping for support or a sounding board is tedious and time-consuming for the parents. The same timewasting, of course, represents a ca-ching in the bank account of the parenting coordinator, which encourages plodding and more time-wasting meetings and talkings. (Meanwhile, the litigant fantasy of having a parenting coordinator "on the case" as an ally will end quickly when the selected parenting coordinator in this crapshoot aligns with the other parent.)

Parents are placed at the whim of all kinds of arbitrary demands made by the parenting coordinator, including for the payment for their time, which is largely in the control of the parenting coordinator and possibly the other party. (This applies, to a great extent, as well, to various court-appointed therapists and GALs). Given the presence of the parenting coordinator, and the payment incentive, every decision, no matter how petty or absurd, is open for endless discussion and rumination. In addition to being time-consuming, this is a delight for stalker-harasser abusive types, as well as those who just won't let go of the other party.

The parenting coordinator can think up all kinds of activities to do and with which to require the parents to comply: pseudo-therapy (unregulated of course by the licensing boards because it's "not really" therapy, and it's "not really" law); "communications counseling"; "coaching"; reading of materials; various "educational" homework assignments; meetings with one or the other of the parties, meetings together, meetings with various combinations of others; demands for disclosure, frequently in writing, of private thoughts, emotions, and information; consultations and strategy sessions with the children's guardian ad litem and parents' court-ordered or parenting coordinator-ordered therapists; meetings with the children's physicians and teachers; meetings with anyone at all; ordering of a parent into supervised visitation or therapeutic visitation; recommending to the court therapies of all kinds with yet more of the helping professionals -- almost anything. Confidentiality? That's a pipe dream. It's only "confidential" when that suits the parenting coordinator, and there's a court issue. But under the pretext of having to gather information, the PC has authority to yammer to pretty much everyone in the community. And if a parent doesn't comply, there are sanctions, imposed both by the parenting coordinator and the court for "noncompliance".

Does this not strike you as an outrageous and unconstitutional denigration of the First Amendment freedom of speech and association, Fourth and Fifth Amendment privacy rights, and the fundamental parental rights of perfectly fit parents, as to whom the state would be unable to file a dependency action and remove their children to foster care? Free, competent individuals are entitled voluntarily to subject themselves to private judges and arbitrators, of course. But why would any informed and reasonably intelligent individual who is not under duress and coercion, ever agree to living with one who cannot be appealed, discharged, or limited to issues brought before him? Answer: they wouldn't. Either these litigants were not properly informed (in any number of ways), or they indeed were under inappropriate coercion of some kind that rendered their consent essentially involuntary.

How-to techniques for would-be parenting coordinators in this newly invented "profession" consist of almost anything the parenting coordinator might dream up, sprinkled with suggestions and teachings borrowed from law, psychology, mediation and other practices, as well as fantasies from other imaginative self-styled professional parenting coordinators in the recent explosion of manuals, books and trade-promotion "trainings". (Until enough fools sign on for this cock-'n-bull to fill a workweek, for the ambitious, there's still money that can be earned professing to be a mavin).

Parenting coordination "training" materials comprise mostly stuff plucked from the asses of their inventors.

Doubt me? Read some of it. Parenting coordination methodology includes such things as ordering people how to talk with each other ("use my template"), ordering parents in what method they may or must talk with each other ("email only, and you must copy me"), and even uttering orders to parents regarding when or whether they must or may not meet and/or communicate with each other, with the parenting coordinator, with the court or their own lawyer, and with other people such as extended family, all in astonishing violation of fundamental constitutional rights. To facilitate all of this, parenting coordination orders, agreements, "voluntary" consents, "understandings" and intake forms generally require the parents to sign away all manner of these constitutional rights -- in what is, essentially, a busybody's lucrative wetdream.

As previously noted, having a parenting coordinator on a case keeps the case continuously open and invites it to explode into endless issue-making, rather than being finally resolved, and in doing so, actually creates more, not fewer, problems for both the litigants and the courts. Sometimes a case does appear to resolve, but all too often that is only because the financially or emotionally weaker party, or the party unfavored by the parenting coordinator, just gives up in defeat, beaten away by the constant undercurrent threat of litigation, the harassment, and the need to avoid continuing costs.

(If judges' goals here are to get people to just shut up and go away, we could eliminate all of the docket problems in the civil courts and achieve equally fine results just by closing the courts altogether.)

Parenting coordination, the latest of the therapeutic jurisprudential ideas, is dangerous, and not merely because of the distortion it makes in the judicial system and of due process. In recent years there has been a burgeoning of child abuse and deaths stemming from child custody disputes in which abusive individuals get custody and visitation rights, correlating with the rise of joint custody theory and the intrusion into the family courts of therapeutic jurisprudence. Unqualified strangers can and will make bad decisions that simply cannot timely be brought to court, cannot effectively be reviewed by the court, or which are prohibitively expensive to bring to court. Parenting coordinators have missed domestic violence. Conversely, in one Florida appellate case, a parenting coordinator wrongly claimed that domestic violence had occured when it hadn't, prompting an emergency change of custody. Parenting coordinators have assumed facts that are not true. They have perceived emergencies or situations incorrectly. They have mischaracterized events and made egregious judgmental mistakes. They have lied outright. See the cases. The concept is dangerous because parenting coordinators are not and practicably cannot be subject to any effective oversight. Each case is different, there are no studies, there is no body of knowlege, there is no methodology, there are no licenses, there are and can be no effective regulations, there are no actual practice parameters other than aspirational sound-goods, such as "be neutral", there are no definitions of a successful outcome, and it's all vague nonsense or worse.

Depending on the vagaries of the practice from time to time in this or that jurisdiction, parenting coordinators effectively have license to wield heavy authority and extremely biased power, opining back to and influencing judges, bringing issues into the public domain that do not belong there and which were not brought into the case by either party, siding with one party unfairly (even developing personal relationships with one of the parties), and recommending or just ordering the parents to hire the parenting coordinator's own cronies for therapies and guardianships and evaluations. It's a recipe for more corruption and an insult to the rule of law.

Parenting coordinators can -- and do -- violate the terms of parties' contractual agreements as well as the law. Lobbyists for statutory implementation of this role have argued, speciously, that oversight does indeed exist because, well, "if the parties are not happy, they can always go back to court". But real life doesn't work that way, and it especially does not work that way under these circumstances. "If you don't like it, then take it to court" is a dare that can be thrown out cavalierly, because the parenting coordinator role permits these court appointees to hold over the head of objecting parties the power -- baselessly presumed to be executed in good faith -- to obtain the ear of the judge first, and to poison the well. They also hold more credibility before before the judge than those lunatic, bitter, embattled, unreasonable, "high-conflict", personality-disordered parents. They can and do function as shadow witnesses ex parte, to provide the judge (directly as well as indirectly through guardians ad litem, other witnesses, and even via support to one of the parties) with information, evidence and innuendo. Their inexpert opinions can and frequently will label one of the parties as the recalcitrant, the wrongdoer, the deadbeat, the crazy, or the "uncooperative" one.

So "take it to the judge" does not work, particularly post-decree, when a party may be short of time or funds, or may no longer even have a lawyer. And it does not work because in many courts, days or weeks, or months may go by before a party can get a hearing. And it does not work because an objecting party has to overcome not only the parenting coordinator but also the opposing party -- being out-voted from the git-go, two against one, a problem also inherent in the family court guardian ad litem role, but potentially even worse in this instance because the parenting coordinator solicits support from the guardian ad litem, the appointed therapists, and the rest of the courthouse cronies. And it does not work because "going back to court" means risking the irritation of the judge who appointed the parenting coordinator in the first place precisely because he didn't want to hear about it. There is no oversight.

Difficult to remove in any event once appointed, the parenting coordinator is even more difficult to remove when he or she is biased (and that's a better than even bet, given the nature of ongoing informal relationships with people, especially where there is money at stake, and especially given who is drawn to this line of work). Bias should be one of the grounds that immediately would mandate removal of a parenting coordinator, but it also means that the parenting coordinator will be vested in preserving his own aura of competence and neutrality (as well as current and future income stream), all the while being validated by the party with whom he is aligned. Moreover, how does a party prove "bias" when the ubiquitous explanation is that the "disgruntled" party who didn't get his or her way always makes this claim of "bias".

There is no way to tell in advance who might be a "good" or "helpful" parenting coordinator. Families differ, circumstances differ, and personalities differ. To parties disputing this, or buying into a sell-job from some mental health professional, mediator, or burnt-out lawyer, I would ask: how great were you in deciding in advance who to marry, or with whom to have a child. What makes you believe that the third party who wants this easy work will be a second voice on "your" side?

In the inane insistence that "both" parents "participate" in making decisions regarding the child, in order to avoid stalemate, parenting coordination is the tool for unworkable custody and timeshare arrangements, notably joint custody, which removes from BOTH parents the right to function with authority and automony. A big flaw in the concept of joint custody is that, instead of having at least one functional parent, the joint custody child now has two ineffective half-parents who may not function except in tandem, and ironically they are typically the kind of parents least able to pull this off. With a parenting coordinator or guardian ad litem added into the mix, the child does not even have that, because instead of two half-parents sharing an undivided fundamental parental liberty interest, the child has half-parents who report to a parenting boss. It's involvement by the state in the complete absence of any actual threat to the child that ordinarily would justify state intrusion like this.

One should counter: if a third party stranger, based upon no established field of expertise whatsoever, is supposedly qualified to make and facilitate decisions impacting other people's family lives, something that is not even usually encouraged in clinical therapy, then why is not the better solution just to assign that authority to one of the parents? The spheres of decision-making authority can be allocated too. It would be easier, cheaper, quicker, and done. And at least then the child would have one real and functional authoritative parent, something that IS demonstrably evidenced in the research to be necessary for child security and well-being.

While the rhetoric is rampant that parents are less likely or unlikely to consider their children before themselves in their decision-making when they are embattled in divorce and post-divorce issues, no research actually substantiates this concocted rationale.

The rationale first was invented by psych trade groups to lobby state legislatures for guardians ad litem in family law cases, and later was used to justify in part the appointment of custody evaluators. It's become yet another family court system truism without a shred of foundation. The anecdotal claims (if you even get that much, get any anecdotes) of individuals who have a political or profit motive, peddling their services to the market, are just not credible, especially as to historic primary caregivers. No one is as interested in or vested in their own children's happiness and wellbeing as the child's own parent, or, if you must, as between two parents, than the one who already has shown higher attachment and commitment.

Parenting coordination stands as proof positive that something is very, very wrong with the substantive direction of child custody law in recent years. As more and more mental health professionals stream into the court system, get involved in bar associations, and encourage lawyers to mix it up in "multidisciplinary" organizations, the substantive laws are getting worse. The problems consequently are getting worse. The solutions for the iatrogenic problems caused by these therapeutic interventions are more and more of them. That's dysfunctional. That cure is "hair of the dog that bit you" and goodgod, the "science" of the psychological experts is about as valid. There's a better solution. You should know what that is by now. Just Say No.

Comments Submitted with permission of Liz Kates


Claudine Dombrowski

Just 'another' Kansas Case Management - (non) Success Story, one family - 3 generations ruined and counting - *ker-ching*