In following the evolution of our child custody and child protection laws and cases over the last several decades beginning with the creation of Child Protective Services and Modale Act of 1974, the creation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1984; the Elizabeth Morgan case starting in 1987; the McMartin Preschool Trials of 1987 to 1990; the Faye Yager Trial of 1992 and our countries movement by all states away from maternal custody/visitation by the father to the presumption of equal shared parenting and joint physical custody. In other words, on child protection system has made great strides to get to where we are today.
Then I come across some group or organization trying to turn back the clock to the days of maternal custody and ignite a gender war using horrific rhetoric and propaganda. One such organization is The Leadership Council whom last year published a horrific claim stating that more than 58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following a divorce. In arriving at that statistic, they used some some questionable math as well as assumptions (see link below). The author, Joyanna Silberg PHD, Executive VP of The Leadership Council is a well known “protective parent” or extremist in her views in this area. Her assumptions, there are 13% allegations of child and abuse or severe domestic violence in custody case in America, 60% of the cases is her estimate of the valid cases and 75 percent of the children are not supervised. That said, embedded in her numbers are the custody cases that were supervised in the 13% because there is no current research on that data which would put the actual number much, much lower despite her overzealous estimates. Also, the 60% and the 70% are gather from an Australian study of 200 families and alleged radical Social Work Professor Kathleen Colborn Faller, Ph.D of the University of Michigan (I once heard that she believed that custodial fathers are more likely to be abusive since the mother in absent from the household.) Furthermore, in reviewing the list of Executive Officers of this organization, you will find some of the original members of APSAC and the attendees of the San Diego Child Abuse Protection Conference that are sometimes allegedly blamed for the McMartin Preschool incident as well as those that supported the Faye Yager and Elizabeth Morgan causes or the beginning of the Child Abuse and Divorce Industries. Paul J. Fink, MD, Toby Kleiman, Esq, Richard Ducote, JD, Seth L. Goldstein, JD, Geraldine Stahly, PhD and Joan Zorza JD to name a few. These are the professionals in the Divorce Industry that will profit from an escalation of divorce trials and custody disputes when parents don’t want to accept the moving trend toward joint custody and I am appalled to see them publishing self-serving statistics.
Then there is Kathleen Russell, with her psychology degree that is not afraid to accuse a the father and grandfather of Jonea Roger’s child of being alleged pedophiles simply because hair stylist Jonea Rogers said so and ignoring the evaluation and opinions of some very admired family law professionals, judges and child protection workers in Marin County. Furthermore, the promotion of any bill that would outlaw Parental Alienation Syndrome in State Family Courts (Assemblyman Jim Beall (D) of San Jose) and a bill by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D) of San Francisco that would give children a voice in family court proceedings and potentially allow lawyers to deposition young children (remember the Kee McFarlane, the puppet lady in the McMartin Preschool case). is ever more egregious.
Shame on the Christian Science Monitor for printing Kathleen Russell’s Opinion Story! It’s not opinion it’s gender racism that belongs with literature by the Klu Klux Klan many, many years ago.