Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Are We Missing Admist All The Recent Corruption in Massachusetts

The recent trial of Chief Probation Officer John O'Brien and two of his colleagues who were charge with fraud and racketeering for allegedly running a rigged hiring and promotion scheme
is very disturbing beyond what is painted to the public on the surface.
 
Because of what is exposed and who's who who are involved, one has to question the overlap of the ongoing bias, bribery, or abuse in family court cases involving child custody and abuse. Where do we draw the line? How many more children in the end and families are going to get hurt before the BIGGER picture is addressed. This trial has a very fowl odor and presents more like a smoke screen for a bigger systemic corruption problem. Gee political hires with drug abuse issues, political patronage, bribery, fraud, racketeering, and really at the hands of our elected officials.
 
To back some of those concerns and questions are the who's who testifying. The current head Chief Justice of Plymouth/Brockton Family Courts, Judge Catherine Sebatis, is the latest Massachusetts Official who was granted IMMUNITY in exchange for her testimony in the ongoing widespread probation department corruption case.
 
The list of officials to testify in exchange for IMMUNITY is large with over 60 witnesses. That rampant immunity deals of high ranking political officials and officers of the court is enough to raise a red flag as to the real source of corruption. 
 
One has to scratch your head and wonder why there isn't there MORE media attention or federal investigation on this widespread corruption especially when considering recent events including:
  • The murder of Jennifer Martel by Remy in a systemic failure in this domestic violence case. 
  • The recent DCF investigation involving the death of four children in custody of DCF over a period of six months.
  • Questionable foster parents with violent backgrounds.
  • The recent appointment of an unqualified individual by Governor Deval Patrick to run DCF whose experience is as a lawyer who ran the Registry of Motor Vehicles. What does a Registry of Motor Vehicles lawyer know about DCF or social service?
  • The gross injustice in the recent Justina Pellitier Case. You can follow this case on facebook
  • Then what just seems to get lost in the shuffle as well are the 58,000 children legally stolen from protective parents every year in this country. Usually money has a big role in these cases as well as discrimination if you do not have the funds to pay these court officials
  • I personally even know of a protective parent who was incarcerated for 7 months for failing to pay $5,000 legal bill.
With all this scandel in the last couple months involving corruption, blatent disregard for victims, and other systemic failures, one has to wonder why Governor Deval Patrick has not been investigated or impeached? This NEEDS to be followed because it affects EVERY domestic violence, custody, abuse related cases in Massachusetts.
 
What raises a bigger concern is the role the Probation Department played in money schemes and favors. According to WBUR, "Former Top Aide Says Probation Department Hired Politically Connected - "The federal government says O’Brien and two former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke, doled out jobs to the friends, family and constituents of state legislators in exchange for influence on Beacon Hill." Prosecutors say the patronage itself was not illegal. But they contend that an elaborate cover-up — involving sham interviews for competing job candidates with little chance of being hired — amounts to fraud."
 
How many of these individuals were also court appointed supervisors who are typically a state worker who moonlight as a supervisor being paid cash of unreported income (nothing less that court licensed tax evasion) or appointed GAL? Families are denied receipts or other information to put on their tax returns, and if received are heavily intimidated by family court judges and probation officers. As far as the GAL, many are unqualified yet appointed to investigate such things as child abuse and domestic violence at exorbitant rates of $300-500 an hour. For instance, Harry Somers was ordered to investigate domestic violence yet lacked the very credentials to do so, and as a result, the protective parent lost custody.
 
Massachusetts judges are appointed by a Governor and many lawyers, advocacy groups, law organizations are resistant to taking on family court judges and corruption because it is deemed a "lawless court" for good reason. Some lawyers in Massachusetts have been disbarred for reporting judges despite obligations to do so and despite having those judges removed.
 
In my blog, 24yrs Later: Massachusetts Family Courts STILL Fail Abuse Victims More Than Ever, I cite the last 24 years of research on family courts, corruption, and needs to fix a broken system. What we are experiencing in Massachusetts is gross corruption by top officials at the expense of our children. By ignoring these abuses, the end result cost to the taxpayer is in the TRILLIONS of DOLLARS.  
 
Local officials, judges among potential witnesses in corruption trial of former probation commissioner John J. O'Brien and two of his top aides is frightening.  The three are accused of running a hiring system that favored candidates sponsored by state legislators over more qualified ones in exchange for favorable budget appropriations. What I find most disturbing is how many high ranking state officials, judges, and politicians were called to testify and all granted FULL IMMUNITY for their testimony. Am I missing something here?
 
The U.S. Attorney prosecuting this case is Carmen Ortiz.  The list of officials to testify include:
  • Democratic Congressman Bill Keating
  • State Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford
  • State Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton
  • Retired Bristol County Probate Judge Elizabeth LaStaiti
  • Plymouth County Probate Judge Catherine Sabaitis
  • Fall River District Court Judge Gilbert Nadeau
  • Robert Kane, Superior Court justice from Dartmouth.
  • Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Bettina Borders.
  • House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo
  • Former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi,
  • Senate President Therese Murray
  • Attorney General Martha Coakley,
  • U.S. Sen. Edward Markey,
  • Former state and U.S. Sen. Scott Brown
  • Boston Mayor Martin Walsh
  • Former Probation Officer Michael LeFranc
Question??? What does this trial have to do with custody, domestic violence and family court?
If those that are appointed we're done so fraudulently, then the money trail does not end with former probation officer O' Brian and his two colleagues. When you have court appointed supervisors getting paid cash under the table and forcing financially strapped safe protective parents with no safety concerns to pay for supervised visits with their children as well as well as court appointed guardian at litems,  one must question the system.
 
For example Judge James Menno was the keynote speaker for the Fatherhood collision for incarcerated fathers out of Plymouth County Jail June 2007 on how to get custody and visitation of their children.  The state of Massachusetts paid for the story which cited fathers who were released from prison less than two weeks from prison to gain full legal and physical custody of their children after being incarcerated for manufacturing and drug distribution of methamphetamines.
 
Some key facts to consider. Is there a link to this current trial?
  • This program was headed up by the Plymouth County Probation Department. 
  • Probation Officer Michael LeFranc who testified last week under IMMUNITY was part of the same Plymouth probation department with reports of discrimination against victims of domestic violence in child custody cases in the Plymouth Brockton Family Courts.
  • I have been persecuted with huge retaliations by Plymouth Brockton family court judges for  questioning and investigating the role of the probation department in child custody and domestic violence cases in family courts. 3 weeks after I made a series of phone calls to the Plymouth County Probation department,  I was subsequently incarcerated shut me up and hinder my ability to look into this further. It has also cost me my ability not seeing my children for almost 7 years as a result.
  • Judge Catherine Sebatis is the Chief Justice of the Plymouth and Brockton Family Court who recently testified in this trial under full IMMUNITY.  Judge Sebatis is Judge Menno's boss.
One has to question is the Family Court and the probation department   abusing their power to extort extra money from the everyday person to secure jobs and under the table cash income for their friends, constituents, and colleagues at the expense of the taxpayers and children. One wonders if any of these actions and legal tax evasion and other frauds constitute any violation of the Constitution of Massachusetts or the US Constitution. At the end of the day, what role does Governor Deval Patrick have in all of this?

UPDATE: The trio was found GUILTY of conspiracy and racketeering scam on July 25, 2014. Former Probation Officer, John O’Brien’s wife was screaming in the courtroom that “the government is corrupt” and fainted in the courtroom. 

However, corruptions of higher government officials still escapes.
"Federal prosecutors had their chance to chip away at corruption under the Golden Dome, but for some reason — a lack of evidence, unwilling witnesses or indicted bureaucrats refusing to drop a dime — they didn’t.
Now, with John J. O’Brien and his two top lieutenants facing serious time behind bars, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz can try to strong-arm the disgraced probation trio into spilling the beans on high-ranking pols, but that ship has likely sailed, according to a number of top Bay State attorneys." ( Boston Herald, July 25, 2014)

For example, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo acknowledged how his role in this trial has scarred his reputation. DeLeo was one of the few who was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony. He has not been charged criminally and he has no plans to step down from the House’s top spot following the guilty verdicts.

What is Ortiz going to do about the corruption in family courts?
 
Other articles worth reading:
Judge James V. Menno Keynote Speaker for Fatherhood Group for Incarcerated Fathers in How to Gain Visitation and CUSTODY http://massachusettsfamilycourtjustice.blogspot.com/2013/02/judge-james-v-menno-keynote-speaker-for.html
 
Judge James Menno's Recusal in a Domestic Abuse / Custody Case ADMITTING Bias http://massachusettsfamilycourtjustice.blogspot.com/2013/02/judge-james-mennos-recusal-in-domestic.html
 
 
 
Judges That Have Committed Judicial Misconduct Outside Of Rhode Island - Sebatis
http://www.caught.net/caught/brewster.htm
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

24yrs Later: Massachusetts Family Courts STILL Fail Abuse Victims More Than Ever

The United States is in current dire economic crisis with the worst economy since the Great Depression. Yet, by society and our government repeatedly ignoring the 24yrs worth of statistics with same or worsening results, taxpayers currently spend over one trillion dollars on health care, crime and economic loss annually as a result of domestic violence with an additional estimated cost of $8-10,000,000 BILLION in frivolous legal abuse by our family courts.

At first I thought how can this be happening to me when I sought protections from abuse from our Massachusetts system and how it not only failed me but the rampant corruption is unfathomable.  I spent years trying to figure out what I did so wrong to deserve this punishment and curse at the hands of family court.  I was a dedicated business woman who owned my own business that my now ex-husband runs and owns. I bought my first house at the age of 19 and put myself thought college. I was active in the school systems, 4-H programs and girl scouts with my children. I was an avid volunteer and committee member for a local hospice organization. I was the chair of a local business networking organization and principle organizer for the annual neighborhood block party.  I even not only raised three children as primary caretaker, but one seriously ill early in her life while maintaining a business,  household, and her dire medical needs. 
 
After I sought protections from abuse, the pictures and victim witness statements disappeared out the Plympton police department with NO recourse for the admitted "police misconduct". I was subsequently charged FOUR times for forgery, larceny, and uttering of a false check by my abuser on a house that legally belonged to me with funds that legally belonged to me. One of those times I was arraigned without my rights to fair due process. It was later discovered that the first complaint was copied. Dates changed. Docket number changed. Ironically, approximately 30 days after I was at the Attorney General's Office (who declined to help btw) the head criminal clerk who altered these documents resigned. I lost everything I owned and became homeless at the age of 38 after living in a $450k colonial home with an oversized double garage, oversized dry basement,   2 acres of land, inground pool driving the new minivan and bmw 7-series. Sounds like the American dream right?


I lost custody on a bogus ex-parted motion by my ex who falsified evidence and perjured his rear off with no ramifications or justice to my children despite previous restraining orders, medical reports and letters, police reports and DCF records documenting the history of abuse. AND the list can go on with the ongoing abuses perpetrated upon me, my children and my family with NO accountability but that would be for another blog.
 
After being so disheartened at the gross injustices, legal abuse, stalking and harassment, I was approached one day by another mother who heard my case to tell me there were countless other domestic violence survivors who are experiencing the same injustices in Massachusetts.  I knew then I was not alone and what happened to me was not anything I did wrong, but a bias system against any person who raises issues around child abuse, sex abuse or domestic abuse in the family courts.
 
This blog is a DETAILED account of the current family court system in Massachusetts summarizing research in Massachusetts over the last 24 years since the Gender Bias Study of Massachusetts Courts in 1990.


The statistical information, data and numbers can not be ignored.


We think we have a health care and economic problem now?


Unless something is done about how family courts render custody to abusers, the economic toll to the tax payer will be devastating. It is time to stop ignoring the issues victims of abuse face every day and start becoming a part of the solution. Whether we realize it or not, by ignoring the problem directly impacts our children, our families, our communities and especially our wallets.
 
“Whenever family courts in America give custody to abusers, or ignore credible evidence of domestic violence or child abuse in making custody decisions, it is a gross injustice. When it happens all across the country and occurs on regular basis, it is a national scandal.” (Nolan & Waller, No Way Out But One, 2012)


Here are some troubling statistics/facts Nationally:

  1. Batterers will gain custody of the children 70-85% of the time in Family Court at record rates and problem is increasing. (Ass. Of Judges) (New England School Of Law, 1990)[i]
  2. Judge Salcido, a former California Family Court Judge, spoke out on the tactics the state of California used to train judges to automatically disqualify any mother’s concerns or allegations of abuse.[ii]
  3. ACE Study backed by CDC[iii] (Kaiser Permanente, 1998-2006) - The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.  Children exposed to domestic violence will suffer more illnesses and injuries throughout their lives and have shorter lives,
  4. The annual health care costs of intimate partner violence are between $333-750 billion.  The higher amount is likely because even in a medical setting patients routinely deny their partner’s abuse for safety and other reasons.[1] (Academy on Violence and Abuse, 2009)
  5. The United States spends over one trillion dollars on health care, crime and economic loss annually as a result of domestic violence.  This is in effect an abuser subsidy.  Best practices based on the Quincy Model would quickly save $500 billion annually of this expense.[2] (Goldstein)
  6. Every year 58,000 children are sent for custody or unprotected visitation with dangerous abusers.[3] (Silberg)
  7. A U. S. Department of Justice study found that the standard and required training for evaluators, judges and lawyers does not provide the necessary domestic violence expertise.  This is the worst possible combination because the professionals do not have the understanding they need of domestic violence, but think they do so fail to consult with genuine experts and make the same mistakes over and over.  This explains why so many true allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are denied.[4] (Saunders, 2011)
In Massachusetts, data has repeatedly shown that Fathers who actively seek custody obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70% of the time” (New England School Of Law, 1990).[iv]  This statistic is the same across the country as documented through various studies by the Department of Justice and the Association of Judges and over the years has shown a drastic increase of custody to fathers to a rate as high as 85%. 

Since the Gender Bias Study has been published in 1990, not much has changed in Massachusetts. Starting with the Gender Bias Study in 1990 to the Fox News Report “Lost In The System” interview with former Family Court Judge Salcido in 2013, billions of dollars are being spent on domestic violence programs in a broken system. The system now compared to 1990 is not much safer if at all for victims especially when confronted with family court judges who routinely discriminate and punish victims and protective parents for trying to protect their children from abuse as you will see.

In 1990, the Gender Bias Study cited other serious concerns in regards to child custody determination in Massachusetts Family Courts. “The presumption in favor of shared legal custody that is currently held by many family service officers can result in the awarding of shared legal custody in inappropriate circumstances. We also found that abuse targeted at the mother is not always seen as relevant to custody and visitation decisions. Our research indicates that witnessing, as well as personally experiencing, abuse within the family causes serious harm to children.” (New England School Of Law, 1990)

The Gender Bias Study also showed serious concerns involving domestic abuse citing that domestic abuse cases in the civil and criminal arena may not receive the emphasis they merit and that this underlies the poor coordination between the courts and law enforcement agencies.” (New England School Of Law, 1990)
Victims of abuse many times have difficulty leaving their abusers due to financial controls, abuse, lack of resources. Most are unable to afford housing or an attorney due to lack of resources and retaliations by Family Court Judges, and many times the abuser sabotages the victim’s ability to maintain employment. According to the Gender Bias Study, the committee discovered that women in general experience a serious lack of access to adequate legal representation: many women cannot obtain  [*747]  the assistance they need, particularly in the crucial first days and months after separation. Women without legal representation (pro se) find the system difficult to navigate, and free legal services are often not available to them. Private counsel may be unwilling to represent women because of the difficulty obtaining adequate awards of counsel fees during, and sometimes after, a trial. The second issue is repeated concern expressed by family law attorneys regarding the accuracy of financial data presented to the courts and the failure of the courts to take seriously the rules surrounding discovery in family law cases.” (New England School Of Law, 1990)

How bad is it? In 1993, then-Senator Joe Biden conducted a three-year investigation into the causes and effects of violence against women with a startling report that led to the 1994 passage of the original Violence Against Women Act. 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.”
What has changed since 1990? Unfortunately, not very much where family courts, custody and abuse are involved in Massachusetts.

MASSACHUSETTS SNAPSHOT ABOUT ABUSE:[v] (Massachusetts Failing To Protect Victims Of Abuse, 2011)

  •  In 2010, nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men in MA have ever experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape. 
  • Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in MA have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives.
  • Eleven percent (11%) of high school students and six percent (6%) of middle school students reported being physically hurt by a date sometime in their life.
  • 56% report being late for work due to tactics by batterers.
  • Just in the last ten years alone, child abuse has doubled in the State of Massachusetts since Governor Deval Patrick took office, while funding to services and protections to victims of abuse have been slashed.
  • 2004 Study by Harvard University states, Family Courts in Massachusetts are failing victims of abuse and their children.[vi]

There have been many well-known individuals and experts who have been outspoken about the problems surrounding family courts in Massachusetts and abuse.

Wendy Murphy is an adjunct professor at New England School of Law and ex-prosecutor who has represented many victims of abuse pro se and authored many articles criticizing the State of Massachusetts for their failures to protect victims of abuse. In one of her articles in the Patriot Ledger in 2011, she cites that "...During Patrick’s administration, the rate of domestic violence murders skyrocketed”. She also blasts many of the local domestic violence organizations for their failures citing “victim advocates in this state don’t fight for justice and tough punishments. They ask the public to “speak out” about domestic violence and to call a battered women’s program when abuse happens....And because advocates have been co-opted with ideology-driven promises of trivial sums for their piddly “training and education” budgets, in exchange for silence about the failure of political leaders to give a damn, we can be assured of more dead bodies in the future." (Murphy, 2011)
Kristen Lombardi is another writer who was courageous enough to expose the corruption and bias in Family Courts against victims of abuse. In her 2003 article in The Boston Phoenix, “Custodians of Abuse” (Lombardi, 2003), she cited three studies regarding child custody and abuse in family courts; all with the same conclusion. “The nation’s family courts are failing to protect children from abuse.” Kristen Lombardi also documented what is repeatedly being reported nationally, that not only are victims of abuse losing custody to abuser at alarming rates, but Family Courts across the country are prohibiting the protective parent from having any contact with their children. No phone calls. No visits. Nothing. Family-court judges simply don’t believe the protective parents.
Lombardi also cited a study from Amy Neustein stating that “The system retaliates against mothers with such ferocity that they lose their rights….Family-court judges, for example, hold women in contempt, throw them in jail, scale back their visitation privileges, and even forbid them to seek psychological care for their children. In some instances, judges have gone to the extreme of ordering women not to have any contact — no letters, no phone calls — with their children.” (Lombardi, 2003) Her article is detailed, thorough and well researched citing many credible sources on the epidemic problem in family courts and abuse.

Lombardi further cited the November 2002 sharp critique of the Massachusetts family court system as part of a three-year research effort known as the Battered Women’s Testimony Project (BWTP) by the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. The report contends that officials who work in the Massachusetts family courts “regularly commit what the report described as “human-rights violations” against battered mothers.” (The Wellesley Centers For Women, 2002)

A 2004 Harvard Study also cited Family Courts failures to protect victims of abuse and corroborated with same or similar statistical information as previous studies. In their study, “several themes emerged that corresponded to a consistent pattern of potential human rights violations by the Massachusetts family courts”. (Silverman, 2004)  According to Silverman and his team, these included:
1.      Granting physical custody of children to men who had used violence against the mothers or both the mothers and their children
2.      Granting unsupervised visitation of children to men who had used such violence 
3.      Failing to accept or consider documentation of domestic violence as relevant evidence in child custody determinations
4.      failure to investigate allegations or consider documentation of child abuse


The Harvard study goes on to cite that “many family courts view such concerns as either irrelevant or a tactic to be ignored in cases of divorce, said Silverman. This failure directly leads to courts placing children in harm's way.” (Silverman, 2004). As result of these failures, the state of Massachusetts and the family courts have also failed to sufficiently consider the following:
1.      "right to due diligence" as described in the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women;
2.      The "best interests of the child" as described in the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
3.      The right to "bodily integrity," a fundamental human right enshrined in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
4.      And the "right to equal protection" under the law described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In June 2007, Judge James Menno of Plymouth/Brockton Family Court was the key note speaker for the Fatherhood Coalition for incarcerated fathers on how to gain visitation and custody of their children paid for by a Father’s Rights Coalition and The State of Massachusetts. (Holland, 2007)[vii] There are NO such programs for incarcerated mothers in the state of Massachusetts. Who is getting a fair share in custody courts?  In this 2007 press release, incarcerated fathers noted gained FULL legal and physical custody within 2wks after release for manufacturing and drug distribution of meth. No reports on where the mother is or why mother not involved.
Why is this relevant? Judge Menno has recused himself three times in his career – ALL domestic violence related cases (mine being one of those cases). There are 20 known cases so far with Judge Menno granting custody to documented abusers … some documented child sex abusers.

What is Judge Menno’s track record in custody proceedings?  Let’s just say some research and watch dogs groups need to take a closer look, because, Judge Menno has rendered some very troubling custody decisions in abuse cases. Judge Menno is just one example of a systemic problem in the state of Massachusetts.
In September 2012, Barry Nolan wrote an article in Boston Magazine summarizing the under reported problematic issues surrounding domestic violence as well as  the lobbying and political efforts by groups being funded by abusers whose agenda is to undermine the protections and laws put in place for victims of abuse in Massachusetts. This is a must read article and the threats of protections to victims need to be taken seriously. These protections that threaten victims affect all of our children too. (Nolan, Attack of the 50-Foot Feminist Agenda, 2012)[viii] 

Barry Nolan is also the co-producer with Garland Waller for the award winning documentary, No Way Out But One, which is about the first American woman to be granted asylum by the Netherlands on the grounds of domestic violence. (Nolan & Waller, No Way Out But One, 2012). This is a must see film that documents one family’s atrocities regarding custody, abuse, and the family courts. 
Finding this hard to believe? In 2013, Judge Salcido, a former California Family Court Judge, spoke out on the tactics the state of California used to train judges to automatically disqualify any mother’s concerns or allegations of abuse. The key is that California was directly targeting mothers to disqualify and punish them for raising any concerns of abuse valid or not. You can see her commentary on the Fox News series Lost In The System. (FOXLA, 2013)
Batterers have been gaining custody at a rate of 70-85% of the time in contested cases[ix] (American Judges' Foundation). The cost of society IGNORING abuse exceeds $333 BILLION annually just in healthcare alone not taking into the account of the cost to the prison system, welfare, Medicaid, housing etc. (CDC, 2013) The cost may be as high as $750 BILLION, because even in a medical setting, patients routinely deny their partner’s abuse for safety and other reasons. (Academy on Violence and Abuse, 2009) "The economic burden rivals the cost of other high profile public health problems, such as stroke and Type2 diabetes." (CDC, 2014) 
The United States spends over one trillion dollars on health care, crime and economic loss annually as a result of domestic violence.   This is in effect an abuser subsidy.  Best practices based on the Quincy Model would quickly save $500 billion annually of this expense.  (Goldstein) 

Want to know why the cost of healthcare so high? The failure of family court to properly conduct early intervention, medical professionals improperly coding domestic violence, and protect the victim of abuse is one reason and based on our research the number reported by the CDC is grossly under-reported.  The medical community is beginning to recognize the seriousness of screening for interpersonal violence, but still fails to address the proper coding. (Skolink & Clouse, 2014)

Why do I say that? I attended a conference at Harvard University sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in 2009 where the Department of Public Health said that it was costing the state of Massachusetts taxpayer $15 million a year to treat victims of domestic violence.  I asked where the Department of Public Health got that statistic and their reply was based on what's called a CPT billing code for domestic violence and mostly due to emergency room visits.


We looked at our data with the cases that we have to see if any of our cases were reflected in that data.  We had over 20+ cases the time just families involved in domestic violence related custody cases in family court. When you add the children involved, that number increases to 80 cases and not one of those cases were factored into the numbers being reported to the Department of Public Health despite medical reports documenting abuse.

The ongoing ACE study is the longest study that start in 1997 with over 17,000 participants (Kaiser Permanente, 1998-2006). The study focuses on childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors which is termed adverse childhood experiences (ACE).  The short- and long-term outcomes of these childhood exposures revealed a multitude of health and social problems. Those who adversely affected are at higher risk for the following health problems:

·         Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
·         Cancer
·         Aids
·         Diabetes
·         Eating disorders
·         Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
·         Depression
·         Fetal death
·         Health-related quality of life
·         Illicit drug use
·         Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
·         Liver disease
·         Risk for intimate partner violence
·         Multiple sexual partners
·         Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
·         Smoking
·         Suicide attempts
·         Unintended pregnancies
·         Early initiation of smoking
·         Early initiation of sexual activity
·         Adolescent pregnancy
Furthermore, as a result of systemic failures of early intervention, researchers found that high levels of symptoms of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD to be directly linked to domestic abuse after reviewing 67 relevant studies. (King's College London and University of Bristol, 2013) Those with diagnosed with anxiety disorders were more than 3.5 times more likely to have suffered domestic abuse. For those diagnosed with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder were even seven times more at risk.

In one long-term study, as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at age 21. These young adults exhibited many problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts” (Silverman et al., 1996). (CDC, 2014)
Are fathers getting their fair share in family court? My answer is abusers in general have the upper hand in court. Good parents and children are losing to the racket of family courts. Victims of abuse are routinely being harmed with staggering statistics for long term damage and cost to the tax payer for the family courts failures. The statistical information, data and numbers can not be ignored.

We think we have a health care and economic problem now? Unless something is done about how family courts render custody to abusers, the economic toll to the tax payer will be devastating. It is time to stop ignoring the issues victims of abuse face every day and start becoming a part of the solution. Whether we realize it or not, by ignoring the problem directly impact our children, our families, our communities and our wallets.
My story is just one of many listed in all this statistical data enthralled in one of the worst legal battles in the history of Massachusetts involving many aspects that would make a great movie plot. I won’t belabor the facts behind my case due to the fact, when my story is told (backed with facts) it is usually overwhelming for the listener or reader. However, I can provide you evidence and proof of everything from corruption, cover-ups, theft, extortion, as well as depriving me and my children a loving relationship since 2007 for speaking out about the abuse perpetrated upon me, my family, and other families alike despite state DCF and appointed supervisor testimonies and evidence to corroborate my story. I have never been declared an unfit parent. I do not drink. I do not do drugs. I have never been convicted of a crime. I have never abused my children. My only crime in the eyes of family court, is trying to protect my children from an abusive father. My case started out as a domestic violence case, and I have had little to no contact with my children since September 2007 AFTER I went to court seeking protections from abuse. If you wish to learn more about my case or about the general problem in Massachusetts, I would be happy to provide you with names, numbers, and documentation to back up my story and claims. I would even consider being a guest on any radio or tv shows if permitted to discuss the systemic problem in general, not necessarily my case. (Bonetzky-Joseph, n.d.)

Alone we are silenced. Together we can create postive ripples and waves of change. Our children ... our nation ... our taxpayers are depending on us as adults to DO something to protect them and end the court licensed abuses and trillions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to batterers. 


References


Academy on Violence and Abuse. (2009). The Hidden Costs of Healthcare: The Economic Impact of Violence and Abuse. Academy on Violence and Abuse, Eden Prairie, MN. Retrieved from http://www.ccasa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Economic-Cost-of-VAW.pdf .
American Judges' Foundation. (n.d.). Domestic Violence and the Court House: Understanding the Problem. Knowing the Victim . Williamsburg, VA. Retrieved from http://aja.ncsc.dni
Bonetzky-Joseph, L. (n.d.). Blogger Profile And Links To Case. Retrieved from Google: https://plus.google.com/107714294889319394298/about
CDC. (2013). Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html  
CDC. (2014, January). Injury Prevention & Control; Child Maltreatment: Consequences. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html
FOXLA. (2013). California - FOXLA Children Lost in the System Series; Judge Salcido. Retrieved from Massachusetts Mother Calling For Family Court Justice: http://massachusettsfamilycourtjustice.blogspot.com/2013/02/california-foxla-children-lost-in.html
Goldstein, B. (n.d.). Not a Private Matter: Ending the $500 Billion Abuser Subsidy . Robert D. Reed.
Holland, C. D. (2007, June 27). More than 1,600 Offenders Have Become Better Fathers Thanks to Probation's Fatherhood Program. (O. o. Probation, Ed.) PRESS RELEASE: The Massachusetts Court System. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/courts/probation/pr062707.html
Kaiser Permanente. (1998-2006). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ace/
King's College London and University of Bristol. (2013, May 29). Link between domestic violence and perinatal mental health disorders. PLOS Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iop/news/records/2013/May/Link-between-domestic-violence-and-perinatal-mental-health-disorders.aspx
Lombardi, K. (2003, January 9). Custodians Of Abuse. Boston Phoenix. Retrieved from http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/custodians-of-abuse.html
Massachusetts Failing To Protect Victims Of Abuse. (2011). Domestic Violence Facts: Massachusetts. Retrieved from http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/07/domestic-violence-facts-massachusetts.html  
Murphy, W. J. (2011, August 8). Wendy J. Murphy: Deval Patrick’s deadly silence on domestic violence. The Patriot Ledger, p. Commentary. Retrieved from http://www.patriotledger.com/archive/x181934571/WENDY-J-MURPHY-Deval-Patrick-s-deadly-silence-on-domestic-violence#ixzz1VaIUIN4k
New England School Of Law. (1990). The Gender Bias Study. New England Law Review. Retrieved from The Gender Bias Study; 1990 New England School of Law; New England Law Review http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/gender-bias-study-of-court-system-in.html  
Nolan, B. (2012, September). Attack of the 50-Foot Feminist Agenda. Boston Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/08/angry-men-feminist-agenda/3/
Nolan, B., & Waller, G. (Producers). (2012). No Way Out But One [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from http://nowayoutbutone.com/
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Silverman, J. P. (2004). Researchers Say Massachusetts Family Courts Fail to Protect Battered Women and Their Children. Harvard Univeristy, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/researchers-say-massachusetts-family.html
Skolink, A., & Clouse, A. M. (2014, February 1). Clinical Guidelines: Screening for intmate partner violence, abuse of vulnerable adults. Family Practice News, 44(2), 1, 19.
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[1] T. Dolezal, D. McCollum & M. Callahan, Eden Prairie, MN, Academy on Violence and Abuse; 2009
[2] Barry Goldstein, Not a Private Matter: Ending the $500 Billion Abuser Subsidy (in press, Robert D. Reed, publishers)
[4] Daniel G. Saunders et al., Child Custody Evaluators’ Beliefs About Domestic Abuse Allegations: Their Relationship to Evaluator Demographics, Background, Domestic Violence Knowledge and Custody-Visitation Recommendations, Final Technical Report Submitted to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Oct. 31, 2011, http://ssw.umich.edu/about/profiles/saunddan/Custody-Evaluators-Beliefs-About-Domestic-Abuse-Allegations-Final-Tech-Report-to-NIJ-10-31-11.pdf.
 



[i] The Gender Bias Study; 1990 New England School of Law; New England Law Review http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/gender-bias-study-of-court-system-in.html - Fathers who actively seek custody obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70% of the time. Reports indicate, however, that in some cases perceptions of gender bias may discourage fathers from seeking custody and stereotypes about fathers may sometimes affect case outcomes. In general, our evidence suggests that the courts hold higher standards for mothers than fathers in custody determinations http://amptoons.com/blog/files/Massachusetts_Gender_Bias_Study.htm  
[ii]California - FOXLA Children Lost in the System Series; Judge Salcido http://massachusettsfamilycourtjustice.blogspot.com/2013/02/california-foxla-children-lost-in.html
[iii] Kaiser Permanente; Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study; CDC; The initial phase of the ACE Study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997. More than 17,000 participants completed a standardized physical examination. No further participants will be enrolled, but the CDC is tracking the medical status of the baseline participants.  http://www.cdc.gov/ace/
[iv] The Gender Bias Study; 1990 New England School of Law; New England Law Review http://amptoons.com/blog/files/Massachusetts_Gender_Bias_Study.htm  
[vi] Researchers Say Massachusetts Family Courts Fail to Protect Battered Women and Their Children; Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH); May 27, 2004  http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/researchers-say-massachusetts-family.html
[vii] For more information about Judge Menno and stats, please visit the blog: Massachusetts Failing Victims of Abuse; 13 Families Violated by ONE Massachusetts Family Court Judge and growing  http://mass-dv-abuse.blogspot.com/2011/04/massachusetts-victims-of-abuse-need.html
PRESS RELEASE: More than 1,600 Offenders Have Become Better Fathers Thanks to Probation's Fatherhood Program; June 27, 2007; Office of the Commissioner of Probation; The Massachusetts Court System; http://www.mass.gov/courts/probation/pr062707.html
[viii] Nolan, Barry; 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; Boston Magazine; September 2012
[ix] American Judges' Foundation. Domestic Violence and the Court House: Understanding the Problem.Knowing the Victim . Williamsburg, VA: Author. (see, Forms of Emotional Battering Section, Threats to Harm or Take Away Children Subsection: http://aja.ncsc.dni.us/domviol/page5.html )  Fathers are often awarded sole custody even when their sexual and physical abuse of the children is alleged and substantiated. According to the American Judges Association, 70% of the time the abuser convinces the court to give him custody. http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/dv.html