It’s not angst over custody: fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners.
Since Arthur Freeman was found guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Darcey, much of the media focus has been on the distress of fathers going through separation and custody disputes. There has been a call for more support for fathers.
However, we must ask ourselves whether we are losing sight of the victims and, more importantly, whether this is the best approach to preventing these deaths from occurring in the future.
While the community understandably struggles to comprehend a parent killing a child, our research shows that these are not inexplicable tragedies. There is a particular type of filicide (the killing of children by parents) that occurs in the context of the separation of the parents.
In these ”spousal revenge” cases – as recognised by the Freeman jury – fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners. There is usually no prior violence against the children. In fact, they appear to love their children. The act of killing is directed towards harming the child’s mother. The motive is revenge.
In the case of Freeman and Robert Farquharson (found guilty of three counts of murder of his sons Bailey, Tyler and Jai, aged two to 10, who drowned in a dam near Winchelsea), both fathers indicated that they wished to punish their ex-partner. Shortly before killing Darcey, Freeman told his ex-wife to say goodbye to her children and that she would never see them again – clearly to make her suffer. Farquharson told a friend that he would make his ex-wife suffer by taking what mattered to her most – her children.
Contrary to some claims, these cases are not about fathers losing access to their children. The reality is that in both cases, the fathers had access to their children and, in both cases, killed them during it.
There is no logic to the thinking that if a person is distressed about not spending enough time with their kids they would decide to kill them.
If, however, they are consumed with anger and hatred towards their ex-partner and wish to hurt them, then it is, tragically, a very effective means to do so.
The killing of the children in such cases should be recognised as a form of violence against the mother. We need to explore the relationship between the parents in order to understand the killing of children. In particular, the father’s attitudes and behaviour towards the mother before, and after, separation must be examined. VicHealth has clearly identified the underlying causes of violence against women as including belief in rigid gender roles and a masculine sense of entitlement.
What we really need to challenge is the sense of entitlement that some men have over their families, an entitlement that leads them to believe that their partner has no right to leave them and no right to form a new relationship, and that punishing her is justified because of the suffering they themselves experience.
The current focus of commentary suggests that men are victims of the family law system. The mothers seem to be implicitly blamed for the distress their partners experienced when they left them.
Let’s be clear: the first and foremost victims here are the children whose lives are taken. The mothers, whose children have died in perhaps the worst way imaginable, are also the victims, as are remaining siblings and other family members. Darcey Freeman’s mother, Peta Barnes, had expressed concerns about the safety of her children before Darcey’s death. She also expressed concerns about Arthur Freeman’s ”anger management issues” and mood swings. It is important that such concerns are heard and responded to appropriately by a broad range of professionals coming into contact with separating parents, as well as by family and friends.
The family law process must make children’s safety its absolute priority. Importantly, the federal government has a family law bill before Parliament that prioritises the safety of children in family law matters.
The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoriaacknowledges that separation and family breakdown can be incredibly difficult for parents. Parents should be assisted to deal with separation and encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour. As a community, we need to focus on building positive and respectful relationships.
We support the call for greater services and support. We ask that these services be equipped to identify and respond to risks to the safety and wellbeing of children and their parents. We need to ensure there is accurate and reliable screening and risk assessment for all forms of family violence. These cases demonstrate that the risk of harm to children is closely linked to risks of harm to the mother.
Cases such as Freeman’s have a profound impact on the community and we are right to search for answers. Unfortunately, there has been very little research on parents who kill their children in the past decade in Australia. If we are to find ways to prevent these deaths, we need a far better understanding of why and how they occur.
Hat tip to Sbry for this!
There is a collaboration of differences within the court system itself. If a judge orders you to a specific person, i.e. psychologist, GAL, etc… it is presumed that this person has been before the judge; for the judge to determine their merits. In that example, the question of the judges opinion of that person is called upon. Why would a judge specifically ask for this person, and although he/she has been before the judge, what were the reasons for the judge to specifically require a person to see this specific person?I believe that the first instant this happens, the litigant has the right to know why, the very reason a judge chooses another person to come into any case.
What exactly is it that the judge saw in this person? How long has this person been before this judge? Has there been any other functions that the judge and this person been to? Do they have the same circle of friends? How many cases has this judge ordered litigants to see this person? Does the judge have this persons direct number? Has the judge called this person? (In the last 3 months, 6 months, 9 months?) It is questionable when a judge orders anything out of the normal function and I figured when we have more to lose, that is when the judge gets nasty…that’s when they require more, expect you to jump through hoops set on fire, when in all essence, they know you will not be able to.
Deliberate indifference is the conscious or reckless disregard of the consequences of one’s acts or omissions. It entails something more than negligence, but is satisfied by something less than acts or omissions for the very purpose of causing harm or with knowledge that harm will result.
In law, the courts apply the deliberate indifference standard to determine if a professional has violated an inmateâ€™s civil rights. Deliberate indifference occurs when a professional knows of and disregards an excessive risk to an inmateâ€™s health or safety. Even though it is difficult to identify what does and does not constitute deliberate indifference, courts have recognized several factual scenarios where deliberate indifference exists. For example, intentionally refusing to respond to an inmateâ€™s complaints has been acknowledged as constituting deliberate indifference. [Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364, 1366 (7th Cir. Ill. 1997)]; Intentionally delaying medical care for a known injury (i.e. a broken wrist) has been held to constitute deliberate indifference. [Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (U.S. 1994).]
The following are examples of case law discussing deliberate indifference
Prison employees who act with deliberate indifference to the inmates’ safety violate the Eighth Amendment. But to be guilty of "deliberate indifference" they must know they are creating a substantial risk of bodily harm. If they place a prisoner in a cell that has a cobra, but they do not know that there is a cobra there (or even that there is a high probability that there is a cobra there), they are not guilty of deliberate indifference even if they should have known about the risk, that is, even if they were negligent–even grossly negligent or even reckless in the tort sense–in failing to know. But if they know that there is a cobra there or at least that there is a high probability of a cobra there, and do nothing, that is deliberate indifference.[Billman v. Indiana Dep’t of Corrections, 56 F.3d 785, 788 (7th Cir. Ind. 1995)]
Deliberate indifference is defined as â€œa failure to act where prison officials have knowledge of a substantial risk of serious harm to inmate health or safety.â€ Crayton v. Quarterman, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103709 (N.D. Tex. Oct. 14, 2009)
Deliberate indifference is defined as requiring (1) an "awareness of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists" and (2) the actual "drawing of the inference." Elliott v. Jones, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91125 (N.D. Fla. Sept. 1, 2009).
Learn the language……..
Claudine Dombrowski: A Battered Mother Victimized Again by the Kansas Courts. Kansas Judicial system should be disciplined for how it has victimized Ms. Dombrowski. Truly incredible story that should never have happened in America.
Testimony by Claudine Dombrowski at the hearing of the Kansas Joint Committee on Children’s Issues on Nov 30, 2009 in Topeka about problems with child placement and removal.
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Compelling stories from parents and grandparents about problems with placement and removal of children
By Earl Glynn On December 4, 2009
See this video: Claudine Dombrowski Abused Mom Wants Unsupervised Visits with Daughter
Claudine Dombrowski: An abused mom victimized again by the Kansas Courts
This is an truly incredible story that should never have happened in America.
Parts of the Kansas Judicial system should be disciplined for how it has victimized Ms. Dombrowski, who was an abused mom.
Instead of quotes from the audio, please consult these pages that document Dombrowski’s long and difficult battle to protect her daughter:
As you view these photos keep in mind that the court awarded FULL CUSTODY of their daughter to the “man” who did this to Claudine.
- Courts Have Continued Abuse of Manhattan Women, Manhattan Free Press, July 12, 2001.
- Manhattan resident fights custody battle for daughter, Kansas State Collegian, July 26, 2001.
State Rep Bill Otto: “No crime? You haven’t been guilty of anything? This is a court order that says you can’t go to any school functions?”
“I was under court order till 2004 to not even call the police after I was being beaten because … I was not ‘co-parenting’”
Dombrowski: “These friends of the court make recommendations to the judge. The parents … don’t have a right to see these documents. They do this behind closed doors.”
Otto: (To Secretary Jordan): “You have no rights as a parent …?”
Secretary Don Jordan: “This would be something extreme … I’m not familiar with the situation.”
Otto: “Can a judge do that? … Is that legal… ?”
Jordan: “Under the right circumstances … I hesitate to speculate.”
Sen. Roger Reitz: “This is something that only … the judicial system can really answer … It would be helpful … to have someone … representing the judicial system … to give us some ideas how this could happen.”
Dombrowski: “When you are a victim of domestic violence, and suddenly there’s a child involved, the typical …. power of control is that ‘I’ll take your children from you’. They will and they can the way the laws are setup.” …
“I was told that I’m not to talk to my daughter about the violence. That’s why I don’t see her. That’s why I see her supervised. He was criminally convicted. “
“When women try to get away from people who hurt them … I heard somebody say it’s really hard to believe you won’t call the police … I tell people not to contact the police, because as soon as you walk into court with a DV (domestic violence) and children, you’re already cutting your throat. You will lose your children. That’s the way it is right now.” “… on the 16th of this month I’ll probably go to jail for breaking the gag order and talking about [being the victim of] violence as it relates to my case.”
Reitz: “… someone ought to be able to deal with this in a way that would address her problem. It doesn’t seem like we’ve done the right thing with regards to this little niche of the law.”
Dombrowski: “The criminal convictions are completely tossed aside and they don’t have any bearing on the family court … The eight criminal convictions that my ex had before getting custody of my daughter were completely dropped [in family court]“
Chair Kiegerl: “I cannot believe that abuse is totally ignored. I cannot believe you can prohibit a person from speaking about their own case.”
“The one thing [where] … I disagree with you is abuse should always be reported.”
State Rep Peggy Mast (R-Emporia): “Domestic violence is a control issue. Sexual abuse is a control issue. Is there any correlation between domestic violence and sexual abuse? Why is that not something that is considered when we take someone to [family] court that has a history of domestic violence?”
Dombrowski: “Yes. That is something I’ve asked myself for 16 years. … It comes back to the family court that has a veil of immunity. … They don’t fully understand the impact of the violence. What battered women have … if they report the abuse, then they’re failing to protect their child … if they don’t report the abuse, they’re still failing to protect their child. So, both ways, they’re going to lose their children …”
For anybody who abuses their wife … [from] a 1996 presidential task force … there is a 70% increase that those children will be abused and/or sexually abused after there’s been battery with the mother.
Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudea: “In 2004 …. I talked with the homicide department in Sedgwick County…. During that time there had been 21 homicides in Sedgwick County and 18 were due to domestic violence …”
“A lot of women do make those phone calls and unfortunately, sometimes it ends in their death.” …
“I want to apologize to you for being treated like a pedophile … not being able to go to a music concert.”
“I commend you for what you’re doing.”
Dombrowski: “I have not talked to my daughter in 10 years [except] for the confines of supervised visits. I’m not allowed to talk to her about anything. All she knows is what her dad has told her.”
See this video: Abused Mom Wants Unsupervised Visits with Daughter
Listen to Claudine Dombrowski:
http://www.ktka.com/news/2009/oct… By Jessica Drew
Interview with Claudine Dombrowski and Shawnee County, Kansas District Attorney Chad Taylor.
"I remember curling up in a ball to protect her from the kicks," domestic violence survivor, Claudine Dombrowski, described.
Claudine Dombrowski is a survivor to domestic violence, a cycle she went back to many times. "I had a choice I could see my daughter or I could never see her again. The abuser had complete control, so I got my daughter back and went back to him."
Going back to an abusive relationship is a problem District Attorney Chad Taylor said his office sees quite often. "We see it everyday, and it’s just a matter of the psychology of the cycle of abuse," Taylor said.
The number of cases coming across Taylor’s desk is growing. "Our year to date projections for 2009 total is going to be an increase of about 80 percent for the domestic battery cases that we filed," Taylor said.
Claudine fights to help women like herself who have fallen in the hands of abuse. "This was the crow bar, and then I was beaten and raped," Dombrowski said.
She said she never reported her beatings until after her daughter was born.
Taylor said it happens often, "It goes from bruises to hospitalization, to like we said this is all about homicide prevention."
Claudine said even if you haven’t been a victim, you probably know someone who has and you can help them. "Don’t think it’s you…get rid of the scarlet letter of shame, it’s the most important thing."
Taylor wants to show there’s help out there for victims. "Making this a priority and letting people know that this will not be tolerated in our community," Taylor said.
Taylor’s office gave us statisitics on Domestic Violence in 2008 the DA’s office received 1267 cases, out of those 508 were filed. Starting from January 1st until October 16, 2009 there have been 1347 cases received, and out of those 849 cases have been filed.
One Domestic Battery charges, in 2008 there were 723 received and 246 filed for court. The projections for this year are 784 received and 443 filed, meaning an eighty percent increase on Domestic Battery.
This 28 minute Documentary explains how Abusers use the Court System to continue to abuse the mother for leaving, by taking her children.
Guardian ad Litems, Mental Health Professionals, Supervised Visits, Fathers Rights —
All make money by keeping the battered mother away from her children and by giving the children to the documented batterer.
These are crimes and in Family Court they are dismissed and turned into profit for the above so called ‘experts’.
Child trafficking is legal in Family Courts.
Run Mommy, Run, Their is no justice— ‘JUST US’ perps-—batterers, GALs, MHPs, Custody Evaluators, High Conflict experts, Supervised Visitation, mediation… the list goes on and on.
n the twenty years I have been advising parents, children, and their legal advisers in several hundred cases in Family Law matters, I have often been asked, “Why is it that children are so often ordered to have contact with, and even into the custody of, parents who have abused them and have perpetrated violence against their partners.”
The answer to this question is not simple and involves an examination of the requirements of Family Laws which stress the importance of children having both parents in their lives after parental separation, the dynamics of legal processes, and the often very clear gender biases of the principals involved in judicial processes.
But one of the most outstanding and consistent features of proceedings involving the care of children post-separation are the conduct and behaviours which can be identified as clearly fitting the definitions of psychopathy/sociopathy.
The major personality traits of the psychopath are supremacy and narcissism. The afflicted individual must be in complete control of their environment and all persons who are a part of that environment or can serve the psychopath’s purposes in maintaining control.
The psychopath is capable of using both aggressive anger and passive anger with cunning and guile, to achieve their goals of exerting control. Examples of such contrary behaviours are the aggressive violence against intimate partners, with the frequent inherent abuse of children, designed to groom friends, relatives, and professionals into believing they are harmless and indeed very stable and friendly. If thwarted in attaining these goals, however, the passive can quickly turn into the aggressive.
In furtherance of these traits, the major tactics and ploys of the psychopath are:
- denial of wrongdoings in the face of clear evidence;
- refusal to take responsibility for behaviours and actions;
- minimisation of the incident and consequences;
- blame being placed on others;
- misrepresentation, fabrication, embellishment and distortion of information and evidence;
- minimisation of all information and evidence regarding wrongdoing;
- claims of victim status, alleging the victim was the aggressor;
- projection of their own actions and behaviour onto the victim; e.g. she abuses/neglects the children/ she is an alcoholic or drug abuser. This is based on the belief by the psychopath that attack is the best form of defence.
The grooming of friends, relatives, and professionals is very clear in many cases, and in particular some psychiatrists, psychologists and family evaluators/reporters have been hoodwinked by such tactics and ploys by the psychopathic individual. Their reports, of course favouring the psychopath, have very considerable influence on the Courts and their determinations. Very often clear evidence of intimate partner violence such as convictions, Domestic Violence Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders and Restraining Orders against the psychopathic aggressor and medical evidence of injuries suffered by the adult and child victims are ignored or dismissed as irrelevant by such professionals.
Such professionals now refer to such cases as `high conflict’ cases, when it is clear that they are situations of a violent aggressor/tormentor/persecutor and their victims. It is easy to see how the cases in Austria and America where young girls were imprisoned for many years by controlling individuals and regularly abused in several ways were undetected, when the aggressors/persecutors/tormentors were able to convince their family members, relatives and associates that they were reasonable, normal people. The same often occurs in other cases of violence and murder where neighbours report that the accused murderer is a nice and friendly neighbour. They do not recognise the Jekyll and Hyde aspects of the psychopath’s ploys and tactics and of those they have effectively groomed in their beliefs.
The high conflict which usually occurs in such cases is most commonly engendered by the respective lawyers, conditioned by operating in an adversarial process and arena, whose own major goal is to ‘win’, whatever may be the justness and fairness of the result.
It is not difficult to see, therefore, how the psychopath is able to readily gain the sympathy and support of some of the professionals engaged in the Family Law system and for them to abandon and forfeit their professional objectivity and impartiality in such circumstances. In blaming others the psychopath will allege the former partner is mentally ill and in some cases the former partner may be suffering a Complex Post Traumatic Disorder after suffering years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse and violence. This is often misinterpreted and misdiagnosed as a Borderline Personality Disorder or similar psychiatric term. In effect it is a classic ‘blame the victim’ scenario.
The groomed professionals then enable the psychopath to achieve their primary objective, which is to maintain power and control over their victims, their former partner and children. It is an act of vengeance and spite but mostly it is to maintain the power and control and feelings of supremacism and narcissism. “I am faultless and flawless and in control of my whole environment” are the unvoiced cravings of the psychopath, and “I can continue to inflict my tortures on my victims with impunity” are the psychopath’s continuing behaviours.
The Family Law and their shared parenting provisions and its administration by the Family Courts have become ready enablers for the psychopath.
Charles Pragnell is an Independent Advocate for Children and Families.
“Hearts Across America” — Million Mom March Mother’s Day 2011, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C.
American Mothers Political Party Proudly Endorses
The Mothers Movement is a persistent, insistent civil and human rights campaign. We will never give up until this horrible nightmare for children and nurturing safe mothers ends.
This page will be updated as events and information are disseminated through Mothers Day 2011
If you have an event going on anywhere on Mother’s Day Please go to the contact and send to us. We will promptly add to this page!
For up to minute information: Please Visit the Facebook page – Million Mom March
Travel and Lodging links: (if you Google search cheap air or cheap lodging and others you will be able to find more). We placed the following links below as a start and idea’s only. We do not endorse any of the following. * Special Offers – Southwest Airlines * Washington DC Hostel’s * Cheap Flights and Lodging *Amtrak *Greyhound * Expedia *Washington DC Hotels/Motels
Mothers across the Nation are losing custody of their children to pedophiles and batterers through your Fatherhood Initiatives’ Program’s are speaking out. Fatherhood Funding receives in excess of $500.000.000.00 to fix bad dad, these funds are diverted and used to take mothers children and give them to the abusive father under the pretense of ‘involving fathers’ in their children’s lives.
Mothers across the Nation call for a Congressional investigation into the failure of family courts to protect children and potential fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Obama (and Congress) you are killing children with the tax payer’s money. STOP FATHERHOOD FUNDING NOW! Here is a sample letter that all can write to their congressman.
For mothers throughout the United States – corresponding events planned on Mother’s Day 2011.
• California who would love to be there but can’t please join us here in California! EVERYONE COME MARCH AGAINST JUDICIAL CORRUPTION WITH US
• MOTHERS DAY IN WASHINGTON DC AND CALIFORNIA
Mother’s of Lost Children and other organizations are marching in Washington D.C on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 8 and Monday May 9, 2011.
For those who cannot go to Washington, a march will be held at the CA State Capitol in Sacramento CA on Monday May 9th at 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
• We will bring attention to the issue of how our broken family and juvenile court systems are harming children
• Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma has graciously agreed to speak at our event.
• We are assembling a panel of experts: attorneys, investigators, child abuse experts, judges, domestic violence experts, psychologists, authors, etc.. to speak.
• We would also like to have a survivor’s panel comprised of those who have survived or are currently surviving (somehow) abuse by a perpetrator of DV or child abuse AND abuse by the family or juvenile court system.
• If you have contacts who may be willing to participate in our panels, please send their contact info to Sue at 209-217-4948 firstname.lastname@example.org
During the past two decades, mothers have been losing custody of their children (even nursing infants) in increasing numbers to fathers who are convicted or identified batterers, child molesters, drug addicts, gang-bangers and felons. Family courts force children into the custody of abusive fathers at alarming rates, allowing these men to continue controlling and abusing their victims. Research shows that 70% of batterers who ask for custody get it. Safe mothers who left the abusers in order to protect their children are frequently labeled "unfriendly" and are inappropriately ordered to supervised visitation or denied all contact with their children.
The National Fatherhood Initiative website states in 15 years it has "ensured that two million more children are living with their fathers". The Leadership Council research indicates 58,000 children are placed with abusers every year. These statistics may be connected. Read more here: