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LONDON FREE PRESS ATTACKS MP GALLAWAY


[See also appended comments and links for more information and help]

Subject:  JOINT COMM REPORT: "LONDON FREE PRESS ATTACKS MP GALLAWAY"
Date:  Wed, 14 Oct 1998 23:51:52 -0400 (EDT)
From:  "Nicholas J. Kovats" <cn650@freenet.toronto.on.ca>

LONDON FREE PRESS

October 14, 1998  

Allegations of abuse always investigated

By HELEN CONNELL
London Free Press

If dumb was dirt, MP Roger Gallaway could cover an acre. My apologies to U.S. columnist Molly Ivins for borrowing her line, but it just popped into my mind as I read about Gallaway's contention that some women go to battered women shelters so they can ensure their husbands won't get custody or maybe even access to the kids.
   Odds are that somewhere, some woman has lied about being abused and some man has suffered. But the statement by the Liberal member from Sarnia-Lambton shows just how out of touch he is with domestic violence, a crime which his government and our courts have recognized as a serious problem. In Ontario, the Conservative government, normally considered rather soft on women's issues, is trying out a system of separate courts to see if that will help stop this crime.
   And Gallaway is not just any MP spouting off. He's the co-chairperson of a joint Commons-Senate committee which will release its report next month on how non-custodial parents and grandparents can have better access to children in divorce cases.
   This is an important issue and Gallaway undermines this committee's credibility when he spouts off.
   Gallaway defends his statement, substantiate two-thirds of the claims of child abuse.
 

UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS

CAS workers know all about unsubstantiated claims, for they are the ones who must live with it when they're wrong. They must have evidence that will stand up to cross examination in court and that can be difficult when dealing with children who don't want to hurt either parent.
   Seven-year-old Randal Kadeen Dooley is an example of an "unsubstantiated claim." He died as the result of repeated beatings, with Toronto police saying his is the worst child abuse case they had seen. [Note]
   This tiny boy suffered massive head injuries, fractured ribs and a torn liver. One of his teeth was found in his stomach.
   While teachers reported their suspicions, the CAS and the police did not feel at the time they had enough evidence to prove the bruising on Randal wasn't caused by another child.
   I share Gallaway's sense of frustration with adults who can't put their own selfish interests aside long enough to consider what is in the best interests of their children. And, at times, courts have not been nearly tough enough on mothers who deny fathers access purely out of spite.
   Adults may determine they want nothing to do with each other, but the children from that relationship have the right to have as much access as possible to both parents and other relatives, such as grandparents.
   But courts are obligated to determine what is in the best interests of the child and enforce that. If some fathers wonder why the justice system bends over backwards to check out complaints about violence, it's because children's aid staff, police, judges and court consequences.
   Domestic abuse experts have said often enough that one of the times when women are most at risk of abuse is when they decide to leave their partners. If he's threatened or hit her, the courts should question whether he's fit to be a parent, at least to have the child on his own without adult supervision.
   Too often, men seem to conveniently forget the threats they made in the heat of anger or minimize the force they did use. It's not unusual for men convicted by the courts for repeated assaults to continue to blame the victim or booze.
   The role of men in the family has changed radically as increasing numbers of them want to be directly involved in raising their children. Losing the title of husband shouldn't mean they forfeit being fathers.
   The committee which Gallaway is supposed to be leading should be helping us move forward in how we can help families, and especially children, survive the trauma of separation and divorce.
   We should be focusing on how we can use mediation better to help resolve issues.
   Instead, Gallaway is playing a cheap game of gender politics which may win him points with extremists in the fathers rights movement, but that will do nothing to help the children.
______________________________
Helen can be e-mailed at - hconnell@lfpress.com.
Letters to the editor should be sent to - letters@lfpress.com.

Copyright 1997 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.


OUR OPINION

Editorials express the views of the newspaper as determined by the editorial-page staff, which consists of
   Jane Bradley
   Helen Connell
   Jeff Hale
   Philip McLeod
   John Paton
   Kelley Teahen


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

"MP Gallaway needs our support"

I find it very perplexing to hear the chorus of spokespersons from the battered women's support network.
   They call for MP Roger Gallaway's removal from a parliamentary committee looking into better treatment of Canadian children who find themselves the innocent victims of their parents' divorce wars.
   These harsh attacks at the suggestion that a woman could make up false allegations of child abuse and go to a battered woman's shelter to enhance her legal position in the separating family, are a sad commentary.
   These were the same voices that spoke out in the past and said it wasn't a myth that women were being abused in relationships and needed help to get out of violent relationships.
   I can't grasp what will be lost when we embrace that injustices exist. That our mothers as well as fathers are perfectly capable of perpetuating injustices on their own children.
   To speak out and change the wrongs does not jeopardize the efforts in the past to end violence. It will not stop the funding.
   In the crowded room of "I'm right and you're wrong," we often neglect to look at the children at our feet and let their best interests be our guide to personal actions versus our own pained and angered views.
   Let the committee share its findings. This will not hurt us. It will open up areas where we can build a better framework for our society.
   We owe that to ourselves. Men need to speak up when they find themselves in abusive situations.
   Gallaway needs the support from us to keep the voices heard. Like the women's network in the past, we cannot remain silent and let it go on.

FRANK VERKLEY
London, Ontario, Canada

Copyright 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.


Comments Links

It must be made clear that Randal Dooley was tortured to death and murdered while in the care of his mother.  It is therefore no surprise that the "allegations" that were made by his teachers and other people who had thought and reported that he was being abused caused no response by the authorities.  That would have required that someone would have had to assume the unthinkable: that a woman is capable of being inhumane and cruel to her child.  The interesting thing about the article that is linked above is that the author devotes a considerable amount of space to the failure of the absent father (read non-custodial) to protect his child.  It shouldn't surprise anyone to find that poor Randal was the first-born.  In the society of which his family is part, it is considered to be the ultimate injury to find revenge on someone by killing his first-born son.

We truly have a two-edged sword with abuse allegations:

  • If they are directed against a man, they are believed indiscriminately.  As a matter of fact, rules and regulations force police for example to arrest the man, even if he is the only one who is bleeding in a domestic violence call.

  • If they are directed against a woman, they hardly ever are believed by anyone, not even if the victim is dead on the floor and the woman is bent over him with a smoking gun or a blood-dripping knife in her hand.  In that case, when it can't be denied that she has done the deed, we go all-out and look for excuses.  If it should be that we even have to find her guilty, Heaven forbid, the Courts routinely give her therapy instead of incarceration.

See also: Judge Finds No Undue Hardship in Cost of False Allegations  

If you feel like trying to set Helen Connell straight and to give Roger Gallaway a helping hand, write to her at the addresses shown at the end of the article.  Make sure to send your message to both addresses and send a copy also to Roger Gallaway at - GallaR@parl.gc.ca

Here are some links at which you'll find information pertaining to
false abuse allegations:

Scroll down to "False allegations by school children" and then scroll down to "Serial False Accuser Becomes School "Health" Educator "
 

"WHAT TO DO: False accusations of Sexual or Physical Abuse in Custody Cases"  

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 02:26:17 -0600 (MDT)

Thanks to Maggie Gallagher for sending us the following.

ACFC

++++++++++++++++

Anyone interested in the question of children and "implanted" memories should consult: Stephen Ceci and Maggie Bruck, "Jeopardy in the Courtroom:

A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony," published by the American Psychological Association in 1995  (Ceci is a psychology professor at Cornell, Bruck is an associate professor of Psychology and of Pediatrics at McGill University).  

Therapy Letters, a web site describing the ravages of recovered memory therapy, with articles and anecdotes of how the lives of families are affected by this branch of the psychological industry: http://www.geocities.com/~therapyletters/

  • Big Sister Is Watching!
      
    An epidemic of state-sponsored kidnapping feeds a tyrannical system hungry for revenues.  Child Protective Services and Children's Aid Societies systematically and increasingly often rob children from their parents.  Kafkaesque chicaneries that the targeted families find impossible to comply with are the tools used to keep the revenues rolling in.  Many families don't survive the ordeals that they are being subjected to by any given CPS or CAS.

  • Last, but not least, have a look at False Abuse, where you can find a number of other links that lead you to information about false abuse allegations.

___________
See also:

__________________
Updates: 
1999 06 08
2000 10 06 (link to U. K. Website)
2001 01 22 (minor Format changes)
2013 03 08 (removed reference to dvstats.org -- website no longer functions)