October 25, 2009

Leader's son will be first to face FLDS sex assault trial


First FLDS sex assault trial starts on Monday

Polygamist sect leader's son is accused of having sex with minors

Oct. 24, 2009, 8:16AM



Prosecutors say one wife of Raymond Merrill Jessop, 38, was younger than 18 when she gave birth.

The son of one of the most powerful families within a polygamist Mormon sect goes to trial for sexual assault Monday, a case in which Texas prosecutors will provide their first public evidence that Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints men engaged in sex with underage girls.

Raymond Merril Jessop, 38, is the first to face trial among 12 defendants who live at the sect's Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado and are accused of arranging or participating in underage marriages. His father, Frederick Merril Jessop is the senior leader of the FLDS because the group's prophet, Warren Jeffs, is jailed in Utah for forcing girls into underage marriages in that state.

Both also are among the defendants in the Texas case, and each will be tried separately.

“I kept hoping this trial would go away,” said Willie Jessop, a spokesman for FLDS, who is not related to the defendant. “We're disappointed that they're moving forward with their program. We keep thinking they're going to recognize this thing as a hoax.”

The indictments are the result of documents and evidence pulled out of the YFZ ranch by the Texas Department of Public Safety after a caller, now believed to be a hoaxer, called a women's shelter in San Angelo in late March 2008. The caller claimed to be a physically and sexually abused teen-wife named Sarah.

Officials with the women's shelter notified Texas Child Protective Services and caseworkers were sent to the ranch a few days later. After seeing several young girls who were pregnant or mothers, a decision was made to remove all 439 children from the ranch, a move that was later reversed by the Texas Supreme Court.

The children were removed from the ranch and placed in foster homes across the state — an action that cost Texas taxpayers at least $12 million, authorities said. Eventually reunited with the parents, the raid on the ranch and the subsequent legal battles over their welfare ignited a national debate over religious freedom and property rights.

Sex with minor girls?

The particular charges in this first trial involve one of Jessop's nine wives whom prosecutors believe was less than 18 years of age when she gave birth to Jessop's daughter. The child was 3 years old at the time of the raid, said Willie Jessop.

The fact that the sect members “married” teenage girls younger than 18 years of age is not in dispute. The Texas Attorney General's Office will have to prove to jurors that the sect's idea of marriage involved sex with minor girls, which will not be an easy task considering that many of the children do not have birth certificates.

Last month, Deputy Attorney General Eric Nichols, the lead prosecutor, notified the court he would be introducing a number of extraneous acts and offenses in Raymond Jessop's case.

The allegations include how Jessop moved a 26-year-old pregnant wife out of the master bedroom in 1999 and moved a 19-year-old wife in; how he placed a 16-year-old wife and unborn child in danger in 2005; how he allegedly conspired with Jeffs, the church's leader, to commit acts of sexual assault and transporting a minor across state lines in 2005; alleged illegal banking activity that same year; and his reported abandonment in 2007 of nine wives and 22 children.

Reporting for jury duty

Hundreds of FLDS members who had lived along the border of Arizona and Utah for years, began moving to Eldorado in 2002 after buying 1,700 acres just northeast of the tiny town. Before the raid, Texas officials believed there were about 55 children at the ranch.

Most of the 439 were born on the ranch.

The FLDS broke from the larger Mormon Church over the issue of polygamy.

Since the raid, the FLDS members have said they are committed not to engage in underage marriages. Asked Friday whether they were living up to that commitment, Willie Jessop said he had no way of knowing what other people do.

“I don't know that,” he said.

The Schleicher County District Clerk's Office has called 300 of the county's approximate 2,800 residents to report Monday as potential jurors for the trial in Eldorado, about 400 miles northwest of Houston.

It is not known how many of the 300 potential jurors are FLDS members.

State District Judge Barbara Walther will try to seat a jury in Eldorado.

But if it is not possible, it may be necessary to move the trial to nearby San Angelo.


Leader's son will be first to face FLDS sex assault trial | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Strangulation attacks now carry year in jail


By Jaclyn O'Malley • jomalley@rgj.com • October 25, 2009

For many victims of domestic violence, the name-calling, slapping and pushing escalates into a pair of hands gripping so tightly around their necks, they can't breathe.

Many report they believe they are dying while their brains and bodies are depleted of oxygen at the hands of a loved one. Some lose consciousness within a minute, and are lucky if they survive, domestic violence advocates say.

But a new law is giving police officers and prosecutors some teeth in charging suspects who use this potentially lethal form of abuse. As of July, the act became a felony that has a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Before the change, abusers were charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and faced a maximum of six months in jail.

More than three dozen men and two women have been arrested in Washoe County in the three months since the new law took effect.

"We now have a way of taking away an abuser's tool of asserting power against someone by cu...Read the rest of this two page article here:  Strangulation attacks now carry year in jail | rgj.com | Reno Gazette-Journal

Tapping cell phones | Spyware | Mobile Phones | Spy Software - WTHR |


Tapping your cell phone

Posted: Nov 13, 2008 6:39 PM EST Thursday,

Updated: Jun 29, 2009 10:58 AM EDT Monday,



Bob Segall/13 Investigates

Imagine someone watching your every move, hearing everything you say and knowing where you are at every moment. If you have a cell phone, it could happen to you. 13 Investigates explains how your cell phone can be secretly hijacked and used against you - and how to protect yourself.

After four months of harassing phone calls, Courtney Kuykendall was afraid to answer her cell phone.
The Tacoma, Washington, teenager was receiving graphic, violent threats at all hours.
And when she and her family changed their cell phone numbers and got new phones, the calls continued.
Using deep scratchy voices, anonymous stalkers literally took control of the Kuykendall's cell phones, repeatedly threatened Courtney with murder and rape, and began following the family's every move.
"They're listening to us and recording us," Courtney's mother, Heather Kuykendall, told NBC's Today Show. "We know that because they will record us and play it back as a voicemail."
How is something like this possible?
Just take a look on the internet. That's where you'll find the latest spy technology for cell phones.
"Anywhere, anytime"

Spyware marketers claim you can tap into someone's calls, read their text messages and track their movements "anywhere, anytime." They say you can "catch a cheating spouse", protect your children from an evil babysitter and "hear what your boss is saying about you." And while you're spying on others, the Spyware companies say "no one will ever know" because it's supposed to be "completely invisible" with "absolutely no trace."
Security experts say it's no internet hoax.

"It's real, and it is pretty creepy," said Rick Mislan, a former military intelligence officer who now teaches cyber forensics at Purdue University's Department of Computer and Information Technology.

Mislan has examined thousands of cell phones inside Purdue's Cyber Forensics Lab, and he says spy software can now make even the most high-tech cell phone vulnerable.
"I think a lot of people think their cell phone calls are very secure but our privacy isn't always what we think it is."
Is your privacy truly at risk?
13 Investigates tested some cell phone Spyware to find out.
With the permission of WTHR producer Cyndee Hebert, 13 Investigates purchased and downloaded Spyware on her personal cell phone.
Hebert agreed to be spied on - if the spy software lived up to its bold claims.
WTHR's Spy Test
The process of downloading the software took several attempts and a great deal of patience. But once the spy program was installed, Hebert's phone could indeed be tapped into at any time - just as its distributor promised.
While Hebert was at home making phone calls to her family, investigative reporter Bob Segall was outside her house, listening to the conversations on his cell phone.
And there's more - much more.
Every time Hebert made or received a phone call, Segall received an instant text message, telling him that Hebert was talking on her cell phone so that Segall could call in and listen.
On his computer, Segall also got a copy of Hebert's text messages and a list of phone numbers detailing each incoming and outgoing call to Hebert's cell phone.
And no matter where Hebert went with her phone, Segall received constant satellite updates on her location. He could literally track Hebert anywhere she went.
"It's hard to believe you can do all that," Hebert said when she saw the spy software in action. "I think that's really scary."
It gets even scarier.

When spy software was installed onto Hebert's phone, that phone became an instant spy device - even when the phone was not being used.
As Hebert's cell phone was simply sitting on a table or attached to her purse, Segall could activate the speaker on the phone and secretly listen in to the phone's surroundings. While Hebert was in a meeting on the 36th floor of a downtown Indianapolis building, Segall heard her conversations, even though he was four miles away.
13 Investigates found more than a dozen companies willing to sell this type of cell phone spy software, which ranges in price from $60 to $3,000. The majority of the companies are located in foreign countries such as Thailand, Taiwan and the United Kingdom - and for good reason.
Most of the advertised applications for the spy software are illegal in the United States, and the existence of the software angers CTIA-The Wireless Association, an industry organization representing the nation's major cell phone manufacturers.
"These are gross violations of federal and state laws," said association spokesman Joe Farren. "It's very clear, without their express permission, you can't listen in to someone's phone calls, you cannot read their text messages, you can't track their movements. You can't do any of those things and there are numerous laws being broken."
Farren said his organization was not familiar with cell phone Spyware prior to WTHR's investigation, adding "I can tell you our lawyers and engineers are now looking into this."
Government spying
The United States government is familiar with spy software for cell phones.
In 2003 and 2004, the FBI used cell phone spy software to eavesdrop on the conversations of organized crime families in New York, and it used those conversations in its federal prosecutions.
Private investigator Tim Wilcox says several federal agencies rely on cell phone spying technology to monitor suspected criminals, and he says private citizens are now using the technology, too.
"The technology is there. It's been there a long time. It's accessible, and it's done all the time," Wilcox said.
As founder of Indianapolis-based International Investigators Inc., Wilcox says he receives daily letters and e-mails from people wanting help with "cell phone bugging," the ability to download spy software onto a cell phone, turning it into a secret listening device.
"There's only two kinds of people," Wilcox said, holding a large stack of e-mails. "One wants to bug somebody and the other has been bugged and wants to know how it's being done and how to find out and how to stop it.... it's a federal crime, but it's still happening."
The harassment eventually did stop for the Kuykendalls, but only after they brought in police and the FBI. While authorities never figured out who hijacked the family's cell phones, security experts say the case serves as a powerful lesson for others.
"Your privacy is not your privacy. It is exposed and it is exploited," Mislan said. "The key is being vigilant and knowing how to protect yourself.

How to protect yourself
Mislan suggests keeping a close eye on your cell phone so that others never get an opportunity to download information such as spy software when you're not looking. He also says it's important to install a security password on your phone to restrict anyone else from using it.
And while some Spyware marketers claim their products can be used on any make and model of cell phone, Mislan says high-end cell phones that include internet access and online capability are particularly vulnerable to Spyware tapping. To limit the ability of others to download certain types of spyware onto your phone, choose a cell phone that is not internet-accessible.
Wilcox recommends removing the battery from your cell phone when it's not being used and, for sensitive phone calls, he suggests making them on a newly-purchased cell phone that comes with a pre-paid month-to-month service plan.
Based on WTHR's test, here are some subtle signs that could suggest your cell phone is being secretly tapped:
- Cell phone battery is warm even when your phone has not been used
- Cell phone lights up at unexpected times, including occasions when phone is not in use
- Unexpected beep or click during phone conversation

To view the video, please go to the original link here:  Tapping cell phones | Spyware | Mobile Phones | Spy Software - WTHR |

October 23, 2009

Abuse of moms may stunt kid's growth | Health | Reuters


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children of abused mothers may be smaller at birth and show stunted early growth, according to research from Bangladesh.

Prior studies have shown that physical and sexual violence against women is associated with low birth weight of the offspring, as well as with an increased risk of early infant death.

To investigate further, Dr. Kajsa Asling-Monemi, at Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues determined the birth weight of 3,164 children and followed their early growth patterns until they were 2 years old.

Their mothers -- 4,436 altogether -- were mostly married and not employed. They were 26 years old on average at the start of the study.

Half of the mothers reported being a victim of some sort of family violence during their lives.

Fourteen percent experienced physical violence that involved slapping or shoving and 8 percent suffered more severe violence such as hitting, kicking, dragging, or choking. Eight percent of the women experienced severe violence while pregnant.

Additionally, 24 percent of the women reported some sort of sexual abuse, and another 28 percent said they had been insulted, humiliated, intimidated, or experienced other emotional abuse.

At birth, the children in the study weighed 2701 grams (about 6 pounds), on average. Overall, 33 percent were considered low birth weight, weighing less than 2500 grams (5.5 pounds) at birth. Children born to mothers reporting any type of violence tended to be in this low birth weight group.

Among children born to mothers reporting any violence, nearly 42 percent were underweight, about 13 percent were undernourished, and more than 55 percent had an impaired growth pattern known as stunting by the age of 2 years.

By contrast, among children of non-abused mothers, 37 percent were underweight, about 11 percent were undernourished, and almost 50 percent were stunted.

The association between mothers' abuse and impaired growth of their children remained strong after the investigators allowed for mother's education, number of previous births, and religion (Hindu mothers tended to have children who weighed less and were of shorter length than Muslim mothers).

Though most of the size differences between children born to abused, versus non-abused, mothers is present at birth, these findings show "violence-related growth retardation became more pronounced during the 2 years of follow up," Asling-Monemi and co-investigators point out in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

This study, they conclude, adds to the "multitude of confirmed and plausible health consequences" caused by violence against women.

SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, October 2009

Abuse of moms may stunt kid's growth | Health | Reuters

October 20, 2009



On 10/14/09, Judge David Miron, Marinette County Circuit Court, stated that a disabled mother, Lorraine Tipton (formerly Fetterly) may be jailed for 30 days, on contempt of court charges. This contempt is due to the fact that her 11 year old daughter refuses to visit her abusive father, Craig Hensberger.

In fact, the forty one year old mother is facing another contempt charge. This charge involves the father's intention to claim the child on his 2008 taxes, even though the IRS sanctioned him for claiming his child "EIC" from 1999 to 2007 unlawfully. This contempt charge would force the mother to potentially face another 30 days in county jail.

Mrs. Tipton, never married the father, Craig Hensberger, and left the abusive relationship in 2005. Since then Mrs. Tipton has moved on, married and put her life back together. Regardless, Mr. Hensberger continually has taken her back to court, three times in 12 months, regarding the 11 year old daughter's refusal to visit her abusive father.

You may recognize the name of Craig Hensberger, as the father from the news story highlighted in Fox 11, NBC 26 and other local newspapers. This story entitled "Fishy Tale" broke in March of this year. The father, Craig Hensberger, caught a fish weeks in advance, kept it alive in a fish tank and succeeded in fraudulently presently this fish to three different fishing tournaments in one weekend. The daughter won these tournaments based on her fathers hoax.
For more information on this news story, please click on this link.

But Craig Hensberger's crimes do not end here. Previously in June 2005 this father was arrested for his second DUI in less than a year with his daughter as a passenger. In another incident the child disclosed sexual abuse about her father in 2006. Once again instead of helping the child, CPS, Aaron Krzewinksi (Guardian Ad Litem) and other court professionals placed her back into the hands of her abusive father.

CPS finally did substantiate the abuse in 2008 but the father found a loophole and was granted an administrative appeal by Oconto County Family Court Commissioner, Frank M. Calvert.

Previously, in 2007, Mr. Calvert recused himself from any proceedings regarding Mrs. Tipton due to his role as Guardian Ad Litem in her divorce/custody dispute with her ex husband.

On May 21, 2008, Mr. Calvert held a hearing, in which Mrs. Tipton was not notified. This ex parte hearing unsubstantiated the sexual abuse and attacked the character and credibility of Mrs. Tipton.

The most interesting fact on this case is that this is a "Paternity" case and the mother had sole legal custody until her former abuser, Craig Hensberger, forged her signature on a court stipulation in 2002.

The stipulation gave him "50/50" custody and forgave back child support that was owed. The Oconto District Attorney, Jay Conley, told Mrs. Tipton that "even though we know who the likely suspect is we have no proof". Because of this the District Attorney refused to investigate and/or file charges.

The refusal of the District Attorney, Jay Conley, to investigate and/or file charges prompted Mrs. Tipton to get her own hand writing analysis. The forensic hand writing analysis expert confirmed that it was not her signature. When she presented this evidence to the District Attorney these findings were minimized and ignored with Mr. Conley stating, "This only proves this is not your signature".

We at Protective Mothers Alliance support Lorraine Tipton as she is a protective mother. Protective Mothers Alliance is a "grassroots" organization founded by Lundy Bancroft and Janice Levinson. We are dedicated to ensuring the rights of children and protective mothers in family court.

For more information about the horrible injustice that is being done to Lorraine Tipton and her daughter you may visit the PMA supports Lorraine Tipton site:
You can also visit the Lundy Bancroft/ Janice Levinson Protective Mothers Alliance page:

Documentation available upon request.

Feel free to contact with any questions or concerns.

Janice Levinson
Co Founder/Co Director
Protective Mothers Alliance International
PMA....a family of advocates

October 18, 2009

Leadership Council's Child Abuse and Custody Questionnaire

The Leadership Council is conducting a survey about Child Abuse and Custody.  If you fit into a category where either of those pertain to you, I urge you to take this survey.  Below is a little about it.  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes.  Without people doing the research to show that laws need to be revamped, changed or new ones all together......these laws will remain and abuse will continue to reign, with very little consequences to the abusers.  Please pass this on to anyone else you think may be interested in taking this survey.  Any bloggers out there?  Blog it too, please!

Long URL:  https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/survey/index.php?ch=d88fc6edf21ea464d35ff76288b84103
Short URL:  http://bit.ly/3hf6hB

The responses on this questionnaire will be reviewed and tabulated regularly to supply information to the media, legislators and academic investigations.

The information you post is confidential and will be reviewed only by the researchers and administrators who are working with the data. It cannot be accessed by the public, and as research data is protected information.

The information from this questionnaire will be utilized for the purpose of furthering our understanding of child protection issues. Group trends will be shared, but no individual data will be shared without explicit permission from you.

Thank you very much for your efforts in helping us generate information that may protect children from abuse.

The Leadership Council is a nonprofit independent scientific organization composed of respected scientists, clinicians, educators, legal scholars, and public policy analysts. We are committed to providing professionals and lay persons with the latest scientific information on issues that may affect the public's health and safety. We also seek to correct the misuse of psychological science to serve vested interests or justify victimizing vulnerable populations -- especially abused and neglected children.  The Leadership Council - Homepage

October 17, 2009

Family Violence in Canada Annual Report


This is the twelfth annual Family Violence in Canada report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the Federal Family Violence Initiative. This annual report provides the most current data on the nature and extent of family violence in Canada, as well as trends over time, as part of the ongoing initiative to inform policy makers and the public about family violence issues.

Each year the report has a different focus. This year, the focus of the report is a profile of shelters that provide residential services to women and children fleeing abusive situations. Data for this profile come from the Transition Home Survey, a biennial census of residential facilities for female victims of family violence in Canada.

In addition, using police-reported data, the report also presents fact sheets, data tables and figures examining spousal violence, family violence against children and youth, family violence against seniors (aged 65 years and older), and family-related homicides. 

To view or download the report please visit the StatCan Website, or follow the link above.

CA victim confidential address program getting update effective Jan 2010


Friday, October 16, 2009

CA victim confidential address program getting update effective Jan 2010

The California Secretary of State released today that the Safe At Home Victim Confidential Address Program is getting a much needed update to aid victims wanting a confidential name change.
Presently name changes are public records even for victims of crime including victims of domestic violence who are at a high risk for stalking, continued harassment or even death.
With the upgrade to the Safe At Home Program it is indicated that victims' in the program will be given special accommodations stemming form this legislation that will mark their name changes confidential so that they prevent publication in public records databases and datafurnishing companies.
I hope this update is actually implemented. Far too often legislation is passed and caught in what I refer to often as a, "legislative log jam" and quality life saving legislation that benefits victims' never comes to fruition, and the old saying "fail to plan, plan to fail" applies.
This is good news that CA Secretary of State is finally considering updates, I have lobbied for them for almost 5 years when I first realized how flawed the CA Safe At Home Program was and how dangerous it is for victims who rely upon it without disclaimers of its short comings.
I remain cautious and skeptical knowing that big government has big flaws and for victims of domestic violence its far too often a matter or life or death so it is always better to error on the side of safety.
A message to those reading including vulnerable victims' of domestic violence, rape and stalking please be advised it won't take much for this program update to fail. It would only take one person to miss the "confidential stamp" on the courts file or within the cover sheet of the name change paperwork to have what should have been a "confidential name change" become part of cyberspace and published within the on-line datafurnishing agencies for all (including the batterers) to see.
Proceeding with cautious optimism.
If you are a victim of crime in need of privacy protection you are not alone, please visit Survivors In Action web site.
Privacy protection is a serious matter. Whether you are a defendant who testified in a criminal case, law enforcement that tackles the bad guys or a senior wanting to prevent identity theft, privacy protection is a serious concern that everyone has to address in the very visible 21st century and Survivors In Action is here to help ensure "No Victim is Left Behind"
Survivors In Action
"No Victim Left Behind"

Alexis A. Moore: CA victim confidential address program getting update effective Jan 2010

October 16, 2009

Soldiers, family, community prevent domestic abuse


Oct 15, 2009

By Cheryl Harrison

 Domestic Violence 1
Photo credit Cheryl Harrison
Pvt. Enedina Greer, 232nd Medical Battalion, solemnly holds her candle high during a candlelight vigil and silent witness presentation, all part of the Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month ceremony on Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


Related Links

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- In an effort to bring Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month to everyone's attention, the annual opening ceremony was held here, Oct. 1 at Army Community Services.
October is the month that each year as much information as possible is presented throughout the civilian and military communities to recognize the Domestic Violence Prevention program.
Michael Waldrop, deputy to the U.S. Army Garrison commander, Fort Sam Houston, opened the ceremony with remarks and the reading of the proclamation.
"The Army is now fully cognizant that the total well being of our Soldiers is totally dependent on the well being of our Soldier's families. The quality of life and maintenance of that quality of life is important to all of us and important to the Army in a broad perspective. To meet the mission we must preserve that quality and that includes domestic violence," said Waldrop.
Each year 3.5 million violations are committed against family members. The Army has its proportionate share of that. Domestic violence is not to be condoned. Do not turn a blind eye."
During the ceremony, stories of domestic abuse were read from the female and male perspective. Silhouettes were also on display with other stories of violence against family members.
In a more poignant testimony, Sarah Small, the guest speaker, told her story of seven years of abuse by her then husband, and prince charming, who also was a member of law enforcement. Her words were ones that would echo in the minds of the listeners.
"It couldn't happen to me," said Small of her life before the abuse began. But, she found it could happen to her, and it could happen to anyone.
Small, an advocate for domestic abuse awareness, spoke from the heart as she replayed the events that led to her writing her own obituary over five years ago. However, her words weren't needed and she is a survivor of a crowbar attack to her head and face, and loaded guns put to her head and in her mouth, stabbings, punching, slaps and even the killing of her dogs as means of threatening intimidation.
Small survived the seven years of brutal abuse and today uses her story to tell others of how domestic abuse can happen to anyone. "As an 'Army of one' we need to be aware of the unusual. Ask about the sunglasses if they aren't the norm for an individual, unusual bruises, sudden withdrawal, be aware," urged Small.
Following Small's unforgettable words of terror and escape from her abuser was a candlelight vigil, a silent witness presentation in honor of the victims of domestic abuse. Members of the audience held flickering 'candles' as the Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention ceremony came to a solemn conclusion.
Domestic Violence Awareness is something everyone needs take seriously. Survivors don't necessarily like to stand before a crowd and share their stories of abuse, but everyone needs to hear them. If they make the listeners squirm in their seats then the words have touched the heart.
From the words of the proclamation, "We need all Soldiers, civilians, family members and retirees at this installation to dedicate themselves to the prevention of domestic abuse. Everyone is called upon to be a part of the perfect combination for prevention."

Soldiers, family, community prevent domestic abuse

October 15, 2009

California's GOP vote-boycott ends, key bills pass


Squabbles -- both between and within the parties -- are set aside as senators unanimously vote to restore domestic violence funding and make it easier for localities to borrow money.

Reporting from Sacramento - Setting aside political squabbles, Senate Republicans lifted their blockade on several budget bills Wednesday, voting with Democrats to approve measures that restore funding cut from domestic violence shelters and help cities and counties borrow money to balance their budgets.
Republican lawmakers had refused last month to help muster the necessary two-thirds vote for two dozen pieces of legislation in a dispute over unrelated matters.
"We've resolved the issues and we're moving forward," Senate minority leader Dennis Hollingsworth of Murrieta said after Wednesday's vote.
Lawmakers said they hope to carry the new bipartisanship into negotiations over a plan to upgrade California's water system. The Senate on Wednesday gaveled in special sessions on water and tax reform.
Senators voted unanimously to approve a measure restoring $16 million cut from the budget for 94 domestic violence shelters, forcing half a dozen shelters to close and others to reduce their services.
"We have put more families at risk," Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said of the cuts. "When shelters close down, lives are at stake."
The spat between the two parties was not the only one that affected SB3X 13. The Democratic leadership stripped Yee's authorship of the bill... Read more here:  California's GOP vote-boycott ends, key bills pass -- latimes.com

October 14, 2009

Abusers Use the Court System to Continue Victimization

This is a copy of the speech written by Gail Lakritz and given today by Angela Warren at the Pueblo Colorado Conference. This speech was given to judges, police, lawyers and DV advocates.

How Abusers Use The Court System To Continue to Victimize Their Partners and Children

When a woman finally makes that decision to end the abuse and to flee the abusive situation, she rightfully expects that the police, her lawyers and the courts will protect her and her children from further harm. Being a member of the Sheriff's Posse, that is what I was thought. After all, the courts always operate solely by the law, correct? (Scan audience for nods of agreement) We all know that does not happen and that is why I was so confused by my litigation. When injustice reared its ugly head, it flew in the face of everything I thought our country stood for, and, as with most victims of abuse, I came to realize that the system is stacked against the victim.

Today, I want to speak to you about some of the ways the abuser will use the system to further the abuse during the litigation process. It is my hope that, by exposing these tactics, you will recognize in your peers, and perhaps yourselves, what is being done has real, and all too often, deadly consequences.

The litigation abuse begins the moment the abuser is arrested. He plays on the sympathy of the arresting officers. He will use excuses to enlist them in his game. He is, after all, a master at deception. He has years of practice. He is the person who can look you straight in the eye and lie. During the ride to the lock up, he will say things like "She is an alcoholic or a drug addict", "She is always picking on the kids" or "She takes all the money and spends it on herself and we never have enough to eat." Anything that will garner sympathy and sway them to lessen the severity of what is written in the arrest report. And, being taught to spot the antagonist of a situation as they true perpetrator of the situation, the police officer, who is generally male, will empathize with the abuser, and slant his report to favor the abuser. He will ignore what he has been taught, that the victim is most often the one who is hysterical and angry at having been attacked and side with the often calm and rational sounding architect of the situation. And the abuser has gained his first needed corner stone to further the abuse, for in the future, any calls to 911 will be met with skepticism by the police and all future reports of violence will be seen as insane acts by the actual victim.

During the booking process and his appearance for arraignment, when the victim is not present to hear what is being said to the magistrate, he will again repeat his reasons for the attack. Laying the blame on the victim. Now he has widened his circle of conspirators. Word will filter from these people to the Bailiff and on to the judge that there were "extenuating circumstances" that predicated the attack.

Now, as we all know, the key to any successful litigation is money. With money, comes the right lawyers and a venue that is considered to be the "home turf" for that lawyer. Abusers control the money, therefore, they can afford the lawyers who consider winning to be the sole measure of success, not the just application of the law.

In each court system in America, there are lawyers that are known to be the "dirty trick" lawyers. They are the ones who use often unethical and illegal means to deny the Constitutional Rights of a litigant and victim. They will look the other way, or outright encourage, the use of terror tactics against a victim. Judges and other lawyers within the local Bar Association know who these practitioners are will look the other way. In some court systems, judges will actually instruct new lawyers with "I don't care what you do in my courtroom so long as I am not investigated" leaving the avenue open for them to ply their brand of law in any manner they see fit. The idea is to win, not to be just. The abuser will seek out these lawyers, perhaps getting the name of one from a police officer or someone else in the system who just happens to be overheard talking or from another inmate in the lock up.

So now, the abuser has assembled his "dream team". The police, the dirty tricks lawyer and the complacent judge. What more could he ask for than to have swayed the system and set the victim up for further abuse? The abuser will get a slap on the wrist, be sent to Anger Management and, in some jurisdictions, have his record of abuse sealed. In Anger Management, the prep will learn new and better ways of abusing. He will learn to abuse without leaving the outward marks that would land him back in jail. He will hone his skills, through the knowledge passed on by other perpetrators attending these sessions. The things that worked for them will be shared in group in the form of "I reacted to the situation by...." You fill in the blank, as each and every one of you know the tactics, know how the pain can be caused both mentally and physically to a victim without leaving the marks or a trail of abuse.

The first thing the abuser will do after being released from jail is to widen his circle of allies. His dirty tricks lawyer has instructed him to get out in front of his victim, and being the superior liar that he is, he is only too willing to accommodate. Generally, abusers are loners, having few friends and having disassociated themselves from family. He has allowed only minimal if any contact between his victim and her family. He will suddenly become the "social butterfly" contacting people to enlist their help, always with the story of having been the victim in the situation. Neighbors that were shunned by him in the past are now become his confidants. Whispers of abuse by the victim are passed from one person to another. This serves two purposes. It provides a support system for the abuser as well as removing any hope of support for the victim.

The next step to the tried and true method of using the system to abuse is to make the victim seem insane to the system. The abuser or one of his allies will begin the relentless process of attacks that are designed to discredit. Break-ins of the home of the victim are a common means as are well placed phone calls where the abuser uses threats, such as the victim never seeing her children again. An abuser will actually enlist the help of the unwitting child, promising rewards of gifts or, if teenagers, no boundaries to live by. The abuser will reward the child for such things as removing evidence against the abuser from the victims home, lying to police or being complacent about what was witnessed in an incident. Often, no system of reward is needed. It is fear of the abuser, that places the child in the unenviable situation of having to lie. The child senses what will cause the wrath of the abuser to rise against them. If you come away from this presentation with anything, this is the one piece of information I hope you retain. The cycle of abuse is learned and continued by this one tactic alone, using the children as tools of abuse. Any person within the system who even suggests that the abuser use this tactic is guilty of nothing less than murder. (Scan the audience to see who is squirming or looks disinterested and focus your eyes on them for a split second. They are a guilty party.)

Police, having been repeatedly told that the victim is insane, will respond to such things as break-ins as a sign that the abuser is correct in his assessment of the victim. All too often, the abuser will leave something that informs the victim he was there, but at the point in time that the police are called, the victim will not know what is missing, if anything. Sometimes the victim will find veiled death threats, a picture that only the victim and her abuser knows the meaning of, a cartoon left on the computer screen, that is meant to frighten and intimidate. A tire will be slashed when her car is hidden from public view, mementos that have little or no monetary value will be missing. Reporting these incidents to the police enforce the abuser's position. And, when the victim turns to her lawyer for help, if she has one, she is told to ignore all violations of her home and person. You see, it takes two lawyers to execute a well choreographed legal Tango, and by this time, the repeated calls to the police by the victim, the well placed lies by the perpetrator, and, with the assistance of the complacent judge, her lawyer has been won over to not assist in any meaningful manner. Thus the victim is turned into the abuser and seen only as a source of possible revenue for her own lawyer who will offer little if any assistance in seeing that justice is blind, not blinded by gold. ( Pick out a person you have predetermined to be guilty and look directly at them)

During the actual litigation process, there will be a number of players that will be easily swayed by the events that have lead up to this process. GALs and CLRs are swayed by having contact with the abuser and his ever growing stable of allies, lawyers, police and judges. If the children are afraid of the abuser, they dare not say anything to these people that would endanger themselves. Social workers, mental health professionals, even medical doctors who rely on the system for income will not oppose the well built facade of the abuser and his well scripted theater of abuse.

At this point, I would like to see a show of hands. How many of you are judges? Please raise your hands. Keep your hands raised, please. How many are police officers? Keep your hands raised, please. How many of you are lawyers who represent abuse victims exclusively? Good, now if you could all stand up and look around. Do you recognize people from your own court systems in this room? Isn't it nice to know that some of the people who are not standing could, and I emphasis the word could, be manipulating you? (Pause for about 10 seconds) Thank you, you may all be seated.

How do the dirty tricks lawyers actually manipulate? First, talk is cheap, and the dirty tricks lawyer and his client never seem to run out of voice. They will take every chance to influence the judge and the opposition lawyer if there is one, the GAL and CLR, the therapist and mental health evaluator , the social worker, shelter workers and people in the Court Clerk's office. Ex parte is common and rampant in any court system. It can't be stopped unless you, the judges, choose to stop it. A few well placed words prior to the opening of court, the happened, but planned, introduction of the abuser to you prior to proceedings so that you can see how likeable this person is and to get his side, again getting out ahead of the opposition in the litigation. Tools used to put a human face on an inhuman act of violence.

During the early stages of the litigation, the dirty tricks lawyer and an abuser will go for the "all or nothing" approach to a custody question. The abuser, and his lawyer, being confident in the groundwork they have already laid, will not present a parenting plan. They will often seek to move out of the jurisdiction, often so far away from the abused, as to effectively terminate all parental rights. The abused, on the other hand will present a generous plan which will include more time with the abuser than a court would normally mandate. The judge, being the Solomon of the court, knows he cannot split a child down the middle, will have to award temporary custody to one parent or another, and this is usually to the person who already has "possession" of the child at the time of the hearing. (make the hand sign for quotes when you say the word possession). If the victim was forced to flee without the child, or if the child happens to be visiting the abuser at the time of the hearing, guess who gets the temporary custody? Yup, the abuser.

This is the beginning of the motions process. The abuser's lawyer will file motions with the court, often filing them back to back, and always asking for contempt sanctions against the victim. If the victim is unrepresented, this confuses and terrorizes her. If she is one of the fortunate ones, one of the women who was able to afford a lawyer, and motions and subpoenas are filed on her behalf, they are ignored by the dirty tricks lawyer. In the meantime, if she is Pro Se, her filings are ignored by the clerk's office or disappear all together. It never ceases to amaze me how often victims report missing filings, even whole files of proceedings that have gone missing. I can only surmise how it could happen, all of which violate state law. When she asks for a subpoena which must go through the courts for approval, the subpoena that is received for service contains errors made by the person who entered it into the system, precluding the effectiveness of that subpoena. These errors would only be obvious to a trained lawyer, thereby giving the dirty tricks lawyer a reason to quash.

The motions process will offer more ample opportunities for the dirty tricks lawyer to ply his trade. He will mail important filings to the wrong address, often transposing the actual numbers, to prevent receipt in time for rebuttal. He will refuse to accept mail from the Pro Se and then claim that it was not sent to him. He will state a date and time verbally, but put another date and time in writing, often bolding it to attract attention to the erroneous information. He will send a copy of a minor issue in a motion, with proof of mailing, and have a second copy hand served. The problem with this is that he has actually filed two separate motions with the court, one of paramount importance and the one of minor importance. He will then have proof of two separate deliveries to the victim and state that the one hand served was in reference to the major issue while the one mailed was in reference to the minor issue. Of course, he will blame all of this on the victim. She gave me the wrong address, I never got it, she was served and I have the proof.

Depositions are an extremely useful tool for the trickster. Though most states follow the rules of the Federal Courts for deposition, tricksters do not. As all lawyers know, the only time depositions should be used is when information cannot be gotten by subpoena. The dirty tricks lawyer will force deposition to make the victim face her abuser in an environment controlled by the trickster. One deposition trick will be to inform the pro se that a date and time for a deposition of his client has been set. He will send a list of questions to be asked, and state that the deposition will be limited to these questions. This offers the opportunity to pound the Pro Se with intimidation and terrorist tactics of threats. It also forces the Pro Se into setting up a second deposition of her own. Not knowing that it is not required to submit questions in advance, the Pro Se will dutifully submit the entire list of questions to the trickster, giving him time to concoct answers that would favor him. And lest the abuser make a mistake, there is nothing to worry about. The Court Reporter in attendance is one favored by the lawyer. One only need to Google the search term "Changed Transcripts" to confirm this is a common practice. The number of hits are well in excess of 7,000,000.

Proffers are useful when it comes to the dirty tricks lawyer. It is not uncommon for them to submit Proffers to the Pro Se that are never filed with the courts. These are filled with the lies that the abuser intends on in court and are designed to see which arguments are going to be used to counteract the lies in court.

Surprise witnesses are the life blood of the trickster. No subpoena has been issued to these people to appear, but they just happen to be in the area when the court date came up. Judges have a duty to curtail the use of these convenient witnesses, but seldom do, preferring to overrule objections. Often, they are nothing more than hired guns for the defense, parroting whatever the trickster wants them to say. There is often no rebuttal for their testimony, as the Pro Se or her lawyer had no time to prepare for their appearance.

Witness tampering is blatantly illegal but used by the dirty trick lawyer and his client at every turn. All that is needed is for the potential witness to be mislead with a story of the victim being the true abuser, and after all, if they testify, they would be putting the children, and perhaps themselves, in danger. Surely, anyone in their right mind would not want to testify under these circumstances, given that few people are willing to testify in the first place. If that doesn't work, there is intimidation of the witness. Most people have something in their backgrounds they would prefer no one find out. The dirty tricks lawyer is a master at using innuendo and sources like police, family and acquaintances to find that one skeleton. If that doesn't work, there is always the avenue of the witness's employer. Innuendo can be placed in letters to the employer from the lawyer stating that this or that has never been cleared.

In his bag, the dirty trick lawyer and his client rely on the assistance of Child Protective Services. If a direct call from his client does not produce the desired response, there is always the "innocent and disconnected" third party report. These reports can vary from the upper end of sexual abuse or exploitation of the child to reports that the mother is furnishing drugs to the child to such things as a child being left alone. In one case I know of, the GAL was talked into calling CPS when a teenage boy overdosed. What the GAL forgot to report was that the 15 year old had arrived from his father's home with a plastic bag full of pills, and when the mother discovered them, he grabbed them and downed them in an attempt to get rid of the evidence. The same mother was accused of leaving the than 16 year old alone for two hours by the same GAL. Again the GAL left out a very important fact. The child was at the home of a friend.

Court orders are often altered to reflect what the attorney and abuser wants. One mother, while living here in Colorado heard a knock on her door one day. The father, who had never once exercised his visitation, had moved five years previously to Washington state. He went to the local Colorado police with an altered court order for full custody of the son, than 7 years old. No one questioned the validity of the order, in fact, the police were only too willing to help him in removing the child from the mother. She never saw her son again. She was able to locate him last year in a suburb of Seattle, but now 20, he has had it drilled into his head that she wanted nothing to do with him and had willing given him up.

If all else fails, there is always the use of Parental Alienation to fall back on. Dr. Richard Gardner, using no identifiable research and much to the consternation of all recognized authorities, first placed this Syndrome in the minds of the courts to discredit mothers and to help men save on alimony and child support payments. We are all familiar with the theory that states that the mother is toxic to the relationship between the father and his children and that the only true cure for this toxicity is to severely limit visitation or to remove it all together. Abusers and their attorneys love to use PAS. It is one of the most effective forms of abuse of the victim.

Through all the court abuse, and I have only touched on some of the verifiable things that women suffer in the courtroom, there is a continued onslaught from the abuser. Stalking, break-ins, destruction of property and threats of further harm to the victim are normal. Checks for alimony or child support that are never received are also widely reported. Harassment is an ongoing problem to the victim. Planting seeds of doubt of a mother's love for her child in the child's mind, any avenue an abuser can think of will be used.

All of this for one objective, to carry on the abuse. And, the players in the courtroom are all aiders and abettors to that abuse, whether they realize it or not. The crimes we allow these people to get away with are crimes that are punishable by law, and by each and every one of you allowing them to be predicated on victims of violence, you are taking part in those crimes.

Now, as one last thing, I would like some of you to take part in a fun little exercise to reinforce some of what you have heard here today. I would ask that every judge in the audience stand up and glace around the room. I want you to pick out a person here that you do not know and walk over to them and without saying a word, I want you to grasp their hand and shake it. (Wait for them to do this)

Now, again without giving this person your name, I want you to whisper in their ear the year, color and make and model of the car your closest loved one drives. Now, I want you, without giving the city or town you live in, to tell them the street address of that person. Good. You have just given someone who may be a trickster lawyer or an abuser all the information they need. You have just put your loved one in danger, possibly signing that their death warrant. Think about it and try to have a nice day.

October 8, 2009

Nov 2009 DV Blog Carnival- How does DV effect children - anonymiss

Copied from Anonymiss 

Nov 2009 DV Blog Carnival- How does DV effect children

Posted October 8, 2009

The Domestic Violence Blog Carnival that we set up is now accepting article submissions for the edition that will be posted on November 2nd 2009.

This editions theme is The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children.  To submit an article please visit the submission page:  http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_8381.html.  The November edition will be hosted here at Anonymiss.

To view last months edition please visit the UAADV News Blog Domestic Violence Blog Carnival October 2009

If you have a suggestion for an upcoming theme or would like to host the blog carnival for an upcoming month, please send an email to: contactanonymiss@gmail.com with your suggestoins.

Nov 2009 DV Blog Carnival- How does DV effect children - anonymiss

Real Men Don’t Campaign


Real Men Don't

by:  Gail Lakritz

Every October reminds us that domestic violence still exists With Domestic Violence Awareness Month in America.  Statistics show that it may be more prevalent than reported.  In the United Kingdom,  only 56.8% of incidents are reported by women.1   This suggests that the United Nations reporting of 28% of women whose lives are effected by violence in this country may actually be in the area of 50%. 

In order to reduce that number, it is important to re-educate the public on the issue of violence against women in this country.  So far, the task has been limited to a few women's organizations that have had little or no effect on the problem.  Devoting money to educate women is an important act in preserving her life and the lives of her children, but it does not break the cycle.  The cycle begins with the abuser, not the victim. 

To this end, targeting the abuser by  making the abuser aware that they are the real problem, I suggest that all victims join in a campaign to enlighten the public and lawmakers.  I am suggesting that all victims begin by asking the national men's sports organizations to take up the mantle of an awareness campaign entitled "Real Men Don't".

Why the title "Real Men Don't"?  Real men do not need to feel superior to women.  They are secure in their lives and understand that violence is not needed to ensure their personal security.

Why sports organizations?  Simple, most men watch sports.  Abusers feed on the violence in sports.  A "Real Men" campaign would target the very audience that needs to be reached to end the violence. 

The following is an email that I sent this morning to the National Football League.   If every victim in America, which I personally estimate to be between  3,000,000 to 6,000,000 women per year, were to send this or a similar email to the NFL alone, they would see the prudency in  supporting such a campaign.  

I was wondering why the NFL and other male oriented sports organizations do not help in the  fight against violence predicted on women?  So many of your players have been involved in  these acts, why not go public and support women in ending the violence? 

I thank you in advance for understanding that you are a major player who could have a real  influence in the battle to end the violence.  Perhaps a campaign entitled "Real Men Don't" and a  devotion of commercial spots during your games would set you a cut above all the other sports  organizations.

I can see such a campaign as, not only a source of education to the problem, but as the impetus for the application of peer pressure.  With it, expanded campaigns could include "Real Policemen Don't", the education of the importance of writing accurate police reports and of  arresting perpetrators of violence against women.  "Real Lawyers Don't" for the education of lawyers and GALs in the area of Domestic Violence and not allowing plea deals.  "Real Judges Don't", an education for judges on the mental conditions that these people have and the importance of not protecting them.  "Real Lawmakers Don't", informing lawmakers of the importance of writing stricter laws on Domestic Violence.

Note from the author:  I, Gail Lakritz, grant permission for this article to be reproduced in any form of media that furthers the idea of the "Real Men Don't" campaign.

October 7, 2009

American Humane: Email - Cat helps prove child abuser's guilt

Original:  http://site.americanhumane.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=29362.0&dlv_id=22301 

One Abuser, Two Victims

When 9-year-old Beth* was sexually abused by her stepfather, she told the prosecuting attorney that someone else knew about it -- but that he couldn’t talk. She was referring to her beloved cat, Oreo.

Beth explained that Oreo would bravely lie outside her door at night and hiss whenever her attacker appeared. In trying to protect her, the loyal black and white cat also became another victim of violence; Beth’s stepfather would always brutally kick Oreo away from the door.

Beth’s revelation gave the prosecutor an idea. She decided to have Oreo examined by a veterinarian. The results were chilling. Sure enough, poor Oreo had sustained injuries consistent with being physically abused.

When the prosecutor submitted the veterinarian’s report to the jury as evidence showing a pattern of violence in the home, Beth’s allegations gained credibility. In a way, Oreo was able to testify, convincing the jury that the traumatized little girl had been telling the truth.

Beth’s stepfather was convicted and received a long prison sentence. Meanwhile, Beth and Oreo were finally able to experience what every child and animal deserves: a safe home.

Help Empower Victims Like Beth and Oreo

The prosecutor in Beth’s case was Allie Phillips, who now works for American Humane as vice president of our Public Policy Office. She and our staff regularly conduct trainings for attorneys, judges, veterinarians, social workers, domestic-violence counselors and other social services providers on what American Humane calls The Link® between violence to people and violence to animals, increasing awareness of the powerful role it can play in unmasking and preventing abuse.

It’s a vital message -- one that Allie and our Link team are uniquely qualified to spread on behalf of abuse victims everywhere. But she can’t do it alone.

Please help Allie and our team continue to educate others about The Link and stop the cycle of violence affecting innocent people and animals alike. Donate today!

*This is a true story. However, the child’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

American Humane: Email - Cat helps prove child abuser's guilt

October 1, 2009

Domestic Violence Blog Carnival October 2009

Welcome to the October 2009 edition of Domestic Violence Blog Carnival.  This months edition covers Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Each of the articles below cover DVAM in a general sense while adding a personal touch with either history of the month or ideas for what you can do during the month to support awareness and prevention.

From this months blog carnival bloggers: 

Take Time to Observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month  written by Retha Fielding  and posted at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

She Will Be Loved...written by Lorraine Tipton and posted at Mama Liberty’s Weblog

Where is Your Purple Gonna Be?  written by Mary Morgan and posted at Tailored Life Coaching.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is October  written by and posted at Chaos Theory

The War On Women written by Gail Lakritz and posted at RightsForMothers

Domestic Violence or Just an Argument?  written by Ashley Waller and posted at Obstreperous Expressions

From the blog carnival Organizer:  October is DVAM submitted by Anonymiss

From this months blog carnival Host:  The Allstate Foundation and Tell a Gal P.A.L  submitted by UAADV News Blog

To find out more information about the Domestic Violence Blog Carnival, submit articles for upcoming editions, or find and read editions please go to the Domestic Violence Blog Carnival Page or email contactanonymiss@gmail.com the originator of this carnival.

Thank you to all the bloggers and readers that have supported us in hosting the October 2009 Domestic Violence Blog Carnival!