Saturday, April 25, 2009
They currently have the following podcasts available at the link below with more planned to come.
Stolen Generation, Parts 1 and 2
Give a Dog a Bad Name, Parts 1 and 2
Feminism is Not Good for Women, Parts 1 and 2
Thursday, April 9, 2009
A trial date has been set for activist Simon Anderton, member of the Real Fathers for Justice, for his Tyne Bridge protest in June of 2008. Details of the protest from U.K.'s Chronicle are listed below.
A CAMPAIGNER is today spending his second day perched on the top of the Tyne Bridge to highlight the plight of dads denied access to their children.
Activist Simon Anderton, a member of Real Fathers for Justice, climbed 193ft to the top of the famous landmark just after 5am yesterday.
The 44-year-old unfurled a Happy Father’s Day banner and dangled a dummy of a hanged man under the arch, which is said to symbolise the many men who commit suicide as a result of being denied access to their children and prolonged family court proceedings.
A spokesman for the group said Mr Anderton, from Heaton, Newcastle, had enough supplies for a number of days and did not intend to come down.
Mike Kelly defended Mr Anderton’s actions and denied it was a tasteless stunt. “A lot of people who haven’t had the misfortunes of going through the family courts might think that,” he said. “The sad thing is that when you get married and you have children nobody expects that one day you are going to be denied contact with them. But the reality is that if your marriage or relationship goes wrong you might never ever see your children again.”
Mr. Anderton's trial will be at 10am on Monday, April 27, 2009 at Newcastle Quayside Crown Court and I would encourage everyone to rally in support of Mr. Anderton and his attempts to bring the plight of fathers who have been alienated from their children to light. A great and prevalent evil is being committed in divorce and family courts. The disregard for the integral role of fathers and the resulting alienation of men from their children bear the blame for the destruction and loss of many lives.
Apparently, some have called Mr. Anderson's tactics of dangling a dummy from a noose 'offensive'......when what they really should have found offensive was what that dummy represents. We should all be offended by the crimes being committed against fathers. We should all be offended in behalf of the untold number of men who are routinely denied access to their children and whose lives are subsequently destroyed in the family court system.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Joel Lyndan from Israel News Agency,
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Fathers' Resource Center, eighty-six percent of men have at least one child during their lifetimes. Using the 50% divorce rate figure, and knowing that fathers lose custody of their children about 80% of the time, it can be calculated that about 34% of American, English and Israel men will experience the loss of child custody sometime during their lives.
It is well-known that noncustodial fathers often experience high levels of psychological distress. Social scientists have made observations such as the following. Wallerstein noted that post divorce visits with children "can lead to depression and sorrow in men who love their children". Ross observed that many divorced fathers are "overwhelmed by feelings of failure and self-hatred," and as a result are "disengaging from a family that is no longer really theirs".
Umberson and Williams highlighted the sense of failure that these fathers experience. As a result, these men "exhibit substantially higher rates of psychological distress and alcohol consumption than do married men." Blankenhorn described non-custodial fathers in this way: "These men are very angry. Indeed, their white-hot sense of injustice can sometimes produce in them the phenomenon of pressured speech, in which emotional intensity derails normal conversational rhythms."
So given the frequency and gravity of the problem, it is not surprising that numerous anecdotes have appeared in the popular press detailing non-custodial fathers who have resorted to killing themselves. One very cruel irony - over the past 20 years, society has admonished fathers to become more attentive to their families. As more wives entered the workforce, this relieved some of the financial pressure on men, and has allowed fathers to devote more time to their children. And during that same period of time, a series of laws have been enacted that have enabled wives to obtain court orders to exclude fathers from the household, in the name of preventing domestic violence.
Once a precedent of paternal separation has been established, child custody is almost always awarded to the mother. Hence, these domestic violence edicts have made it more difficult for fathers to maintain meaningful involvement with their children. In some cases, their own children have come to view their loving fathers with suspicion and distrust. So noncustodial fathers have become increasingly frustrated and angered by the mixed messages that they are receiving. They find it incomprehensible that their basic human right to be a parent is being curtailed by a legal system that they perceive to be expensive, cloaked in secrecy, and unfair. Is it any wonder that some fathers crack under the pressure?
On Thursday, January 23, 2003, a BC father, Mark Edward Dexel, 42, took the only exit fathers are left with when dealing with the most corrupt justice system ever known in the history of Canada, he committed suicide. This latest tragedy has shocked many non-custodial parents among the local support group Parents of Broken Families and other non-custodial parents groups across the nation. It was a grim reminder of the same tragedy that led Darren White, another member a similar group, to take his own life back in early 2000.
A distraught father struggling with overdue child support obligations and adverse family court decisions committed suicide on the steps of the downtown San Diego courthouse Monday. Angrily waving court documents, 43 year-old Derrick Miller walked up to court personnel at the entrance, said "You did this to me," and shot himself in the head.
Miller is one of 300,000 Americans who have taken their own lives over the past decade - as many Americans as were killed in combat in World War II. America, the UK and Israel are in the throes of a largely unrecognized suicide epidemic, as suicide has become the eighth leading cause of death in the United States today, and the third leading cause of death among adolescents.
Many recognize that the US is rife with violent crime, but few know that 50% more Americans kill themselves than are murdered. Who is committing suicide? For the most part, men. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, males commit suicide four times as often as females do, and have higher suicide rates in every age group. There are many risk factors for suicide, including substance abuse and mental illness, but the two situations in which men are most likely to kill themselves are after the loss of a job, and after a divorce.
Because our society strongly defines manhood as the ability to work and provide for one's loved ones, unemployed men often see themselves as failures and as burdens to their families. Thus it is not surprising that while there is no difference in the suicide rate of employed and unemployed women, the suicide rate of unemployed men is twice that of employed men. It is for this reason that economic crises generally lead to male suicide epidemics.
During the Midwest farm crisis of the 1980s, for example, the suicide rate of male farmers tripled. A sharp increase in male suicide occurred after the destruction of Flint, Michigan's 70 year-old auto industry, as documented in the disturbing 1989 film "Roger and Me." Some suicide experts fear a rise in suicide related to our current economic downturn. The other most common suicide victims are divorced and/or estranged fathers like Derrick Miller. In fact, a divorced father is ten times more likely to commit suicide than a divorced mother, and three times more likely to commit suicide than a married father.
According to Los Angeles divorce consultant Jayne Major: "Divorced men are often devastated by the loss of their children. It's a little known fact that in the United States men initiate only a small number of the divorces involving children. Most of the men I deal with never saw their divorces coming, and they are often treated very unfairly by the family courts."
According to Sociology Professor Augustine Kposow of the University of California at Riverside, "The link between men and their children is often severed because the woman is usually awarded custody. A man may not get to see his children , even with visitation rights. As far as the man is concerned, he has lost his marriage and lost his children and that can lead to depression and suicide."
There have been a rash of father suicides directly related to divorce and mistreatment by the family courts over the past few years. For example, New York City Police Officer Martin Romanchick, a Medal of Honor recipient, hung himself after being denied access to his children and being arrested 15 times on charges brought by his ex-wife, charges the courts deemed frivolous. Massachusetts father Steven Cook, prevented from seeing his daughter by a protection order based upon unfounded allegations , committed suicide after he was jailed for calling his four-year-old daughter on the wrong day of the week.
Darrin White, a Canadian father who was stripped of the right to see his children and was about to be jailed after failing to pay a child support award tantamount to twice his take home pay, hung himself. His 14 year-old daughter Ashlee later wrote to her nation's Prime Minister, saying, "this country's justice system has robbed me of one of the most precious gifts in my life, my father."
Fathers' rights groups contend court bias plays a direct role. One divorced father committed suicide on the steps of San Diego's courthouse, another set his car afire outside Alaska's child-support office. Fathers' rights groups, joined by a few academic experts, see a common denominator in these recent bursts of rage, and ask whether America's family court system could be partly at fault by deepening the despair of many divorced men.
"None of these guys are poster children," said Lowell Jaks, president of the Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents Rights. "But when you cause this much pain to so many men, there are going to be repercussions - a certain percentage are going to crack."
Women's groups and government officials doubt that courtroom bias is the cause for most of these destructive outbursts; some experts say divorced men simply experience more isolation after divorce than women. But Jaks is convinced of his position. "Some guys kill themselves, some snap and go out and kill others," Jaks said. "You can dismiss them as crackpots, you can say we need more protection for women, but it's not going to take away the problem."
Augustine Kposowa, a sociologist at the University of California-Riverside, has conducted studies concluding that suicide rates among divorced men are much higher than for divorced women or married men. He attributes the difference to what happens in family courts. "Decades ago, the pendulum swung in favor of the men, but clearly in the past two decades the system is stacking up against men," Kposowa said in a telephone interview. "The man loses his marriage, then he loses a second time when child custody is granted to the woman," he said. "Unless something is done, by examining family laws and having new policies to aid men, the situation is bound to get worse."
Extrapolating from Kposowa's research, fathers' rights activist David Roberts contends that child-support orders - part of what he calls "the war on fathers" - contribute to the suicides of more than 5,000 divorced fathers each year. Roberts, president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, concedes that his estimate is un-provable and that suicides often may stem more from personality factors than legal bias. But he is bitter at what he perceives as unwillingness by politicians and most academics to take the suicide and violence phenomenon seriously.
Outside the fathers' rights ranks, government officials and leaders of women's groups acknowledge that divorce and custody procedures are often imperfect. Joey Binard of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges said states are shifting away from the traditional presumption that mothers should get post-divorce custody of children. Many states now say preference should go to the parent most involved with the children, she said, "but that still leaves men on the short end of the stick, because most are not primary caretakers."
Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, stressed repeatedly in an interview that divorced men who commit violence are "the rare exception." However, Horn said men commonly experience depression or other mental health problems after a divorce. And he suggested that some family courts may still give "subtle preference" to mothers in custodial hearings. "Even if, objectively, there is no bias, if the man perceives it as such, it's a source of stress," Horn said.
Horn predicted that court procedures would become more evenhanded. "There's greater recognition that it's important to keep dads actively involved in a child's life, that child support should be more than just going after dad's wallet," he said. National suicide statistics do not provide a comprehensive look at marital details -for example, whether a male suicide victim was a divorced father who lost custody of his children. However, psychiatrist David Clark, a suicide expert at RusPresbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, said fathers facing loss of custody are at above-average risk of suicide. "You go through the open-wound agony of the divorce, you go through the agony of losing day-in, day-out contact with your children - and if you add either clinical depression or increased drinking - that's a combination that gives us gray hair," Clark said.
Some very sobering statistics. I'd like to add the following closing comment from the above article,
It's time that we, as a community, speak out in support of these emotionally abused fathers and children. It's is you, the reader, who bears the blame by your silence. For if you do not act, do not expect the US Congress, the English Parliament or the Israel Knesset to shed one single tear for the next grave to be danced upon by an angry, disturbed mother.
That said, let us not bear the blame with our silence but, instead, let us add our voices; voices of disgust and outrage, voices that demand not only recognition and validation but action.
I'm including a list of links to U.K. newspapers and other mediums (hat tip to TFB from antimisandry for acquiring the majority of them).
Metro. This one is the local free paper which is part of a national chain. The group seems to be run centrally from London where most of the contact details direct to. Below is the only local link I could find.
But this page contains a list of general contacts based in London.
BBC Look North. The local BBC news channel. It invites us to “Tell us what you want to see on the programme ”, here.
I'm asking everyone to contact as many news mediums as possible, encouraging them to cover the trial along with the reason Mr. Anderton felt compelled to climb that bridge in the first place; the tragic loss of life that occurs as a result of men being forced out of their homes and kept away from their children.
I'm posting the following excellent letter that Percy from Antimisandry has sent to the BBC to serve as an example,
Mr. Simon Anderton will go to trial on April 27th in Newcastle. He spent 63 hours on the Tyne Bridge with little shelter on a fathers day protest in June last year, to highlight the suicides caused by broken Contact Orders.
He protested for every child deliberately and callously denied access to and losing a Father.
His action was selfless and courageous and in the Best interests of Children and their Fathers everywhere.
Over a hundred men die annually from suicide due to Family Court Injustices. It is equal to the famous feminist claim that 2 women die each week from domestic violence. This DV claim has been highlighted by the BBC in the past.
Simon’s ‘crime’ was to draw men's devastation to public attention.
Now he faces the fury of the Law. Why should the Law be used against a fine man doing the difficult task of bringing awareness of the manifest Injustice of the Family Courts?
His prosecutors ought to be named and shamed.
I am hopeful that the BBC will cover this Trial free from misandry.
It would be encouraging to Truth if you took a pro-father stance on this issue. It would certainly be a change.