A week ago, I spoke with Jaclyn Qirreh, an advocate of Protective Mothers of Solano County. She told me about one case in Solano County where the Child Protective Services was called by the child’s doctor for probable sexual abuse perpetrated by the father. The investigation was “inconclusive,” as many are, but not unfounded.
The mother was accused of possibly, but not definitely “coaching” the child about the abuse and was chastised because her first instinct was to contact a doctor to treat her daughter, rather than calling the police. Without any proof, the court has deferred to believing the mother may have coached her daughter instead of believing the child, resulting in all custody being taken away from this otherwise great mother, Qirreh said. This occurrence is not an uncommon pattern in the courts.
Local reporters have diligently written stories about concerned residents both men and women, and representatives of organizations, protesting in front of the Solano County Hall of Justice, alleging that the county’s family law division judges favor fathers in court custody battles and are ill-equipped to handle domestic violence cases. Three weeks ago, a group of community members concerned about various other issues served a notice of recall to family court judge Christine Carringer.
The Solano Families United have posted on their website allegations against both Judge Carringer and Judge Cynda Unger. Judge Unger is accused of being bias against “female litigants, especially women of color and non-native English speakers.”
Qirreh is not the only person I have heard from who views the judge’s actions as shocking, alleging that she has removed children from their mothers for little or no cause. I have been told that allegations have been reported to Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams, the FBI, and The Council for Judicial Performance.
This problem is not limited to Solano County. According to the California Protective Parents Association, in the United States, “58,000 children a year are court-ordered into partial or full custody with their violent and/or incestuous abusers after their safe protective parent attempts to protect them through divorce court.”
The theory of Parental Alienation (PA), a condition that describes a child who turns against a parent because of the other parent’s manipulations and indoctrinations plays a tremendous role in custody cases. Many abusers are using PA to rebut abuse allegations and gain custody and control of children. In divorce cases that require litigation, abuse allegations are often part of the case, raising the stakes when parental alienation is asserted.
The late Dr. Richard Gardner coined Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in 1985, after noticing a “disorder” among patients within his private practice. Absent from this definition is a specific reference to sexual abuse allegations. If a mother refuses to press charges against an abuser, judges rule that the offense never happened, Qirreh said. In some cases, women have provided proof yet were ignored. Sometimes, women are ruled “mentally ill” without any grounds for the label.
Qirreh and other advocates emphasize the movement is not anti-fathers. The movement is about a corrupt family court system that advocates believe generates revenue by keeping parents at odds, does not carefully review all the facts or understand the dynamics of domestic abuse issues, ignores the law and have judges that abuse their power. All these factors put our children and mothers at great risk who should be protected by our family court system.
In some custody battle cases, parents have tried to distance their children from the other parent. Some parents have made false claims about the other one. And, yes, we have excellent dads who have been stripped of their parental rights and have been victims of the judicial system.
Qirreh and other supporters welcome the opportunity to speak at forums and groups about this issue and encourage mothers and fathers to tell their stories. Residents can also participate in court watch by accompanying a protective mother to court. We must continue the fight against domestic and child abuse. Meanwhile, mothers want the community to “Please allow us the opportunity to present proof of this epidemic.”
The author is a social issues advocate, writer and a Vacaville resident. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the original article here: http://www.thereporter.com/opinion/20170825/danette-mitchell-mothers-seek-chance-to-share-concerns-with-county