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This is my story, I am publishing this in the hopes that it will be seen and people will begin to understand and fight the gross negligence and confirmatory bias which runs rampant within our system.

Most of the following pages have tidbits of information about the problem men face as a whole, and then they continue with an account of my personal experience with this incredibly corrupted system. I invite you to take a tour of these pages by clicking on any (preferably all) of the links to learn more about me, the court process that my son and I were subjected to, and the highly improper Family Court Services assessment.

The "Battered Woman Syndrome" burst on the scene almost 20 years ago and the issue of domestic violence appears on the nightly news, and in our newspaper with incredible frequency. In the past few years Congress has passed several pieces of legislation including the "Violence Against WOMEN Act" (VAWA) These new laws are gender oriented and begin with assumptions underlying the logic of their language. They are that typically only WOMEN are the victims of domestic violence. (Ignoring data that children and men are the victims lashing out against their abusers). That MEN are typically the perpetrators of all domestic violence. Neither of those assumptions are factually supported by the hard data on family violence. Researchers report that there is no vast difference between the violence of males versus females in the area of spousal violence. (with the exception that men tend to not report abuse to themselves out of fear of ridicule.) Even without these unreported abuses against men. Only a few percentage points separate the genders. It is in the UNCOUNTED area of CHILD ABUSE that women far exceed men as the perpetrator.

But perhaps the WORST of the assumptions in these laws is the denial or ignorance of the many dynamics in family relationships and the dysfunction that they don't recognize. And that includes the precipitators of violence. The behavior dynamics of BOTH parties. And how seldom is there a truly completely innocent party. Not that there aren't sadistic brutal men, but more importantly is there are also conniving, sadistic, and brutal women. The point is that the issue is more complex. There are other issues that need to be considered. What the accused needs to know is that the new laws REQUIRE states to DENY custody and visitation to parents accused (not convicted) of domestic violence. Because of this the number of allegations is exploding and the number of parents (typically men) who are having ALL contact with their children permanently severed is growing exponentially. 

As a man who has been through this firsthand I have found that there is a quote that fits quite nicely to the problems men face in the courts. I do not recall who said these words, but take a moment to understand the truth that lies within them.

The weakness of men is their facade of strength; the strength of women is their facade of weakness.

Men do not expect anything to protect them. But we do expect ourselves to protect our loved ones. So even when men batter in self-defense, they expect to be reported; and even when their loved ones hit first, men rarely report. Many men don't report being battered because they believe "private problems must be solved privately." They consider "airing dirty laundry in public" a violation of a relationship's sacredness. Which is also why we don't even report it to our closest friends. Like women, we feel it's up to us to change. To the man, if you genuinely feel it's your fault, you take the blame and try to correct the problem. A battered man imagines that if he calls the police and says, Please come over, my wife just hit me, he'll become the the laughing stock of everyone around him. A battered man knows there are no shelters for battered men because no one really believes he exists. Men fear being denounced as an abuser if he beats a woman, and mocked as a crybaby if he is beaten by a woman. Both sexes feel helpless when the love of their life turns into the nightmare of their life. But men, for all these reasons, feel much more helpless about asking for outside help. A women's strength is in knowing when they feel helpless. A Man's weakness is not knowing. The fact that we have identified a women's "learned helplessness" but not men's is, it turns out, a sign that the women's problem is on its way to being solved, while the men's is as yet generally unrecognized.

According  to the US Department of Justice's 1998 Report on the National Violence Against Women Survey, men comprise nearly 40% of all domestic violence victims. California State Long Beach University professor Martin Fiebert has compiled a bibliography which examines 130 scholarly investigations (104 empirical studies and 26 reviews and/or analyses) which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 77,000.

The National Institute of Mental Health funded and oversaw two of the largest studies of domestic violence ever done, in 1979 and 1989, both of which found similar rates of abuse between husbands and wives. Contrary to the claim that women only hit in self-defense, women in both of these studies were as likely as men to initiate the violence. And while many still conceptualize domestic violence as pitting a hulking husband against a terrified wife alone in a kitchen-turned-boxing ring, research shows that abusive women use weapons and the element of surprise to compensate for their smaller size, often with devastating results.

Many local men have reported their abuse to the National Coalition of Free Men Los Angeles. The most difficult cases are those of abused fathers. For example, Ron, a Simi Valley entrepreneur who is living in his own garage in order to get away from his wife's attacks, won't leave his violent wife because he does not want to leave his children unprotected in the hands of an abuser. At the same time he knows that if he takes his children he could be arrested for kidnapping, and that the family courts would probably grant his wife custody, again leaving his children in harm's way. Such cases sometimes have tragic results. In the highly publicized Socorro Caro murder case, Socorro abused her husband Xavier so badly that he almost lost sight in one eye, and the abuse was allowed to escalate until Socorro murdered three of their four children.

Despite the gravity of the problem, there is little recognition of and services for male victims of domestic violence and their children. While LA County has two dozen shelters for victims of domestic violence, the only shelter which accepts male victims is the Valley Oasis shelter in Lancaster, 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Former Oasis director Patricia Overberg, who changed shelter policy in order to accept male domestic violence victims in the late 1980s, believes that LA county's neglect of male victims is a "human rights issue" and notes that her shelter housed and provided services to both abused women and abused men without incident. This however is not just a local problem, it is however a nationwide and world wide problem that must be addressed. That is another reason for this site. I hope that by allowing this site to be viewed by anyone who wants to it will begin a change both in the minds of everyday people and in the courts and police themselves. This cannot be allowed to continue, our children are far too important to keep turning a blind eye.

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This A father's Story site
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