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Showing posts with label ABUSE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABUSE. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

RECENT APPELLATE COURT RULING DENIES FAMILY COURT LITIGANTS FUNDAMENTAL DUE PROCESS RIGHTS!



ENTITLED "COURT TIME IS VALUABLE, DON'T WASTE IT" AND WRITTEN BY ATTORNEYS ALEXANDERMAKES ZERO ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS THE PERSPECTIVE OF LITIGANTS, THE ARTICLE BELOW COPIED FROM THE CT LAW  TRIBUNE MAKES LIGHT OF THE FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF LITIGANTS.  
WE ARE WELL AWARE THAT DIANNE HART-D'AMATO HAD A LEGITIMATE CLAIM AND THAT THE OUTCOME IN THIS CASE WAS WRONG AND WILL CAUSE ONGOING HARM AND DAMAGE TO FAMILY COURT VICTIMS.
SEE BELOW:
"Courtroom time is invaluable, and particularly so in family cases. Courts only have so much bandwidth, and what exists must be maximized in the pursuit of justice. For litigants and counsel, courtroom time means having their "day in court": the chance to finally be heard by someone who can grant relief.

What relief can there be, though, when the system is clogged?
Connecticut's courts have long recognized the legal maxim that justice delayed is justice denied. For a parent awaiting a determination of custody (or even just waiting weeks and months to have a hearing) as long days pass without proper parenting time with a child, nothing could ring truer.
Time spent on the bench by a judge means time not spent writing decisions or attending to other judicial duties. Time spent in the courtroom may mean that a judge is forced to take other work home, at the expense of personal endeavors. It may mean that parties must wait longer to receive written decisions. In sum, such courtroom time should not be incurred lightly. Yet, our family courts must struggle every day with limited means to cull out meritless claims which suck up courtroom time.
The Connecticut Appellate Court has recently issued a guiding light to reduce bench time for family judges without offending notions of due process:  D'Amato v. Hart-D'Amato , 169 Conn. App. 669(2016). In D'Amato, a disgruntled litigant filed a smorgasbord of motions, including a motion to open the judgment, all of which the trial court denied without a hearing. Naturally, the party appealed, claiming that she was entitled to her day in court.
The Appellate Court in D'Amato shut down the due process claim as follows: "Pursuant to Practice Book §11-18(a) … whether to hear oral argument on motions in civil matters is a matter within the discretion of the court, except in limited circumstances, not relevant here, in which argument is a matter of right. … The trial court's decisions not to hold evidentiary hearings with respect to these motions were, by the rules of practice and case authority, within its discretion." Id. at 675-76. In a footnote, the D'Amato court stated that while "notions of due process include the opportunity to be heard … the defendant patently was afforded the opportunity to present her points of view in writing. Such opportunity satisfies due process." Id. at 689 n. 2.
The potential impact of this case for family courts is huge. For example, baseless motions to open can be denied without forcing a judge onto the bench — and without requiring incredibly expensive preparation by counsel for a needless evidentiary hearing. A judge could similarly deny associated claims to allow postjudgment discovery pursuant  Oneglia v. Oneglia , 14 Conn. App. 267 (1988). If the underlying motion to open is without any merit, it cannot have the "minimal indicia of merit" required to entitle the litigant to postjudgment discovery under Oneglia. Such a frivolous motion can be dispensed with expeditiously, thus avoiding a derailment of other proceedings in the case for months without just cause. This is but one vortex sucking up precious court time which D'Amato can help eradicate.
D'Amato reaches its result on the strength of the sometimes forgotten notion that a litigant's written submission can itself constitute due process. If a motion on its face does not entitle a party to relief, then why does a hearing have to be held to reach that same conclusion? Civil judges have much broader authority to decide matters "on the papers," without offending notions of due process. Surely due process is the same in both the civil and family context, as D'Amato indicates. Surely a family court judge's bench time is at least as valuable as that of a civil judge.
D'Amato, by itself, may not be enough to convert the backlog of time-consuming hearings into a neat pile of pleadings instead. Family law judges are no doubt hamstrung by Practice Book §25-34, which seemingly mandates a hearing on everything except discovery. In comparison, Practice Book §11-18 leaves it to the judge's discretion as to whether there should be a hearing, except for a limited class of motions — and even those only get more than a read-through only if additional requirements are met. A family court's hands are also tied with respect to many of the mechanisms that serve civil courts well to ensure that only meritorious claims reach the courtroom, such as motions to strike, requests to revise, and motions for summary judgment. Consider again the parent awaiting a determination of custody. Why should that be delayed for even a second while the court grapples with motions that fail to properly even state a claim?
Each short calendar day, the family judge is swarmed with cases marked ready. A mere fraction are actually reached; of those, a fraction will conclude on that day. The unfortunate remainder are destined for a certain date, only adding to the backlog. On that certain date, numerous contenders for court time will show up, likely to find that the court may be double- or even triple-booked. Even the eventual "winner" of court time on that day may find valuable hours eaten up on their court date while it is figured out which case should be heard. The resulting waste of court time and counsel fees for needless hearings must be stopped, if the Connecticut family courts are to be as effective as they can be. D'Amato  is a worthy companion to the Appellate Court's approval of a court's authority to limit the filing of redundant, vexatious, frivolous, and abusive pleadings in  Strobel v. Strobel , 92 Conn. App. 662 (2005). D'Amato is a step in the right direction of strengthening the authority of a family judge, but it is not enough.
Until Practice Book §25-34 is more closely aligned with §11-18, the full impact of D'Amato will remain unrealized. Similarly, the family court should be given greater tools to manage their dockets, and allow for the elimination or revision at an early stage of frivolous claims — at the very least to the extent available to a civil judge. Practice Book §1-25, addressing sanctions for frivolous claims, is a recent and relatively unexplored addition to the court's quiver of options. Perhaps it can grow to rival Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which serves as a famous deterrent to the filing of frivolous claims in federal court. In doing its extraordinarily important job, the family court can certainly use all the help it can get."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU EMPOWER A BULLY: THE TRAGEDY OF MATHEW COULOUTE!

There are few cases that present the spectacle of the foolishness of family court here in CT quite as effectively as the Mathew Couloute versus Lauren Haiden versus Stacey Blitsch cases.  

Mathew Couloute, for those who are interested, is a native son, born and raised here in CT and said to be an associate of Gov. Dan Malloy.  An attorney and formerly a state prosecutor, Mr. Couloute is a talented, intelligent, capable if not brilliant professional with some unfortunately fatal character flaws, one being an inability to maintain a steady and law abiding career path, and the other, a complete inability to maintain a decent and courteous relationship with the mothers of his two children currently aged 11 and 5.  

These flaws have led to constant moves from state to state, several career changes, and more recently extensive and complicated litigation in CT Family Court including several custody evaluations conducted in Family Relations at both Hartford, CT and New Milford, CT, not to mention additional proceedings in other states, i.e. Florida, Georgia, and New York.  

For those of you who are interested in knowing what this case all comes down to in a nutshell, I'd say it all comes down to character.  It's so obvious, it flies right into your face and smacks you on both cheeks.  

Now, I am not saying that the two ladies involved in this case--Lauren and Stacey--are so fabulous, because no they are not.  They have gotten on my nerves many times.  

Of course, all that adds up to is a bit of irritation.  

On the other hand, Mathew Couloute?  Here is a man who has demonstrated well into his forties that he is completely incapable of maintaining a relationship with a woman for any notable period of time.  For his entire life up to this point, he has simply bounced from relationship to relationship to relationship.  Any time it gets tough for him, he just leaves and goes on to the next one.  

Of course, co-parenting children with the mothers of the children he left behind requires a little bit more "stick to it iveness" than Mr. Couloutte has been able to demonstrate thus far.  

So where is family relations on this point?  

What is interesting, of course, is that during all the family relations evaluations and court hearings that have taken place in this case, no one has actually focused in on this point, which is, of course, the most important point--the fact that Mathew Couloute is not capable of a mature, adult, respectful relationship with a woman on a long term basis.  

Furthermore, on Mr. Couloute's part, there has been a lot of demonization of his ex partners, but no specific demonstration of any intent to work with them to raise their children.  

For instance, I read Mathew Couloute's recent motions to the CT Family Court for sole custody where he goes into detail regarding his layman's understanding of Lauren Haiden's mental health condition.  What he fails to mention is that, not only has he demonstrated his severely compromised mental health condition by his manner of living his life, which is pretty obvious to anyone, but also he does have his very own record of mental health problems which, since he is a highly capable and knowledgeable attorney, he has been able to suppress from the record in the case. 

Unfortunately, this has been a big problem, i.e. the way in which Mathew Couloute has been able to play around with how the Court understands his case.  

For instance,  in the year leading up to his divorce from Lauren Haiden in 2015, he was supposed to be in therapy with a master's degree psychotherapist who was supposed to assist him in communicating more effectively with his ex wife.  In the months leading up to trial, this therapist stated that Mathew Couloute had been highly successful in his therapy and that the work they'd done together was a big success.  

But how could that therapy possibly be a success if Mr. Couloute failed to demonstrate in his life any concrete indication of improvement in his ability to communicate with the mothers of his children.  In fact, the emails sent back and forth during that timeframe, many of which were provided to the custody evaluator, demonstrate clearly the fact that Mathew Coulloute speaks to the mothers of his children in a mean, vicious, cruel, and unkind manner and is, at this time, incapable of coparenting because, so far, no one has required him to.  

Witnesses who have heard Mathew Couloute rant and rave on the phone to the mothers of his children have also stated that he is both frightening and abusive towards them.  

So far the Family Court in CT and its family relations department have maintained the position in regard to Mathew Couloute that whatever he wants to do he can do.  

For instance, it appears that up to this point Mr. Couloute has placed his son of 11 years old in 9 separate schools, almost one for each year of his life.  Is anyone going to object to that?  Several credible studies have linked school changes to serious psychiatric difficulties in children.  See link:

http://time.com/8854/study-switching-schools-may-make-your-kids-psychotic/

Anyone with a fundamental understanding of child well being should.  

Then there is the fact that when his son was four, Mr. Couloute was able to wrest custody from the mother who had been taking primary care of the child up to that point.  You'd think he would then spend more time with the child.  But no.  Instead, he continued on with full time work and gave responsibility for the care of the child to his brand new 22 year old girlfriend.  

Just in case you are wondering, I have met the boy's mother, Stacey, and she is a wonderful person, clearly perfectly responsible and capable of taking care of her child.  In fact, the court pretty much said that at the time, prior to irrationally giving the child away to the father.  

Anyway, not to take up your whole day with this, although there is so much more to say.  

Right now this case is being wrangled between the State of CT and the State of NY and I receive frequent updates on the progress of the case.  

Apparently, what led to this debacle is that after the divorce, Mathew Couloute failed to pay any court ordered child support for a year, and then last Fall 2016 he moved to Georgia, established residence, and enrolled his son in a private school.  

After a few months, given that Mr. Couloute was no longer in the State of CT, Lauren Haiden gave a notice to the court that she was leaving the state temporarily because she had no money or a place to stay.  Her father came and picked her up, along with their little girl, and they moved away to Buffalo, NY.  

She then filed for sole custody in New York state even though the State of CT has jurisdiction. Now that seems foolish to me, but that's because I've been hanging around court systems for so long.  Given that Lauren Haiden is a non-attorney, and unfamiliar with the Court, her actions should be understood as simply a product of convenience and not ill intended.

Nonetheless, in response, instead of attempting to work the situation out, Mathew Couloute returned to Connecticut from Georgia and filed a police report claiming that Lauren had fled the state with the child and that he was concerned about the child's wellbeing, blah blah.  As a result, he was able to get her arrested.   Of course, he knew she hadn't fled anywhere, but you know, if you can get away with shit, why not try?  I guess that's what he thought, and he was right.  The CT Family Court system was only too willing to snatch up the bait.

Anyway, so here we have more legal drama, more dysfunction, more hoopla, and who suffers here?  The kids, you've got it.  

The problem, as I see it, is where you give a fairly unwise and unstable individual complete authority and the ability to get away with any nonsense, while leaving the other parent helpless in the face of bad decision making and interpersonal bullying.  

What is necessary for post-divorce tranquility is that there is proper cooperation combined with an equal balance of power between the parents in order to promote an atmosphere the children can thrive in.  When you empower a bully, as the CT Judicial Branch seems readily prepared to do with this family, the spreading ripples of pain and destruction for this generation and the next are endless, and virtually unstoppable in the absence of common sense.  

Would it be possible to order therapy for the parties based upon actual facts rather than Mr. Couloute's fantasies or the highly edited statements of mental health professionals who are so low on the professional totem pole they are vulnerable to coercion?

This statement here is not my standard approach to writing a blog.  Usually, I like to have all my facts lined up in advance, and I only speak when I have everything perfectly prepared.  But it seems we have an emergency, so I'm speaking up now while the CT Family Court system has time to correct its mistakes and resolve this matter in a way that benefits the children.  I don't want it later said that I stood witness to this travesty and said nothing against it.  

This is what I have to say to CT Family Court.  It is time to stop the nonsense, to stop the politicking and grandstanding, and stop the hyperbole and do what is right for everyone concerned in this case, particularly the children.  For the better part, this includes putting the brakes on Mathew Couloute's bullying.  Enough already. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

FAMILY COURT POLICIES BAR MOTHERS FROM PROTECTING THEIR CHILDREN!

There are two things that happened to me recently which set off an important chain of thought.  The first is that I was contacted by a person I'd met in the course of writing my blog.  She told me that when her children are at their father's home he is often drunk and violent towards them.  Unfortunately, there is nothing she can do because, in her divorce, she was designated the bad parent and had to go through multiple hoops to retain custody.  

The testimony of the children, the documentary evidence of the father's abuse didn't matter.  What mattered was that the court had decided to favor the abuser who was again the father, and the mother was left in a position where she could do little to protect her children.  

The second situation is that a close friend of one of my children committed suicide.  This friend was in his or her early 20s, just graduated from College practically.  I don't want to provide identifying details regarding who this person is just for reasons of privacy and respect. However, what I did want to say is that doctors suspect that the reason why this person committed suicide had to do with sports related injuries which led to serious depression. I then asked my child if she had sustained similar type injuries and she said "yes", in fact she had.  

Her response completely shocked me because it never occurred to me that she'd gone through this without my knowing.  Apparently, because my child didn't want to trouble me with information about a situation she knew I couldn't protect her from given the ongoing indifference of family court, she decided not to tell me. The concussions my child was newly reporting to me were over and above the other injuries I knew about, i.e. two broken shoulders, two broken noses, and irreversible nerve damage.  

Some of these injuries occurred because my ex husband failed to provide my child with the kind of proper equipment that is essential when you play the kind of sports my child played.  I only found this out when other parents pulled me aside during games to ask me what was going on and why didn't my child have the proper gear.  Unfortunately, unlike my ex, who is highly sports oriented, I was unfamiliar with what was necessary. Thankfully, once these concerned parents had clued me in, I was able to stay on top of the problem.  But not before the damage had been done.

Another reason these injuries occurred is simply because my child was a very slight and fragile young person who should not have been engaged in these kinds of activities because he simply didn't have the necessary bulk to participate safely.  

However, when I brought these issues up with my own attorney and with the guardian ad litem in my case, they made light of my concerns and laughed them off.  The guardian ad litem sneered and made comments that led me to believe that he thought I was bringing up my safety concerns regarding my child's sports activities simply as a means to get an edge in the custody battle.  My own attorney went on about how team sports would toughen my kid up and prepare her properly for the cruel world she'd face in the years to come.

Even though I repeatedly brought to the attention of my attorney and the GAL medical reports indicating that my child was sustaining more injuries than was healthy at his age, they both dismissed and mocked my concerns.  What gets me even now is that it wasn't the opposing attorney who amused himself at my expense and that of my child, it was my own attorney. This tells you how difficult it can be for protective mothers.  

As mothers, we are well aware that our children are being injured in ways that will affect them for their entire lives and yet the family court system and its associated attorneys make light of the situation and act like mothers who express their worry must have Munchausen's by Proxy, or something similar.  

In fact, as a consequence of the fact that I expressed such concern regarding my child's well being related to her sports activities, the GAL and the attorneys in my case insisted upon including an additional provision in our parenting agreement specifically giving my ex husband sole authority when it came to signing my child up for sports. This gave my ex permanent free rein to expose my child to potentially life threatening conditions within the sports arena.  

I have already spoken about this problem in a previous blog on this website which I entitled "The Kids Are Not All Right." What I am writing about now is just a reaffirmation of the ongoing existence of this problem.  

I am also saying that little did I know that the problem was much more severe than I had earlier thought.  

As mothers, when we hand our children over to their fathers for parenting time, we simply have to trust that father's behavior will be responsible.  What can you do about what you don't know about because you aren't there? In my situation, my child was sustaining even more severe injuries than I knew about in his father's care.  As I said earlier, it is only now that my child feels free enough to tell me about the concussions and the nerve damage he endured. Those injuries are for life.  

The loss of a friend through suicide is also an injury for life.  This is a friend my child grew up with from Kindergarten.

That friend who died was also a child of divorce.  I can only hope that my child will not end up the same way, but there is no guarantee.  

Bottom line, however, is we have a family court system that is thoroughly irresponsible about the way in which they are handling the physical and psychological health of our children. In its rush to whitewash the behavior of fathers merely because they are fathers, particularly the abusive ones, they have put at risk thousands of children, placing them in situations that are completely unacceptable, and then demonizing their mothers who try to protect them.  

I continue to be appalled by the fact that the media doesn't report on this situation, that our representatives haven't addressed this issue about which they were well informed in 2014, and that our CT Judicial Branch continues to stonewall any attempt to hold them to account regarding how it treats vulnerable children.  This situation is and remains a disgrace.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CT DCF FINDS 1 YEAR OLD BABY ABUSED AND STARVING, DOES NOTHING!

Josh Kovner of "The Hartford Courant" reports as follows:


"A scathing review by the child advocate of the near-starvation of a baby placed with relatives in Groton reveals "staggering failures and omissions" on the part of the Department of Children and Families, and raises doubts about DCF's decisions on child placements beyond this case.

A DCF social worker visited the boy, identified as Dallas C., on at least five occasions over 102 days between late July and late October 2015, but managed never to see Dallas awake, never roused him and never assessed what others who had contact with the family were calling the child's rapidly deteriorating health, according to the advocate's report, released Tuesday morning.

At one point, the social worker reported that he was "able to confirm that [the child] was indeed breathing," according to state Child Advocate Sarah Eagan's report..."

READ MORE:


http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-foster-care-dcf-child-abuse-1005-20161004-story.html

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WHEN THE ABUSE IS PSYCHOLOGICAL--THE DYNAMICS OF COERCIVE CONTROL, EXPLAINED BY "NEW YORK TIMES" JOURNALIST ABBY ELLIN!

"Lisa Fontes’s ex-boyfriend never punched her, or pulled her hair. But he hacked into her computer, and installed a spy cam in her bedroom, and subtly distanced her from her friends and family.
Still, she didn’t think she was a victim of domestic abuse. “I had no way to understand this relationship except it was a bad relationship,” said Dr. Fontes, 54, who teaches adult education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst..."
READ MORE:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/11/with-coercive-control-the-abuse-is-psychological/?_r=0

Friday, October 23, 2015

PHYLLIS CHESLER REVIEWS THE BOOK: " DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE, AND CHILD CUSTODY: LEGAL STRATEGIES AND POLICY ISSUES", EDITED BY DR. MO THERESE HANNAH AND BARRY GOLDSTEIN!

Phyllis Chesler reports as follows:

"I have been battling the Great American Custody Wars ever since the mid-1970s. I could not believe what was happening to mothers then—and when I broke the news, in the 1980s, few people believed me.

The prevailing myths were that women had an unfair advantage in custody battles and that men were discriminated against. This was not true then and it is not true today.

People also believed that only unfit mothers lost custody and that only very fit fathers obtained it. Mainly, the opposite is true.

No one believed that courts actually enabled or legalized incest or removed children from very competent mothers and gave them to exceptionally violent fathers—and then savagely restricted a mother's access to them.

Today, even I have a hard time accepting the fact that things have gotten worse..."

READ MORE:


Saturday, June 20, 2015

OP-ED LINKS DCF, BILLION DOLLAR LAW FIRM, AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES IN A CONSPIRACY TO EXPAND THE USE OF PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS AMONG CT'S FOSTER CHILDREN!

According to an Op-Ed by Robert Fiddaman in 2011, 

"For some time now, Sheila Matthews has been suspicious about her home state of Connecticut's treatment of its most vulnerable children. As a mother of two children and co-founder of Ablechild, her instincts led her to scrutinize the dubious relationships among Connecticut's Department of Children and Family Services [DCF], the pharmaceutical industry, and a billion dollar law firm that has defended the likes of Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co., among others.

Sheila's investigation has led her on a journey that links a non-profit children's advocacy group, with assets over $15 million [2009], with nationally-renowned mass tort and class action defense law firms, to the Connecticut DCF - an $865 million bureaucracy, as described by the Connecticut Mirror..."


For more on this interesting subject, please click on the link below*:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Billion-Dollar-Drug-Compan-by-ROBERT-FIDDAMAN-110310-185.html

*I am not familiar with the subject matter of this article and so I cannot guarantee its accuracy, however I do think it is important to be informed and if more substantive information comes forward to support these allegations, I will certainly share it with you all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LYZ LENZ OF "BUZZFEED" STATES MANY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES TEACH COMPLICITY WITH ABUSE!

Lyz Lenz of "Buzzfeed" states the following:

"Although my parents currently attend an Episcopalian church, swear, and drink a lot of wine, my family resembles the independent Baptist Duggars — America’s most famous Evangelicals — in many ways, one tragic. When my sister, then age 15, reported that she had been sexually abused by someone in our family, she was counseled by family members and church leaders that prosecution would make things worse. Better to forgive, they told her, and find true reconciliation with God. She was also warned that criminal proceedings would tear her family apart. And because she loved her family, she relented. After all, she was a child with nowhere else to go. She had been taught that her whole world was her family and her church, and they all conspired to keep her silent with the admonition to forgive. And forgiveness so often means complicity..."

For more on this topic, please click on the link below:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyzlenz/how-evangelical-churches-protect-abusers-like-josh-duggar?fb_ref=mobile_share

Friday, May 15, 2015

NANCY S. ERICKSON, J.D., DR. KARIN HUFFER, AND JANE DOE SPEAK ABOUT INVISIBLE DISABILITIES IN THE COURTROOM AND THE ADA AT THE BMCC 2015!

Nancy Erickson stated as follows:  In my work in litigation, I see that the fathers would abuse the mother who would then develop PTSD or some other form of mental illness.  The mother would then come across very badly in psychological tests and lose custody.  

These tests are not meant to figure out whether you are a good parent and they cannot really arrive at such conclusions, but they are misused for that purpose.  

PTSD is extremely common among battered women.  If you look at these percentages, there are studies indicating that among women in DV shelters 40-89% have PTSD.  PTSD is not what you would really call an illness.  It is an injury.  The best way to think about it and explain it to the court is that we are starting to learn about it.  Soldiers returning from combat have PTSD.  All of the research money is out there to treat PTSD, not for DV, but that which results from combat.  

There are similarities and also differences.  PTSD from DV is worse, because you have been traumatized by someone you thought was going to love, protect, and take care of you--not an enemy, but a person you trusted.  Thus, your trust in the whole world has gone.  So it is an injury.  

PTSD is defined in the DSM-5 as follows:

1.  You had to have had a trauma; 

2. you have to have the requisite numbers and kinds of symptoms, i.e. one or more--sort of like a restaurant menu in a Chinese restaurant:

A. intrusive thoughts--nightmares of the abuse, flashbacks or dissociative reactions, not a memory, an oh my God, I am back there again, distress at exposure to external or internal cues regarding what happen, physiological reactions to external or internal cues; 

B. avoidance, avoidance of thoughts and feelings of this event, avoidance of external reminders: people, places, activities, objects; 

C.  negative changes in cognition/mood, can't remember something that happened, change from before to afterwards, loss of trust, distorted thought like blaming yourself, anger, feelings of detachment or estrangement from others, memory problems, and persistent inability to experience positive emotions; 

D.  changes in arousal or reactivity such as exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, problems with concentration, sleep disturbances, suicidal behavior or ideation.  

I sometimes like to give the Court the following analogy if they are considering taking a mother's children away from her based upon PTSD.  What if the abuser had taken a sledgehammer and crippled the mother for life because he destroyed her knees and now she can't walk.  Then he comes to court and says, your honor, she can't even walk how can she be a parent?  Yet he caused this problem!  

This is not something is biochemical; this is an injury caused by the perpetrator and will stop once the constant abuse is over.  Are these symptoms always at play?  No.  You have PTSD, but it isn't triggered all the time, only when in Court or facing the abuser, or having to see him in court.  In other words, PTSD is often episodic, which is covered under the ADA.  

Jane Doe mentioned requesting breaks, obtaining reduced price transcripts, pencil and paper to take notes on the stand, breaks, etc. as her accommodations under the ADA.  The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 has expanded and extended the civil rights of people with disabilities.  

Dr. Karin Huffer began her presentation taking note of Jane Doe's situation.  She has broken heart syndrome where the pressure of family court has caused her heart attacks.  

If you are in a situation like Jane Doe, says Dr. Karin Huffer, the first thing to note is:  1.  You are not crazy; 2.  You are not alone; 3. You have rights under the ADA.  

The ADA empowers us with a powerful federal tool so that victims of DV can stand up for themselves.  Family courts are a maze where you can end up being abused more because your abuser controls family court the same way he controlled the family.  

In this situation, the ADA can help you.  For instance, you can obtain accommodations under the ADA to undergo a deposition in writing in your own time rather than being put on the spot in an oral deposition.  

It is critical to have a person in your life to address the disability issues when you are in a court proceeding.  

When you request an ADA accommodation, you only have to provide a single diagnosis.    So don't feel you have to provide more than one.  A request for accommodation is administrative; it is confidential and does not belong under discussion in court.  

Federal Court also has to comply with the ADA as well even though they will deny that.  And this is why.  PTSD interferes with expressive speech and so without the ADA a litigant is unable to communicate effectively with the court.  

In addition,  Federal law supersedes state and local law.  

You don't file a motion with the judge.  You go to the clerk ex parte.  

People with invisible disabilities often need extra time; they need a stay, they need a break, etc.  People must have executive functionality--anything that takes it away is not lawful.  

It is my view that Family Courts have become a public health crisis and must be treated as such.  

Consider whether it makes sense to have a psychological evaluation which is intended to take your child from you if they find a disability vs. a disability asssessment in order to address the accommodations you need in order to function.    

One trick of the abuser is to litigate you to the point of bankruptcy.  We need to address this issue.  

Finally, we need to train ADA advocates to be in those courts.  If these advocates can get all over these courts like an anthill, they will not be able to do this any further.

SAM VAKNIN SPEAKS ABOUT NARCISSISM DURING THE BATTERED WOMEN'S CUSTODY CONFERENCE!

The person with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder regards children as extensions of himself and so are very possessive of them like they are of an arm or leg.

They have no concept of boundaries, which will lead to abuse, including sexual abuse.

They regard their children as pawns in their large game, their grandiose vision of what they are going through.  The children are props in their fantasy lives which they use to obtain Narcissistic Supply.

To get Narcissistic Supply from their perfect, brilliant, flawless, they consider children as props in their life story, and idealize their children.  

They establish an approach/avoidance cycle, try to coerce them into adulation or admiration; if they fail, then they will withdraw.  This will continues on for years, even when the children are in their 30s or older.

The cuteness of children, causes the narcissist rage because they get more attention, and so they feel they are compete with them.

Also, the narcissist considers the children to be bargaining chips.  The objective is to use the children, to influence, manipulate, harm the other parent.

All of these issues are contemporaneous in a custody issue with a narcissistist.

With a narcissist reckless behavior and substance abuse is standard.

They feel they will always get away with it, and they do.

They are frequently sexually deviant as well.

A NPD person is a present and imminent danger in the lives of his children, a point which should not be denied by authorities.  This insight still has not permeated into the system--police, legal, court, mental health

The conflict between the need to merge, to convert into extension of self, when a dependent source of NS can benefit from that child, to become one with them.

Many men with narcissistic personality disorder have many of the traits of co-dependence, react badly to changes in status quo.

At the same time, envies the children, particularly if they become more accomplished, more beautiful (if NPD is mom).

The NPD is destructive, seeks to eliminate the source of frustration, which is the child, but also seeks to merge, so this cannot be resolved in a rational way.

They will use Control Mechanisms: I sacrificed my life for you, I need you; I cannot cope without you; we have a common goal, parent and child we need to work for this together; classical psychosis, emotional incest, cultish setting, children are members.  you and I are united against the whole world, or against the monster mother.

The narcissist treats his children as objects and attempts to maintain total control over them.

He states to his kids, "You (my children) are my true passion.  If you don't obey my commands, I will punish you."

NO tv if 7.

I will disinherit you if 50.

This is how an individual with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) attempts to resolve the seathing destructive dependence he feels in connection to the children with his need to merge with them.

He will commit abuse by proxy in custody battles, with   the "proxy" being the children

He will attempt to get the children to aid and abet this abusive conduct.  

Why do I say "he"?  75% of NPD are men, 25% of women.  So the majority of people with NPD are men.

NPD within custody battle or divorce proceedings presents real problems.  Most abused mothers have a tough line to draw:  they don't want to be accused of PAS by telling to truth, so they end up pretending everything is OK, but, of course, that doesn't work either.

Children have the right to know; parents should say what is going on.

You don't cover up

You say, "Abusive conduct is wrong."

Children should be taught the warning signs of abuse: verbal, sexual, physical.

Children should learn to use the word "no".  Say no to drugs, say no to abuse.

The imposition of joint custody is a problem when there is abuse because it will never work.

There are various kinds of abusive parents, and each kind requires a different strategy.  They are as follows:


1.  erotomaniacs:  stalker who believes he is in love with you and that you are in love with him, ignore with that person.  He often has ideas of reference which feed into his delusions.  

2.  narcissistic:  Feels like he can demand your love and attention, reacts with rage and vindictiveness whenever you say "no".  The best approach is to  ignore, give no further contact.  Indicate that this is not personal, but a part of the process of ending the relationship, be firm, don't send mixed signals.  Ultimately these men are cowards, bluster notwithstanding, and they are easily intimidated.  They are not very emotionally attached. They don't love you or the children, because they lack the foundation for experiencing that emotion.  They will move on with ease.

3. paranoid: lives in an inaccessible world of his own making.  They love being threatened.  Keep as much distance between yourself and that kind of ex as possible.  Don't inform ex of new address and life.  will look for you, be suspicious and resentful of your freedom.  Must have a safety plan.

All of these three types are interrelated and one can end up being interchangeable with the other.

Stalking is very intensive during custody battles and divorce.  

Narcissists terrorize, intimidate, breach boundaries, gaslight you, create an atmosphere of anxiety and fear in order to gain advantage in the court battle.

In response, you need to ignore your gut reactions, do not do it, do not strike back.  Instead use the law, use all available option, jail, visits from police, and restraining orders.

Don't try to buy peace by appeasing the abuser; submission or attempts to reason give him more information which he can use to abuse

Narcissistic and psychopaths have cold empathy, calculating, leverage cold empathy in order to invade your boundaries.  He will use everything you say to support his illusions and psychopathic fantasies.  

NPD people believe all failures are from the abusive hostile world; they vengeful, seathing, ruthless, sadistic, calculating machine

threats are useless--just be determined.  Only meet the psychopath is public places

The system favors glib narcissist:  NPDs are cool, calculated, reasoned, willing to compromise, she is crazy, she is rigid

To expose the narcissist in court, you belittling the narcissist, undercut him, expose him as weak, average, weak, mediocre, hinting or outright belittling, will get narcissist in full view.

Keep in mind, you will have abuse in your life for a long time, so be prepared.

The system, people in the mental health professions, are simply not informed of the serious, pernicious nature of individuals with NPD.  System not prepared to cope with these people.  Hopefully, our work will be part of the movement to get people informed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

HUFF POST: 92% OF KIDS POOR OR IN FOSTER CARE TAKE ANTI-PSYCHOTIC DRUGS FOR OFF LABEL REASONS!

According to Huffington Post,
"The release in late March of an alarming new report by federal investigators has confirmed in shocking new detail what has been known for years: Poor and foster care kids covered by Medicaid are being prescribed too many dangerous antipsychotic drugs at young ages for far too long -- mostly without any medical justification at all. The report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General examined in depth nearly 700 claims filed in 2011 in five of the biggest prescribing states -- California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and New York -- and discovered that two thirds of all the prescribing with these popular and costly "second generation antipsychotics" (SGAs) raised high-risk "quality of care" concerns..."
For more on this subject, please click on the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/art-levine/feds-pay-for-drug-fraud-9_b_6966454.html

Direct Link to Study:

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-12-00320.asp


Primary takeaway:  Poor kids and Foster kids are dying.