I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are these media personalities using misinformation to extract money from donors?

Some media personalities in Ottawa are promoting a charity event for later this week through the use of misinformation. Read Earl McRae's article immediately following and a few excerpts from the "A" channel on air weatherman Bill Welychka, following that and then my response to them both. After that is an excerpt from Glenn Sacks on lesbian discord that the media doesn't want to call DV and recall my remarks in the email to the two aforementioned parties.MJM
November 21, 2008 Stage against rage Welychka stands up for battered women by organizing fundraising concert By EARL McRAE

I ask Bill Welychka, weatherman for the A-Channel, "Bill, why you, why did you start this, what's the genesis of your interest in the cause?"

Welychka, 41, single, muses briefly. "My parents," he says, "separated when I was in the fourth grade. My five brothers and sisters were older than me and no longer living at home. My mother was a teacher and she moved from Welland to Richmond Hill after the separation. She never got involved in another relationship, and so I was raised by a single mom.

"I don't believe my father had been physically abusive against her, but being the only child at home and brought up as I was by my mother, well there are certain qualities a woman can pass down that a man can't in the same way -- sensitivity, nurturing, compassion, tenderness. I have a lot of feminine sensibilities within me. I have empathy. Most of my friends have all been women."

Fifteen bucks.

That's all Bill Welychka is asking you to spend on Saturday Nov. 29 at Barrymore's. Fifteen bucks. You think nothing of forfeiting $15 to put gas in your vehicle, or buy a few beers at the pub, or buy lottery tickets, or buy a T-shirt. The $15 Bill Welychka's asking you to spend wallops to the sideline all of those, no contest -- the $15 he's asking you to spend will be the best $15 you've ever spent.

To borrow from Nike: Just Do It. Proceeds from Bill Welychka's Men Rocking For Women benefit concert will go to Ottawa's shelters for women who've been subjected to violence from men in their lives: Husbands, common-law husbands, partners, boyfriends; the problem such that the shelters are full, victims -- and children if they have any -- often having to be placed in hotels to await space.

"About 60% of women have, at some point in their lives, experienced at least one episode of physical abuse from a man," says Welychka who'll be emceeing the concert. "I know, myself, more than one woman who has. The shelters are so important. They are mostly privately funded and every cent they get is needed. I'm hoping there'll be at least 500 people at the concert. It starts at 8 p.m. and tickets will be sold at the door."

What you will get for your $15, besides the majestic knowledge that you are helping women who desperately need help, are performances by Alan Frew of Glass Tiger, plus the Ottawa rock bands Heroes Offer Her, Loudlove and Sojourn.

GOODS UP FOR AUCTION

Among the many items for the silent auction will be high-end electronics, gift baskets, Ottawa Senators tickets, Senators team-autographed T-shirts, and artist prints of the Sens. And weekend getaway packages from three hotels: The Chateau Laurier, Les Suites, Arc The Hotel.

There'll be star-talent CDs especially autographed for the concert, including from Anne Murray, Sarah Brightman, the band Coldplay and a DVD signed by the band ZZ Top.

Players from the women's Ottawa Roller Derby League will be there, and donating their own fundraising cheque. Several of the city's top radio and TV personalities will be on stage with quarterback Welychka.

"The more guys you get in the audience, males, seeing these other guys up there putting themselves out and waiving their fees, and when they hear guys explaining the importance of this cause, the more it can only help."

Although this project by Welychka is the first of its kind in Ottawa (and part of the White Ribbon Campaign of men joining in the war against violence towards women), it's not his first. When he was an editor in Toronto with TV's MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic, he spearheaded successful White Ribbon fundraising campaigns in that city.

If YOU are a business and have something you'd like to donate to Men Rocking For Women, you can phone Welychka at 613-789-6559, ext. 2249, or Tina Mitani at 613-789-0606, ext. 2247.

Bill Welychka didn't have to do this Ottawa concert, no one is paying him, nor would he ask to be paid. He is not a professional concert promoter. It is arduous and time-consuming. He is doing it because he truly cares, he cares about the gender in our society who need the caring of all of us.

Fifteen bucks at the door.

Worth so much more.

From: bill.welychka@atv.ca [mailto:bill.welychka@atv.ca] Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:51 PM To: swanson@storm.ca Cc: earl.mcrae@sunmedia.ca Subject: RE: Earl Hi Jeremy
Thanks for the time you took in responding to the recent article about the fundraising concert for women's shelters.
My goal has two objectives...
-money being raised
-guys hearing a collective of other guys simply saying "Any kind of violence against women is wrong"
Since the article came out, I have been inundated with emails and phone calls from women sharing their story. I certainly don't need the encouragement to embark on this initiative, but it does show there is a need for it.
Admittedly, I've received a hand-full of emails...like yours...expressing an uneasiness in my undertaking a fundraising initiative. I appreciate all comments and opinions. I also appreciate action. So if you are part of an active email campaign, please forward my response to the others in your circle. I hope you can appreciate my limited time. But my response is a single one-time only email, as I do not wish to get into a back & forth email debate.
You and your collective display concern and intelligence.
You and I both know stats are erroneous and can be manipulated.
I prefer facts. Much more tangible.
The facts tell us quite simply...women's shelters are full.
They are under funded and overcrowded.
A vast majority of these women (some with kids) are there as a result of fleeing an abusive relationship.
Period.
There is no grey area.
There is no debate in discussing the question of fundraising or a message of never condoning violence.
Thanks for reading, and take care.
Bill Welychka
'A' News Ottawa
bill.welychka@Atv.ca
T 613.789.0606 ext. 2249
'A' News
87 George St.,
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9H7
www.Atv.ca
fromMike Murphy
reply-tomjmurphy@nospam.com
toBill Welychka , Earl McRae
ccottsun.oped@sunmedia.ca, mike.therien@sunmedia.ca, anewsottawa@atv.ca
date24 November 2008 14:23
subjectDomestic Violence (DV) Hyperbole, Earl McRae Stage against Rage , Friday, November 21, 2008
mailed-bygmail.com
)
Dear Earl and Bill: I have read with interest your article on DV and its relationship to support of a charitable fund raising event by a colleague of yours, Bill Welychka, also in the media. Both of you are using fiction and, perhaps some might describe hyperbole to market a fund raising event. The exaggeration, amongst other myths put forward in this case, is the fiction "About 60% of women have, at some point in their lives, experienced at least one episode of physical abuse from a man," says Welychka. Mr. Welychka, there is such a thing as truth in advertising. This is an untrue, unfounded statement yet you are using it to collect money from unsuspecting donors. If you are using it on air during your weather show and it turns out you are found to have been misleading viewers will the CRTC have a concern? Will other regulators have a concern that media people are presenting fictions to extract money for a cause that discriminates against 50% of the population. (See below for the genesis of this statement). I guess I understand what motivates you Bill, as by your own admission you are a feminized man. That is not criticism but you clearly lack some of the values and attributes that only a father could have passed on to you and that is not your fault. By the way you can have the same attributes you imply can only be achieved by being raised by a single mother in a father-mother household. Did you know that Domestic Violence (DV) is as likely to be initiated by a female against a man as it is vice versa? Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2005 is a comprehensive report from Stats Can showing an estimated 7% of women and 6% of men representing 653,000 women and 546,000 men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004. You can find the report at this link. http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/050714/d050714a.htm Domestic Violence it is less than 11% of all violence in Canada For every 6 battered women there are 5 battered men in Canada Men form more than 65% of the victims of violence in Canada For every 1 murdered woman there are 3 butchered men, For every 1 woman who ends her life, 3 men do the same William Levy-FRA-Montreal, Quebec Keep in mind what you see in the paper is what is reported to police. These appear to be the numbers you have been exposed to. The figures above from Sats Canada are those based on surveys which are more comprehensive. Do you want to become known as panderer's of misinformation and half truths. Based on a Stats Can 2008 report "Family Violence in Canada, http://www.statcan.ca/bsolc/english/bsolc?catno=85-224-X&CHROPG=1 chart 1.3, on Page 15 there is a demonstrated decline in police-reported spousal violence over the period 1998-2006. DV is far from an epidemic . You describe that shelters are full but how do you know this? Have you done a scientific unbiased survey or talked to one person at one shelter? How do you know that all women in these shelters are there because of abuse? How many are there because of addictions, how many are there because they are abusers taking a time out before they get back, how many are there because they lied about abuse but need food, warmth and a bed for a few weeks, how many are there because they are passing through but lied to get the same as the former? Did you know abusive women suffering from alcoholism or drug addictions use these shelters? Did you know that Lesbian relationships have a higher reported level of DV than heterosexual relationships. Both are female in the latter case so why the focus on men being the single and only culprit. Have you enquired about the salary levels in the administration of these shelters. In a recent campaign against misandric ads by a shelter in Dallas, TX the director there was reported to have been making $170,000.00 in pay and benefits. What amount of your charity fund raiser will go toward paying such expenses? Clearly a high school principal in this province with responsibility for over a thousand students, in some cases, doesn't approach this level of remuneration. Are you cherry picking not only mythology but other statistics to suit an agenda that fits with your own self described value system. Out of the approximately 500 shelters in Canada not one provides support for battered men. As a battered man and father I can attest there are no services for me in our community. That is unconstitutional discrimination. Not only that but I have encountered blatant bias by support services in my community as do other men and fathers across Canada. In a recent court decision in California at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C056072.PDF it was determined it was unconstitutional for a DV shelter to deny services to a man and his child. This will now spread across the United States and eventually reach Canada and there will be a requirement to supply these services to men who need it, There are a considerable number who do require help from which they are currently ostracized. In an Amicus Brief filed in the above mentioned California case by The National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center they outline many studies, including Canadian ones, indicating females initiate violence against males at least equally or in some cases at a higher rate than men. The brief can be viewed here. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C056072.PDF. Why the differences between police reported DV incidents and the survey reports? Men, and I can speak to this with experience, are socialized to internalize and "suck up" abuse. We do not want to demonstrate to others we are in pain or weak, when in fact, the pain may be overwhelming. We do not, for similar reasons, want to let others know we are fearful even in a life threatening situation, as witnessed by those police officers and firefighters, very likely all men, entering the twin towers of the World Trade Centre before they collapsed and they might even resort to black humour to shrug off the danger. Men do not want to have to face their colleagues for a perceived lack of manliness. In simple terms pride plays a lead role in most men not reporting DV from their female spouse. Another one which I pondered greatly as I was a stay-at-home dad due to the abuse I received was the issue of loss of the children. A dad in an abusive situation knows if he leaves his children they may be exposed to DV and if he takes them with him - where could he go! He will have fear the tables will be turned and he could be accused of kidnapping or falsely accused of abuse, which is very common. He is in a lose-lose situation as most contested and uncontested custody cases go to the female partner. The ratio of this is over 9-1 in favour of the mom. As I feared I lost custody of my children due to false allegations of abuse. The family court system and its support services clearly think men are inherently violent and are highly biased toward females and you are reinforcing this fiction. The issue of DV is a complex and serious one and I won't go into great detail or quote specific studies other than those above. The Amicus Brief includes many citations and very succinctly describes the issues in its 42 pages. These issues are relevant in Canada. There are hundreds if not thousands of peer reviewed and valid scientific studies in existence. What I can tell you with clarity is the issue of intimate partner violence cannot be resolved by an approach which panders to people who sit on only one side of the aisle at the expense of half the population. Yes, you both do a disservice to your gender by using fictitious information. DV is a family issue and must be conducted with the involvement of all parties in the family as a unit. Men need to have access to services and perhaps then it will become more socially acceptable for males to try and escape from the abuser and take the children with him who are also deeply affected. Treatment regimes need to involve each member in a holistic manner- I can't say this enough. Had there been services for men perhaps I would not now be divorced. In the interests of balance I would request Mr. McCrae or the Ottawa Sun and the A channel to also report my statements which are backed up by facts not disingenuous platitudes. I will be publishing the information on my blog along with your column. I will also be monitoring further marketing leading up to and during the event and If more misinformation is used to collect money from consumers it may be reported to the appropriate regulatory agencies. Could it cause a loss of credibility for Sun Media and the "A" channel? I think your cause is worthy and abused people (of both genders) do need care and attention, especially the children impacted by family discord, but do not mislead people into believing what you have written or spoken so far.
Michael Murphy

Lindsay Lohan & Girlfriend 'Come to blows in London nightspot'--but don't call it 'Domestic Violence'

November 24th, 2008 by Glenn Sacks

"According to Dr. Donald Dutton, author of Rethinking Domestic Violence, research shows that domestic violence is actually more common in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships.

"For example, one study of 1,100 lesbian or bisexual women who are in abusive lesbian relationships found that the women were more likely to have experienced violence in their previous relationships with women than in their previous relationships with men."

First the story, then a few comments. From Lindsay Lohan And Sam Ronson Fight, Get Couples Counseling (Huffington Post, 11/21/08):

THE most talked-about twosome in Hollywood are talking with a couples counselor to resolve their escalating problems, an insider told Page Six.

Lindsay Lohan (above, in black) and Samantha Ronson (above, in red) "are fighting like cats and dogs," according to our source. "They fight every day, screaming, crying and yelling at each other.

"Sam and Lindsay are still very much together and very much in love, but drama just seems to follow Lindsay, and Sam hates it. She deals with Lindsay every day. And every day for Sam means questioning, 'Is this worth it?' "

Page Six spies saw Lohan and Ronson get into a spat outside of Citrine on West 21st Street recently, and the London Sun published details of a explosive argument this week outside Boujis in London, where Ronson was deejaying.

The paper reported "all hell broke loose" and the screaming match ended with Lohan "in tears."

The wild child sank down in tears following the 4am bust-up with DJ girlfriend Samantha Ronson.

It's not mentioned in the story's headline nor in its lead five paragraphs, but it turns out that what is portrayed as a lover's "spat" is actually a case of domestic violence. The story continues:

The pair had come to blows in a trendy London nightspot after Sam spotted Lindsay dancing with her ex Calum Best.

Witnesses say the DJ flew at the actress "throwing punches" on the dancefloor at Boujis...and playboy Calum, 27, had to tear them apart.

And as they were leaving the club Lindsay hit back at her lover "screaming and spitting" as the pair had to be pulled apart once again.

Another paper reported "Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson had their second major spat in a week."

The two lesbian lovers are abusing each other and "throwing punches" and the only man involved--Calum Best--is the one who breaks it up. Tell me, if Lohan was getting punched by her boyfriend as opposed to her girlfriend, would it be labeled a "fight"? Would it be seen as a cute lover's "spat"?

For another recent example of the media not calling lesbian domestic violence "domestic violence," see Wife Stabbed 222 Times by Spouse, but Media Doesn't Call It 'Domestic Violence' Because...