Girl's allegations of abuse 'unsubstantiated,' police say
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | 7:08 PM ETAshley Gonis, now age 10, went missing in 2007 and resurfaced when she called Vancouver police Friday. (Family photo)
A Montreal father says news that his daughter has been found safe in Vancouver more than two years after her disappearance is like "a gift from God."
Frank Gonis said police told him Friday they had located his daughter, Ashley Gonis, 10, at a SkyTrain station in the neighbourhood of East Vancouver.
"The police called me on Friday early in the morning and it was like, I don’t know, a gift from God. It's amazing that she’s safe," he said.
Ashley disappeared in January 2007, along with Gonis's ex-wife, after a parental dispute that he says ended with him being awarded sole custody of the girl.
When she surfaced on Friday, police said Ashley told them she had run away from an "abusive situation at home" in B.C. and walked for hours before making a 911 call.
Court must first recognize custody order
Although Gonis will likely meet with his daughter within a week, his custody order must first be recognized by a B.C. court before he can take her home, said Pina Arcamone, director of Montreal-based Enfant-Retour Québec, a non-profit organization that assists families searching for their missing children.
Vancouver police haven spoken with Montreal authorities to confirm the girl's mother breached custody orders from Quebec when she brought her daughter to B.C. in 2007, Const. Lindsey Houghton said.
But the orders are not directly enforceable in B.C., so the province's child protection service is working with its Quebec counterpart to arrange Ashley's return to her father, Houghton said.
Arcamone also said the father could face challenges reconnecting with his daughter.
"The real work starts when we actually do find" the child, she said in Montreal.
"But I know that the dad is very anxious to have his little girl. He's worked very hard to find her. I believe he can offer a loving environment. He's kept her bedroom intact, so that when she comes home she'll come home to her familiar bedroom."
Arcamone described Ashley's phone call to police as "exceptional." She said it's only the second time she's heard of a child who's alleged to be the victim of a parental abduction phoning for help.
Gonis said he can't imagine what Ashley's home life has been like since she disappeared from Montreal more than two years ago.
"The information I’ve gotten is there is a lot of work to be done with her,… a lot of brainwashing to cut through.... But hopefully it will be all for the best," he said. "She is still young. There is time for her to recover."
Gonis said he wanted to fly to Vancouver the same day he heard the news but was waiting to get his legal paperwork in order before going to B.C.
"I want to make sure I got all my ducks in a row so I don’t go there and end up having to fight social services to get my daughter back," he said.
Ashley in ministry's care
Ashley was placed in the care of the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development after being found.
Gonis said he's ready to give Ashley whatever help and support she needs.
"I just want her home, you know, and then whatever comes up, we’ll deal with it then, you know," he said.
Ashley was listed as a missing child due to parental abduction on Enfant-Retour Québec's website.
Gonis had made a public appeal for the safe return of his daughter after she and his ex-wife vanished, according to media reports.
Abuse reports disputed
Vancouver police say allegations of abuse involving Ashley are unsubstantiated.
Houghton said officers have spoken to several people, including the girl's mother, and found no evidence of abuse.
Flyintheointment wrote:Posted 2009/04/17 at 3:53 PM ET
Mike Murphy wrote: You are very "flippant" and dismissive but those of us who are trying" Clearly, you dislike, maybe even hate women ... ___________________________________________________________ This is the standard statement brought out by all gender feminists when they are losing the argument. Over the years I can easily recognize when they have run out of any sort a valid debatable reasoned discourse. Most frequently they use misogyny because it has a more robust quality to it and sounds more emphatic. Some even go as far as saying men who have a difference of opinion are abusive. That is why they need the nanny state as a protector. I am very simply the "Devils Advocate" and a fact checker. If you get your facts wrong on a media blog or board like this you may be corrected. I do hate liars, myth makers, purveyors of misinformation and a goodly number of gender feminist spin doctors who appear to have as their main motivation hatred of men. A true equality feminist will agree that 50-50 shared and equal parenting is the right thing to do because it fits with their equality beliefs. Did you know the equal shared parenting law in Belgium was fought for and introduced by an equality feminist? Did you also know in that country if one partner withholds access or as the case in this story kidnaps the child they get jail automatically. They consider withholding access as abduction and is gender neutral. A child deserves both fit parents in their lives equally. If you cannot see that you don't have children's best interest at heart and are enabling abuse by denying them half of their genetic heritage. Women do not have ownership of children. A child is not property.
Mike Murphy Further response: The Link to Dr. Fiebert's report is here: http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm With respect to economic circumstances being the main reason for non-payment of child support it is most interesting how this plays out. A man who is in an intact family gets laid off, (read the papers to see what is going on today) and his income drops. The family cuts back on everything due to the loss of income. The divorced dad on the other hand has no such option and is then called a deadbeat. "Braver and O'Connell, in their study found something even more important, something that makes the concerns expressed by Sen. Wellstone, (USA Senate) in his support of the wish by NOW to crush fathers in arrears who are alleged of habitually trying to escape their child support obligations by claiming bankruptcy, appear to be at the very least somewhat ludicrous." "We found that the single most important factor relating to nonpayment is losing one's job. For example, while the father-reported compliance rate at Wave 1 was 92 percent, this figure rises to 100 percent when fathers who experienced a period of unemployment are excluded from consideration.... (According to mothers' reports, the figure rises from 69 percent to 80 percent when including those fathers who held their jobs for the entire year.) (Ibid. p. 33)" Going even further it is estimated 20% of children in a marriage or relationship may not be the offspring of the male partner. Many women commit paternity fraud by forcing the non-bio father to pay child support. Some of this has made the newspapers in Canada, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A. recently. The State of Georgia ordered a paternity fraudster mother to reimburse her former partner for this fraud in recent months.
Flyintheointment wrote:Posted 2009/04/17 at 11:00 AM ET Okay, Hmmmm.... I wonder why over half of the poor in this country are women and children? There isn't data to support that men and children are poor. This might have to do with the fact that on average men make more money than women. _________________________________________________ Mike Murphy response: In Canada a whole Industry has grown over the mythology of the Single Mother. The worst possible place for a child from a safety viewpoint. Check the USA site and the Australian Criminal Statistics site for their numbers. So many incentives have been put in place that 66-70% of divorces are initiated by the female lead to believe but this industry there are greener pastures out there. Unfortunately it is untrue but the female doesn't find this out until she turfs the first boyfriend out and then moves on to others. Social engineering by Family Court judges are largely responsible for the final disposition and ultimate poverty of single moms. The latter believe society owes them a living and collect all the benefits they can get. Many are just "baby makers" who grew up in a dysfunctional home doing the same thing and are carrying on in the same fashion. Your seem to think that these women are there because they are innocent victims. Far from it. They made the choices and the children suffer the consequences. Until the playing field is leveled and shared/equal parenting is the norm with no support by either party many will cling to the notion that motherhood trumps all and society owes me a living. Not so. I raised 2 of my children for 10 years while working from home and I stretched my day comfortably to be involved in their schooling, athletics and social activities. Society didn't owe me a living and I wasn't in poverty.