KS: Senator Joe Patton (R) says Change is Overdue for Juvenile Justice Authority

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] KS-Family Court Reform Coalition.


Editorial: Change overdue



November 3, 2009 - 12:10am

When people talk about hindsight offering 20-20 vision, it's usually after something inexcusable has happened. Such is the case with changes to be made by the Juvenile Justice Authority.

The head of JJA last week announced the authority would begin requiring independent inspections twice a year of juvenile facilities operated by contractors and make recommendation for any needed changes, would classify juvenile homes for low-, medium- and high-risk offenders and would use a uniform test to assess the risk posed by each juvenile in its care. The changes are overdue, but welcome nonetheless.

A Topeka legislator who is a member of the Committee on Corrections, Republican Joe Patton, credited the new policies to a lawsuit filed against Forbes Juvenile Attention Center alleging a 12-year-old boy was repeatedly raped in January 2008 by his 15-year-old roommate at the facility. Criminal charges also were filed against the older boy. The lawsuit and staffing issues were among details about the FJAC highlighted in stories published last month in this newspaper.

It's unfortunate that it takes such a serious case to bring about change, but we'd be remiss if we didn't credit JJA Commissioner Russ Jennings with implementing changes designed to lessen the chances such a thing could happen again. Jennings, appointed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in February 2007 to lead the Juvenile Justice Authority, had decided to adopt the new policies under his own authority as commissioner but also sought the support of the Committee on Corrections.

The chairwoman of that committee acknowledged last week that Kansas was behind some other states in terms of risk assessment for juvenile offenders -- the Youthful Level of Service Case Management Inventory to be implemented by JJA has been around for some time and already is used by four district courts -- and credited Jennings with trying to catch up. That sounds good, and we wish Jennings well. But there were early warnings that the 12-year-old wasn't a good fit for FJAC and what he would encounter there. At least one FJAC case coordinator, who was in a position to know, told the court's case manager the youth would be "eaten alive" at Forbes because of his small size.

It's apparent Jennings and his administrative staff would do well to also listen to those who work with the juveniles who find their way into the system.

Patton said the new policies and the committee's endorsement of them served as a message about the importance of ensuring the safety of juveniles. The committee, he said, was watching and would follow up on the changes.

We're sure the public, which doesn't expect 12-year-olds to be harmed while in the state's care, also will be watching.

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Duchesne man charged with family abuse 'as bad as it gets'

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.


Duchesne man charged with family abuse 'as bad as it gets'

By Geoff Liesik

Deseret Newshttp://www.deseretnews.com/article/705342746/Duchesne-man-charged-with-family-abuse-as-bad-as-it-gets.html?pg=2

Published: Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 11:06 p.m. MST


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A Duchesne County man has been arrested in what investigators say is a case of domestic violence that is "as bad as it gets."

The 38-year-old man is accused in court records of beating his wife with everything from a board to his work boots, threatening to kill her if she "didn't act right" and raping her twice.

He also allegedly stomped repeatedly on his son after the boy ate a piece of cheese without permission.

"It's been a war zone in their home," said Duchesne County Sheriff's Sgt. Wade Butterfield, who called the investigation "gut-wrenching."

"I've told my kids as they've been growing up there's no such thing as monsters," the sergeant added. "I've been lying to them, because there are monsters. This guy is a monster."

The Deseret News is not naming the man in an effort to protect the identities of his alleged victims.

Butterfield said deputies investigating an assault complaint against the man in mid-September were provided with an eight-page narrative by his wife. The document outlined abuse the woman said she and the couple's five children endured at least weekly over the past 17 years.

Story continues below

"Literally there were too many incidents of domestic violence and child abuse to even separate," the sergeant said. "It was as bad as it gets. We're just very, very fortunate that somebody didn't lose their life."

During an interview in October, the woman told authorities she "lived a life of complete servitude" since marrying her husband in 1992, charging documents state. She said she was expected to have sex with her husband whenever he wanted, day or night, and if the "sessions" didn't work out the way he planned, she would be beaten.

"She said she didn't want to have sex with him at all because of the beatings," court records state. "She claimed that she was in pain all the time because she didn't have time to heal between beatings."

Butterfield said he was able to identify two specific instances where the man's alleged conduct constituted rape, including once with a broom handle.

"She reported that right after that happened, and before she could care for herself, that he made her cower with her face in the corner until she had permission to leave the corner," court records state.

The couple's children, ages 9 to 17, were not immune from abuse either, Butterfield said. The woman and her children told investigators that the man would keep track of the family's food, including counting how many slices of cheese were in the refrigerator. Butterfield said when the youngest child ate a slice of cheese in 2008 without his father's OK, he was thrown across a hallway by his hair, knocked to the ground and stomped on by the man, who was wearing heavy work boots.

(The woman) said she grabbed a two-by-four and hit (her husband) with it to get him to stop," court records state. "She said when she did this, he took (the board) from her and beat her with it."

Butterfield interviewed the man for three hours Thursday and said the man corroborated some of the allegations made by his wife. He acknowledged rationing food, the sergeant said, but said it was because "they were poor and the kids were wasteful," and alleged that his wife's alcohol use and poor parenting led to many of the problems in the home.

"He tried to minimize and play the denial game," Butterfield said, "but in the end he recognized that there was violence in his home and that things were completely out of control."

The woman and her children have left Duchesne County and are doing well, according to investigators, considering what allegedly took place in their remote home.

"She's healed up, and the weight of the world is off her shoulders," Butterfield said. "She doesn't even look like the same person that I interviewed a few weeks ago."

The man is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday in 8th District Court for two counts of rape, both first-degree felonies, and one count each of aggravated assault and child abuse, both second-degree felonies. He is being held in the Duchesne County Jail in lieu of $160,000 bail.

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"Men's Rights" Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective They’re changing custody rights and domestic violence laws.

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.


"Men's Rights" Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective

They’re changing custody rights and domestic violence laws.


By: Kathryn Joyce

Posted: November 5, 2009 at 7:45 AM

At the end of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the men’s movement group RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting [2]) gathered on the steps of Congress to lobby against what they say are the suppressed truths about domestic violence: that false allegations are rampant, that a feminist-run court system fraudulently separates innocent fathers from children, that battered women’s shelters are running a racket that funnels federal dollars to feminists, that domestic-violence laws give cover to cagey mail-order brides seeking Green Cards, and finally, that men are victims of an unrecognized epidemic of violence at the hands of abusive wives.

“It’s now reached the point,” reads a statement from RADAR, “that domestic violence laws represent the largest roll-back in Americans’ civil rights since the Jim Crow era!”

RADAR’s rhetoric may seem overblown, but lately the group and its many partners have been racking up very real accomplishments. In 2008, the organization claimed to have blocked passage of four federal domestic-violence bills, among them an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to international scope and a grant to support lawyers in pro bono domestic-violence work. Members of this coalition have gotten themselves onto drafting committees for VAWA’s 2011 reauthorization. Local groups in West Virginia and California have also had important successes, criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases, and winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory.

Groups like RADAR fall under the broader umbrella of the men’s rights movement, a loose coalition of anti-feminist groups. These men’s rights activists, or MRAs, have long been written off by domestic-violence advocates as a bombastic and fringe group of angry white men, and for good reason. Bernard Chapin, a popular men’s rights blogger, told me over e-mail that he will refer to me as “Feminist E,” since he never uses real names for feminists, who are wicked and who men “must verbally oppose … until our flesh oxidizes into dust.” In the United Kingdom, a father’s rights group scaled Buckingham Palace in superhero costumes. In Australia, they wore paramilitary uniforms and demonstrated outside the houses of female divorcees.

But lately they’ve become far more polished and savvy about advancing their views. In their early days of lobbying, “these guys would show up and have this looming body language that was very off-putting,” says Ben Atherton-Zeman, author of Voices of Men, a one-man play about domestic violence and sexual assault. “But that’s all changed. A lot of the leaders are still convicted batterers, but they’re well-organized, they speak in complete sentences, they sound much more reasonable: All we want is equal custody, for fathers not to be ignored.”

One of the respectable new faces of the movement is Glenn Sacks, a fathers' rights columnist and radio host with 50,000 e-mail followers, and a pragmatist in a world of angry dreamers. Sacks is a former feminist and abortion-clinic defender who disavows what he calls “the not-insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers’ rights movement.” He recently merged his successful media group with the shared-parenting organization Fathers and Families in a bid to build a mainstream fathers' rights organ on par with the National Organization of Women. Many of Sacks’ arguments—for a court assumption of shared parenting in the case of divorce, or against child-support rigidity in the midst of recession—can sound reasonable.

But do any of their arguments hold up? Many of the men for whom Sacks advocates are involved in extreme cases, says Joanie Dawson, a writer and domestic-violence advocate who has covered the fathers’ rights movement. The great majority of custody cases, in which shared parenting is a legitimate option, are settled or resolved privately. But of the 15 percent that go to family court—the cases that fathers’ rights groups target—at least half include alleged domestic abuse.

Unsurprisingly, this argument is missing from MRA discussions of custody inequality and recruitment ads, which cast all men as potentially innocent victims “just one 911 call away” from losing everything they have earned and loved. These rallying calls, and the divorce attorneys hawking men’s rights expertise on MRA sites, promising to “teach her a lesson,” serve as what Dawson sees as a powerful draw for men in the midst of painful divorces.

While MRA groups continue to expand their base of embittered fathers and ex-husbands, they’ve cleaned up their image to court more powerful allies. RADAR board member Ron Grignal, the former president of Fathers for Virginia and a former state delegate candidate, organizes the group’s Washington lobbying activities. In 2008, RADAR partnered with Eagle Forum for a conference at the Heritage Foundation about the threat that VAWA poses to the family. Grignal argues that state interpretations of VAWA are so broad they could cast couples’ money disputes as domestic violence, enabling unwarranted restraining orders that then win women’s divorce cases for them. Politicians, Grignal says, are increasingly on board with men’s rights movement concerns.

“On domestic violence, I’ve had both state and federal legislators tell me they know that this process is out of control,” says Grignal. “They’re afraid if they support [reforms] they’ll be tagged as ‘for domestic violence.’ But I’ve had Democrats on Capitol Hill tell me they agree with everything I say. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus told me that his brother can’t see his kids, and his wife threatened to throw herself down the stairs to ruin his political career.”

Some domestic-violence protections do seem to have unintended effects, such as mandatory-arrest policies that compel police to take someone into custody in response to any domestic-violence call—a policy that has been criticized by RADAR as well as by some domestic-violence advocates, who say it imposes an absurd equivalence between largely nonviolent family spats or insubstantial female violence and serious abuse. But groups like RADAR are criticizing the law for the wrong reasons. In fact, the effect of mandatory arrest in conflating women’s low-level violence with battery, seems very close to RADAR’s campaign for viewing women as equal domestic abusers.

One potent idea advanced by MRAs is the claim that men are equal victims of domestic violence. Mark Rosenthal, president and co-founder of RADAR, makes a very personal argument for the phenomenon. Rosenthal, who doesn’t call himself an MRA, grew up with a mother who he says terrorized the entire family and hit her husband frequently. The true impact of the violence, he says, was more than physical and eclipsed his petite mother’s ability to inflict serious injuries. Rosenthal wants to see an appreciation for women’s nonphysical abuse incorporated into domestic-violence policy. “It’s not about size,” he told an audience at a law enforcement domestic-violence training. “It’s not exclusively about physical attacks. However, it is about a pathological need to control others, and women are as prone to this as men.”

RADAR and other MRA groups base their battered men arguments largely on the research of a small group of social scientists who claim that domestic violence between couples is equally divided, just unequally reported. Most notable are the studies conducted by sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, who has written extensively on female violence (and who Dawson saw distributing RADAR flyers at an APA conference). Straus’ research is starting to move public opinion. A Los Angeles conference this July dedicated to discussing male victims of domestic violence, “From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention,” received positive mainstream press for its “inclusive” efforts.

While some men certainly are victims of female domestic violence, advocates say the number is closer to 3 percent to 4 percent, rather than the 45 percent to 50 percent RADAR claims. Jack Straton, a Portland State University professor and member of Oregon’s Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force, argues that Straus critically fails to distinguish between the intent and effect of violence, equating “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs,” or a single act of female violence with years of male abuse; that Straus only interviewed one partner, when couples’ accounts of violence commonly diverge; and that he excludes from his study post-separation violence, which accounts for more than 75 percent of spouse-on-spouse violence, 93 percent of which is committed by men.

All in all, advocates say that cherry-picked studies from researchers like Straus, touted by the MRAs, amount to what Edward Gondolf, director of research for the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute, calls“bad science.” Statistics suggesting gender parity in abuse are taken out of necessary context, they say, ignoring distinctions between the equally divided “common couple violence” and the sort of escalated, continuing violence known as battery—which is 85 percent male-perpetrated—as well as the disparate injuries inflicted by men and women.

“The biggest concern, though, is not the wasted effort on a false issue,” writes Straton, but the encouragement given to batterers to consider themselves the victimized party. “Arming these men with warped statistics to fuel their already warped worldview is unethical, irresponsible, and quite simply lethal.”

In this, critics like Australian sociologist Michael Flood say that men’s rights movements reflect the tactics of domestic abusers themselves, minimizing existing violence, calling it mutual, and discrediting victims. MRA groups downplay national abuse rates, just as abusers downplay their personal battery; they wage campaigns dismissing most allegations as false, as abusers claim partners are lying about being hit; and they depict the violence as mutual—part of an epidemic of wife-on-husband abuse—as individual batterers rationalize their behavior by saying that the violence was reciprocal. Additionally, MRA groups’ predictions of future violence by fed-up men wronged by the family-law system seem an obvious additional correlation, with the threat of violence seemingly intended to intimidate a community, like a fearful spouse, into compliance.

MRA critics say the organizational recapitulation of abusive tactics should be no surprise, considering the wealth of movement leaders with records or accusations of violence, abuse, harassment, or failure to pay child support. Some advocates call MRA groups “the abuser’s lobby,” because of members like Jason Hutch, the Buckingham Palace fathers’ rights “Batman,” who has been estranged from three mothers of his children and was taken to court for threatening one of his ex-wives.

Contrary to RADAR’s claims, domestic-violence advocates say that not only do abuse accusations not automatically win custody cases for women; there are a rising number of custody decisions awarded to abusive fathers, as judges see wives eager to protect their children as less cooperative regarding custody. More than half the time, studies have found, wives’ accusations of domestic violence are met with counter-accusations from husbands of “Parental Alienation Syndrome”—a medically unrecognized diagnosis that suggests mothers have poisoned their children into making false accusations against their fathers.

In one recent case, Genia Shockome, a Russian immigrant, was fighting for custody of her two children with her ex-husband, whom she charged had beaten her so severely that she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and who had told her she “had no right to leave” since he’d brought her to the United States. The judge in the case sided with her husband’s counter-claims of Parental Alienation Syndrome and awarded him full custody (and later sentenced Shockome to 30 days in jail while she was seven months pregnant). When her attorney, Barry Goldstein, co-author of the forthcoming book Domestic Violence, Abuse and Custody, criticized the judge in an online article, the judge retaliated with a complaint, and Goldstein was given a five-year suspension. Goldstein says the sanction represents a chilling pressure on attorneys, who may now fear penalties for criticizing a court’s gender bias that will interfere with their duties to their clients and that could result in women deciding not to leave abusers out of fear they won’t get a fair trial.

If cases such as Genia Shockome’s are the fodder of mainstream fathers’ rights advocates like Glenn Sacks—who ridiculed her claims and loss of custody as an uncredible “cause célèbre” for feminist family-law reformers—what Sacks calls the movement’s “lunatic fringe” is more vitriolic yet.

Within the ranks of the men’s rights movement, vigilante “resisters” are regularly nominated and lionized for acts of violence perceived to be in opposition to a feminist status quo [3]. In a few quarters of the movement, this even included George Sodini, the Pittsburgh man who opened fire on a gym full of exercising women this August, killing three and leaving behind an online diatribe journaling his sense of rejection by millions of desirable women.

Sodini’s diary was republished widely, including on the website of a popular men’s rights blogger, “Angry Harry,” who added his assessment of the case [4]. “MRAs should also take note of the fact that there are probably many millions of men across the western world who feel similar in many ways, and one can expect to see much more destruction emanating from them in the future,” he wrote. “One of the main reasons that I decided to post this diary on this website was because the western world must wake up to the fact that it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.” In a phone interview, Angry Harry said, “Of course there will be more Sodinis—there will be many more,” likening him to Marc Lépine, a Canadian man who killed or wounded 28, claiming feminists had ruined his life, or Nevada father Darren Mack, who murdered his estranged wife and attempted to kill the judge in their custody battle. (Also among this number is John Muhammad, the “D.C. Beltway Sniper,” whose involvement in a Washington father’s rights group and history of abuse is described in his ex-wife Mildred’s newly-released memoir, Scared Silent[5].) Perhaps, Angry Harry mused, that as the ranks of online MRAs grow, “the threat” of their violence “may be enough” to bring about the changes they desire.

Glenn Sacks dismissed Angry Harry as an “idiot” without real power in the movement, and yet he cautiously defends him. “I want to be careful in wording this,” he says, “but the cataclysmic things I’m seeing done to men, it’s always my fear that one of these guys is going to do something terrible. I don’t want to say that like I condone it or that it’s OK, but it’s just the reality.” The movement seems eager to supply more martyrs. After Sacks wrote about a San Diego father who shot himself on the city’s courthouse steps over late child-support payments, numerous men wrote Sacks, telling him, “They’re taking everything from me, and I want to go out in a big way, and if I do, will you write about me?”

I asked RADAR’s Mark Rosenthal about the ties between groups like RADAR—claiming, however cynically, to have egalitarian motives—and the blunt anti-feminist positions of men’s movement allies like Chapin or Angry Harry. “I’d like to suggest that what you’ve just done is interview Martin Luther King and Malcolm X,” he told me. “In any movement, there is going to be a reasonable voice and people who are so hurt, who are so injured by the injustices, that they can’t afford to step back and try to take their emotions under control. But no movement is going to get anywhere without extremists.”

Photograph of a man by George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Creative Images.

Source URL: http://www.doublex.com/section/news-politics/mens-rights-groups-have-become-frighteningly-effective

[1] http://www.doublex.com/users/kathryn-joyce
[2] http://www.mediaradar.org/
[3] http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/18/the_death_of_macho
[4] http://www.angryharry.com/esGeorgeSodini.htm
[5] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593092415?ie=UTF8&tag=dblx-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1593092415
[6] http://www.doublex.com/section/news-politics/does-rick-warren’s-church-condone-domestic-violence
[7] http://www.doublex.com/section/news-politics/are-men-second-sex-now
[8] http://www.doublex.com/section/news-politics/whats-problem-now-feminisms-dilemmas

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Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.


    ohio mom

    Here is her plea:

    In August of 1979 a baby just three months shy of her very first birthday was raped and beaten by a man named Christopher Cooper. Little Monica Williams laid in her hospital bed for five days fighting for her life because her little heart was strong and her mother says she was a fighter for sure. Poor little Monica lost the battle for her life on August 16, 1979.

    Monica’s mother, Becky Potter of Findlay, Ohio said, “I need to keep him in prison for this. There is no excuse, no excuse, and as long as I’m able to walk and my jaw is able to flap you will hear from me.”

    “She never had a chance to be a cheerleader graduate from high school, or go on to college,” she continued. “It’s very tough. All you have to do is look at the picture and see she was going to be a good girl.”

    Becky honestly thinks if this man is set free back into society, everyone will be in danger. The family is saying the best way to stop him from being released on parole would be for everyone they can find to write a letter to the parole board requesting he stay in prison and away from children.

    “He’s murdered once an infant,” says Monica’s uncle, Michael Saum. “If you can find an infant worthy of lusting over and the things he’s done to her, there is no excuse in it you can’t rehabilitate someone like that.”

    If you want to help the fight to keep this man in prison please send a letter to

    Ohio Board of Parole, Office of Victim Services

    770 W. Broad St.


    Ohio 43222

    You are asked to include the convicted killer’s name which is Christopher Cooper as well as his inmate number which is A158707. Each letter counts as one request no matter how many signatures you have on it. They say that all letters need to be signed, dated and include a return address on the envelope by December 1, 2009.


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    AngelboundPermalink Reply by Angelbound 23 hours ago

    My Letter will be in the Mail this week! I will be copying and pasting little Monica's photo at the Top of my Letter also, to make it so the Parole Board can see her little face when reading my letter! Adding a photo if you can, helps personalize the case file and the public's objection. We have to Speak out for this tiny 9 months old baby that was Raped and Killed.


    ▶ Reply to This

    John QuinnPermalink Reply by John Quinn 23 hours ago

    I will write a letter today and get it out.He should have been sentenced to death !! How can they even think of paroleing him ??? Love...john

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    DelilahPermalink Reply by Delilah 22 hours ago
    Send Message


    Here is the email address to make it easier!

    Let's get some letters to make sure this guy doesn't get out!

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    DelilahPermalink Reply by Delilah 22 hours ago
    Send Message





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    FindmywayhomePermalink Reply by Findmywayhome 19 hours ago

    Delilah will an email have the same weight as a written letter. It would be easier to email but can write letter too if needed.



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    AngelboundPermalink Reply by Angelbound 19 hours ago




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    jerdonnaPermalink Reply by jerdonna 19 hours ago

    I will write it out when i get off of here,and put mine in the mail tommorrow,and i will get some of my friends to do the same there is no way he should ever get out,this system we have is really messed up and scary,we all should be able to live in PEACE, not fear and walk on egg shels all the time!!!!!

    ▶ Reply to This

    AngelboundPermalink Reply by Angelbound 19 hours ago

    Marie, A Snail Mailed letter through the Post office would hold more weight! They call it a paper trail for the file?

    However, both methods could be utilized, for example: follow up with an email also and even a phone call too!!! I'm extreamly greedy! when it comes to this type of need, and will use every method available in conjunction.

    OR: If it is the last few days and you know your hard copy letter would not make it before the deadline, Please everyone DO use the Email method! ( But we need Hard Copies Badly)

    I could stand corrected on this, and if anyone has any input, please do contribute! thank you...

    ▶ Reply to This

    LynxPermalink Reply by Lynx 18 hours ago

    I haven't been online a lot lately,and haven't been doing enough to help peace4themissing....this caught my eye today as I was hurriedly dealing with way too much,including some menacing behavior as well as a neighbor who had her home broken into as she was sleeping.THIS caught me just after those incidents...I was unable to grasp the title line;why in hell are"they" even considering now or ever letting this POS"out"...

    I will send this far and wide,thank you for also the fax phone and email addys.

    The entire country BETTER pull their heads out,this is getting to be....I have no words,it is still trying to get through my head&heart.

    R.I.P. little Monica

    My God,what's it gonna take!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Father shoots son and wife in head then kills self

      Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.



      John Eckard, 46, Robin Eckard, 45, and Nicholas Michael Gabriel Eckard, 9, were found dead by police around 8:25 a.m. Thursday in their 13160 Havens Corner Road SW home in Pataskala.

      John Eckard, 46, Robin Eckard, 45, and Nicholas Michael Gabriel Eckard, 9, were found dead by police around 8:25 a.m. Thursday in their 13160 Havens Corner Road SW home in Pataskala. (Michael Lehmkuhle, The Advocate)


      PATASKALA -- The bodies of a couple and their 9-year-old son were discovered early Thursday inside their ranch-style home in what police are calling a possible double murder-suicide.

      Prompted by a 911 call, police found John Eckard, 46, Robin Eckard, 45, and Nicholas Michael Gabriel Eckard, 9, on Thursday morning in their 13160 Havens Corner Road SW home, Pataskala Police Chief Chris Forshey said.

      "It would appear they died of (single gunshot wounds) to the head," Forshey said.

      Police found two of the victims in their respective bedrooms and the suspected shooter in the living room, but Forshey would not confirm the identity of the suspected shooter pending planned autopsies today.

      Forshey placed the estimated time of death for all three victims at between 3 and 8:25 a.m. Police forced their way into the home not long after the 911 call came in at 8:34 a.m.

      "Our preliminary indications are that two of them were probably shot while they slept," Forshey said.

      He added the wounds appeared to come from a shotgun, and there were no signs of a struggle inside the home.

      "It was a violent crime scene," Forshey said. "One of the more violent I've seen."

      The Licking County 911 Center received a call Thursday morning from a man worried about a letter he had just received.

      The center transferred the call to the Licking County Sheriff's Office, and the male caller can be heard in a recording of the call telling a dispatcher that John Eckard left him three hand-typed letters in his office, which is in the same building as John Eckard's business. He also left letters for his ex-wife, the caller said.

      "It says 'please don't open this 'till 11,'" said the male caller, describing the letter left for him. "Then it says we are no longer in this world ..."

      The caller tells the dispatcher John Eckard has "serious medical problems." Later in the call, he describes the problems as Parkinson's disease.

      A concerned-sounding woman can be heard in the background as the man hurriedly explains the situation to the dispatcher.

      Police said Thursday they think John Eckard owned Alpha Auto Group, 13375 National Road.

      Police also said they recovered at least four letters they suspect John Eckard left at his business and at his home. He also sent text messages to a business partner and family and friends around 3:15 a.m., police said. The text messages contained similar subject matter as the letters, Forshey said.

      The family lived in a two-story, ranch-style home that stood abut 200 yards off Havens Corner Road. A long driveway, immaculate lawns and several trees and a gentle slope stood between the home and the road, making it difficult to see the entire home from the road.

      On Thursday, yellow police caution tape surrounded the front and side lawns. A trampoline and wooden play-set occupied a section of the side yard. A barn and horse corral stood behind the home, and several Halloween decorations, including bales of hay, pumpkins and decorative scarecrows, remained on the front lawn.

      The family had not been on the police department's radar before Thursday, Forshey said.

      "This is not a place we routinely come to," Forshey said. "I do think they had a barn fire last summer, though."

      Police think Nicholas Eckard attended one of two Licking Heights elementary schools on Summit Road. Licking Heights Superintendent Thomas Tucker could not be reached Thursday to confirm that.

      Thursday marked the second time in eight months the city has witnessed a possible murder-suicide.

      In February, Jeffrey P. McKnight, 53, set fire to his Amber Road home, then went to the Summit Road home of his father, Charles E. McKnight, 94, and stabbed him to death before turning a gun on himself.

      The Amber Road home was in foreclosure at the time of the incident.

      Police on Thursday still were exploring motives regarding the shootings on Havens Corner Road.

      "I believe there were a number of issues that may have contributed to this," said Forshey, adding he could not elaborate.

      Chad Klimack can be reached at (740) 927-3738 or cklimack@nncogannett.com.

      Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.



      Harvey County KANSAS: Domestic violence cases up 55 percent

      Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.


      Domestic violence cases up 55 percent in Harvey County KS: “Some women may want to leave the situation, but all wo.. http://bit.ly/3NWJxc

      Domestic violence cases up 55 percent in Harvey County


      By Cristina Janney

      Newton Kansan

      Posted Nov 04, 2009 @ 10:24 AM

      NEWTON —

      Offender/Victim Ministries of Newton is working toward creating a Batterer Intervention Program, which they hope will help address sharp increases in domestic violence during the last year.

      Jan Jones, executive director of the Harvey County Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Task Force, said reports of domestic violence have increased 55 percent in Harvey County in the last year.

      The task force has worked with more than 350 victims and their families in the last three months.

      “There is a big cost to all of the community. It costs the family itself, and there is a cost to the community as a whole,” she said.

      The batterers would be involved in classes for a minimum of 26 weeks.

      Batterer is the term given to offenders who commit domestic violence.

      This also can include psychological, emotional or physical abuse that one partner uses to control the other.

      Libby Schrag, executive director of OVM, said OVM terminated the former program in 2005 in order to create a new program that would meet new national standards in the field.

      Schrag has received board approval to move forward with the program and contacted the Kansas attorney general’s office about which model OVM will use.

      Members of the domestic violence task force have been training with the attorney general’s office to create Coordinated Community Response Teams. These teams would include members from the task force, the Batterers Intervention Program and community corrections and would work with families affected by domestic violence.

      “To help the victim and her family,” Jones said, “you have to provide structure and support for batterer and the family as a whole.”

      The participants in the Batterer Intervention Program likely will be court ordered and pay a sliding fee for each class they attend.

      Charging for the class not only helps cover the cost of the program but helps the offenders take responsibility for their actions, Schrag said.

      Working with batterers is all about changing attitudes, Schrag said.

      “These men can control their anger in many other arenas, but they choose not to control it at home. The key is in changing a whole mindset,” she said.

      Jones said she agreed anger management alone will not solve the domestic violence problem. She said she was excited OVM was pursuing a certified Batterer Intervention Program.

      The Harvey County Safe House goes a long way to help victims of domestic violence, but Schrag said the violence doesn’t end unless issues with the batterer are addressed.

      “They will go on to a new relationship or continue to battery the women that left,” Schrag said. “Some women may want to leave the situation, but all women want the battery to end.”

      Funding continues to be tight for the task force and OVM.

      Community support for the task force has been cut by 40 percent, and federal and state funding has been cut drastically, Jones said.

      OVM is looking for gifts or grants from community organizations to get the Batterer Intervention Program started.

      It will need $5,000 to $10,000 to get the program up and running.

      To donate or for more information on the program, call OVM at 283-2038.

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      KS: Student Groups Raise Domestic Violence Awareness

      Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.



      “Thank you” we need all the help we can get!

      Way to Go KS Students for –being the change- breaking the silence!

      Eve Kemple, prosecute with the district attorney's office, spoke in a panel as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Week. The panel brought forth issues relevant to victims of domestic violence.

      Photo by Andrew Hoxey

      Eve Kemple, prosecute with the district attorney's office, spoke in a panel as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Week. The panel brought forth issues relevant to victims of domestic violence.

      By Jesse Rangel

      Wednesday, November 4, 2009

      When Thomas Medved walked by students passing out information in front of Stauffer-Flint Hall yesterday, he didn’t expect there to be a voice advocating awareness for domestic violence — a problem that affected some of his friends.

      “It’s important to spread the word about domestic violence, which is actually a huge problem,” Medved, Overland Park senior, said. “It’s awesome that we have a visible stance on campus against it.”

      Domestic Violence Awareness Week upcoming events

      — Speech and question and answer session with Christie Brungardt, the mother of late Women’s Rights activist Jana Mackey. 8 p.m. Wednesday in Big 12 Room, Kansas Union.

      —Presentation on depictions of domestic violence in popular culture, by Domestic Violence Awareness Week coordinator and “Mainlining Popular Culture” author Tanner Willbanks. 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union.

      And there are 10 campus groups who want to keep domestic violence awareness going. The groups, which include Delta Force, GaDuGi Safe Center and the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, are coming together this week to continue to work toward a goal state officials made in October: to raise awareness about domestic violence and how to do something about it.

      Along with the tables in front of Stauffer-Flint, the groups will sponsor three evening talks and presentations on domestic violence.

      Tanner Willbanks, Lawrence senior and coordinator for Domestic Violence Awareness Week with Delta Force, said the groups wanted to hold the event in the first week of November, directly following Kansas’ domestic violence awareness month in October. Willbanks said they wanted to show that domestic violence affects people 365 days a year, not just in October.

      He said one in four women would be exposed to domestic violence at some point in their lives. But he also said men, children and even roommates could become victims.

      “The rate of domestic violence among people is astonishing,” Willbanks said.

      Elise Higgins, Topeka senior and president of the University’s Commission on the Status of Women, said the groups wanted to let students who are experiencing domestic violence know that they are not alone. She said the table in front of Stauffer-Flint would feature a pledge students could sign that says they would not commit, condone or stay silent about domestic violence.

      “It’s very important that people experiencing domestic violence know that they have allies,” Higgins said. “They have allies and resources both at KU and in the Lawrence community.”

      Willbanks said he wanted students to realize that this issue faces them, not people in some far-off region.

      “I think everyone would agree that one in four women is a problem,” Willbanks said. “Until we acknowledge how big of a problem it is, we can’t fix the problem.”

      Aly Van Dyke contributed to the reporting of this story

      — Edited by Tim Burgess

      Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.