Nationwide Protests Against Sexual Violence During April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Earlier this month, students at Columbia University in New York City held a protest against sexual violence. Roughly 800 of them.

They were participating in “Take Back the Night”, an annual event since 1978.

The program intends to draw attention to the issue of sexual violence in the college setting, and to provide a safe place for its victims.

Sexual assault victims often experience a sense of isolation. The event provides emotional support to them.

Similar marches against sexual violence have taken place across the nation, such as in Decatur, Illinois.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Read more in this Columbia [University] Spectator article: Hundreds take to the streets against sexual violence and this [Decatur, IL] Herald-Review article: Personal stories punctuate Take Back the Night march against sexual violence.

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Stalking: The New Domestic Violence … Dating Violence and … Repeat Violence

The domestic violence realm is increasingly occupied by perpetrators of stalking … by people who may be thought of as “serial stalkers”.

Take, for instance, this New York Stalker.

Back in 2008, Stalker was first criminally charged with stalking Woman after violating a restraining order of protection against him … by trying to knife his way into her residence. Convicted of misdemeanor counts of stalking and criminal contempt, the criminal court sentenced Stalker to two years’ confinement.

Released early with credit for time already served, Stalker went from a hospital to Woman’s home within hours. And then returned the following night, for more of the same.

At which point Stalker was arrested again. And convicted again.

This time Stalker was sentenced to two to four years’ imprisonment. But Stalker has substantial time served credit and will be eligible for parole all too soon.

This time though, the court has extended the no contact order against Stalker a bit longer. Through June of 2021.

And warned Stalker he would face more charges if he violated the extended restraining order of protection again.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor in the case is of the opinion that Stalker rejected any plea deals because he looked forward to seeing Woman at trial. And represented himself at trial so that he could actually speak with Woman during her testimony.

While it reportedly was not demonstrated that Stalker intended to harm Woman in any way, the jury found that Woman experienced reasonable fear and distress from Stalker’s conduct.

At this point, one can only speculate about what Stalker will do upon his release from confinement.

Read more in this [Syracuse NY] Post-Standard article: Convicted stalker sent to prison for re-stalking same Syracuse-area victim.

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Blogging On Her Belly Dancing, Complete With Photos, Costs Allegedly Disabled Wife Permanent Alimony, Half of Her Short-Term Durational Spousal Support, Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home and Husband’s Attorney’s Fees

New York Wife receives monthly alimony of $850. This spousal support award is based, at least in part, upon an alleged disability that purportedly prevents Wife from working.

Husband, who is the one paying Wife the alimony, would, of course, prefer to be relieved of his burden. Husband keeps his eyes peeled for opportunities to put an end to it.

And then Husband finds …

Wife’s online blog. With photos of Wife belly dancing.

And entries to the effect that Wife belly dances – vigorouslyseveral hours each and every day.

So, Husband files family court papers to modify his alimony obligation. Wife defends that her belly dancing is purely physical therapy.

But the New York family court sees things differently.

And reduces Wife’s permanent spousal support. To less than half the original amount. And to only two years’ duration.

And awards Husband his attorney’s fees from Wife.

And orders Wife to vacate and sell the marital home … and pay Husband sixty (60%) percent of the net proceeds of sale.

Subsequently, Wife reportedly asserts that she is merely “posing” in some posted photos and that she can and does only gentle stretches, not true belly dancing.

Medical evidence, or even evidence of legal “disability status”, are conspicuous by their apparent absence from the case.

If the ruling seems harsh, it appears that the divorce court concludes that Wife has misrepresented her disability to the court and, in doing so, has defrauded the court. And that doesn’t sit well with the court.

Read more in:

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National Child Abuse Prevention Month Aims to Break the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

A good time to recall that “[y]ears of scientific studies have shown that research-based child abuse prevention programs can give struggling parents the tools they need to become self-aware, better-equipped, more patient parents.”

Especially when the child is very young and bonding and attachment are beginning.

Child abuse prevention programs build on parents’ strengths and teach them about normal child development, how to address challenges and how to manage stress from those challenges.

One veteran child welfare advocate asserts that these programs “break the cycle of abuse and neglect”.

Read more in this [South Florida] Sun Sentinel article: Efforts can slow child abuse cycle.

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From Riches to Rags, In Time for Divorce Filing … Fact or Convenient Fiction?

Husband and Wife are having a bitter – and lengthy – divorce. Going on five years now.

Husband was wealthy while the marriage was intact.

But claims to have suffered dramatic financial reversals … right around the time the divorce was filed. He asserts that he owes 28 million UK pounds to creditors.

Wife contends that Husband is actually hiding 2 billion UK pounds in assets, by re-routing them to overseas accounts and to trustworthy friends.

One such friend is said to have become wealthy only after associating with Husband. Now, the friend remains wealthy, while Husband is supposedly broke.

That friend has paid some monies to Wife to help her with her living expenses.

But Husband reportedly has not made one alimony payment to Wife since 2009, when ordered to do so. Husband is court ordered to pay Wife 27,500 UK pounds each month.

Husband’s former attorney suggests that 8 million UK pounds worth of the debts Husband is claiming are fraudulent and nonexistent.

The UK court’s ruling on this matter is anticipated … in October.

Read more in this UK Telegraph article: Growing riches of ‘penniless’ husband’s best friend.

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Tax Refunds Can Be Intercepted for Past Due Child Support … Sometimes Even Someone Else’s Past Due Child Support

Taxpayer receives a letter from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advising that Taxpayer’s $4,000 tax refund, instead of being sent to Taxpayer, has been applied to his past due child support obligations. That happens through a process called interception.

Only this Taxpayer has no children. And, no children, no child support obligations. Current or past due.

These things happen.

And, apparently, happen again.

Twelve years ago, there was a different taxpayer who owed back child support. That taxpayer had a similar social security number to this Taxpayer’s.

And a child support services data entry clerk reportedly keyed in a single wrong numeral in that other taxpayer’s social security number. Thereby entering it as this Taxpayer’s exact social security number.

Causing this Taxpayer’s tax refund to be intercepted back then too. Although Taxpayer did get his refund that time, his social security number was never scrubbed from the “deadbeat parents’ database” of social security numbers.

Which is likely how this happened to this Taxpayer not once, but twice.

So far.

Read more in this WUSA TV 9 News Now article: Typo Trouble Costs Taxpayer Thousands.

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An Unconventional Case of Child Abuse

Michigan Mother publicizes Son’s cancer to raise money.

Only Son doesn’t really have cancer.

Mother supports the illusion by shaving Son’s head … and drugging his food with powerful narcotic depressants.

Mother is arrested for fraud and child abuse.

Mother pleads no contest.

Mother is sentenced to one year’s imprisonment.

Son is placed in foster care.

Mother voluntarily gives up her parental rights to Son.

Son may now be adopted, although the legal process takes a year once an adoptive parent is inclined to adopt.

It is possible that Son may be adopted by extended family members.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Read more in this Detroit Free Press article: Macomb County mother who faked son’s cancer gives up parental rights and this Taylor [TX] Daily Press article: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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Evangelical Pastor Arrested for His Alleged Role in International Abduction of Girl Away from Gay Co-Parent Awarded Legal Child Custody

I’ve already posted a couple of times previously on a particularly drawn out and complex family court case that continues to take novel twists and turns, since its beginning in about 2003. See Vermont Holds It Has Exclusive Child Custody Jurisdiction over Child Raised by Lesbians and Interstate Child Custody / Visitation Dispute by Lesbian “Second Mother”.

To recap the lengthy history of this family court case, Birth Mom and Psych Mom are a gay couple living in a civil union in Vermont when they decide to have a child, Daughter, together. They break up when Birth Mom becomes an evangelical Christian and leaves Vermont and the gay lifestyle … and tries to cut Psych Mom out of Daughter’s life.

The dispute works its way through the family courts of Vermont and Virginia (Birth Mom’s new home) on appeals and, ultimately, it is agreed by both states that Vermont retains child custody jurisdiction of Daughter. The Vermont family court awards Birth Mom primary child custody of Daughter, but awards Psych Mom liberal child visitation and timesharing with Daughter.

Birth Mom consistently refuses to comply with the family court’s child timesharing orders … and, for that reason, loses legal custody of Daughter to Psych Mom. At which point Birth Mom allegedly absconds with Daughter to an uncertain location. A warrant for Birth Mom’s arrest issues.

Enter a Tennessee evangelical pastor (Pastor) who reportedly aids Birth Mom in flying Daughter to Nicaragua, where Pastor had been a missionary. Birth Mom and Daughter reportedly live in a beach house in Nicaragua, which is owned by a businessman whose daughter works at an evangelical university law school in Virginia – which represented Birth Mom in her Virginia family court case appeal.

In the latest twist, now Pastor is under arrest in Virginia on federal charges of international parental kidnapping, and is expected to be transported to Vermont to appear in federal court.

Additional arrests may follow.

Read more in this New York Times article: Pastor Is Accused of Helping to Kidnap Girl at Center of Lesbian Custody Fight.

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The Virtues of Collaborative Divorce Revisited

Collaborative divorce doesn’t have as much buzz of late as it once did. But it still has its fans, and its good points.

For those who may be considering a collaborative divorce, some of those good points are listed below:

  • Privacy. Any way you cut it, a lot less paper finds its way into the court file in a collaborative divorce (or any uncontested divorce, truth be told). That means less private information – and the proverbial outrageous allegations – are exposed in the publicly accessible court file.

  • Control. In a collaborative divorce (or any uncontested divorce, truth be told), spouses do not give up decision-making authority to a judge. They agree on everything themselves. Granted, that means give and take and compromise, but they still have more choice and control than if a third party, like a judge or arbitrator, has an absolute right to impose their will on them.

  • Not as emotion-driven. By its nature, collaborative divorce utilizes support professionals intended to keep the parties on speaking terms and on an even and focused keel. (Of course, people who choose this path tend not to be as predisposed toward “go for the jugular” hostilities and rages.) In traditional divorces, there are some spouses who would really benefit from intensive therapeutic support. But their attorney can only recommend this to them. An attorney can’t require it and the process doesn’t require it.

  • Easier on the children. This, of course, is a good thing, and it’s true of most uncontested divorces. Although there certainly are exceptions, such as when it takes way too long to arrive at agreement or where there is an agreement but one of the spouses really “gets the shaft” or “takes the shaft” to spare the children the litigated divorce. Eventually, this has a way of backfiring.

  • Cost effective. Truthfully, collaborative divorce may not save any money, it just tends to expend it differently. In fact, collaborative divorce may be more expensive in money terms than many conventional divorces. But if non-monetary costs are factored in, there may well be a savings.

Read more in this [Newtown PA] Patch article: Top Five Reasons to Divorce Collaboratively After Age 50.

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Stalking Comes into its Own as a Criminal Behavior, But Remedies Lag Behind in Many Places

Man has allegedly posted about 4,000 messages about Woman on the internet, all attacking her character and professional skill.

Man also allegedly publishes a blog impersonating Woman.

Man has allegedly posted obscene messages on Woman’s website.

Woman tries to press charges with police.

But Woman lives in New York … and Man lives in Singapore.

New York authorities maintain that they cannot doing anything because Man’s criminal acts are in Singapore.

Singaporean authorities don’t seem to care about what Man has reportedly done.

Stalking via the internet is growing more widespread but is not so widely punished, in part because the legal tools to do so have not evolved as rapidly.

Stalking reportedly inflicts severe stress on victims, on a par with post traumatic stress disorder and crashing in a plane.

Some activists are pressing for uniform laws against stalking across various international communities, such as the European Union.

In Florida, stalking is a crime. Victims of stalking may also obtain restraining orders of protection against stalkers, called:

  1. injunctions for protection against domestic violence

  2. injunctions for protection against repeat violence

  3. injunctions for protection against dating violence and

  4. injunctions for protection againstsexual violence.

Read more in this Economist article: Cyber-stalking – Creepy crawlies – The internet allows the malicious to menace their victims.

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