Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Steven Watkins Visitation Interference Bill

Illinois Fathers

We have intel that that SB 3823, (The Steven Watkins Visitation Interference Bill) will be coming up for a vote in the full House either this week or early next week. We are hoping for a Veto Proof vote from the members of the Illinois House. Yes, that sounds pretty ambitous, but frankly, this entire quest was ambitous from day one. No motivational speeches are needed here. Everyone reading this newsletter understands that if this bill passes, the floodgates are opened and opened wide.

If you need to determine who is your Illinois House Representative


If you know who your Illinois House Representative is and need their contact information


Please call soon and encourage support for Senate Bill 3823 / The Steven Watkins Visitation Interference Bill

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Illinois Fathers Gazette

Today was a historic day in the life of our organization. Today, Illinois Fathers was graced with, who can be considered the pioneer if not the father of our movement, Dr. Stephen Baskerville. Dr. Baskerville was the keynote speaker of Illinois Fathers 2nd Annual Fatherless Day Rally. His speech focused on the causes of fatherlessness and some of the issues that prevent us from reversing this dilemma. He also stressed establishing a relationship with the media and making sure you are a part of an organization. One telling remark he made was that government was funding unconstitutional laws like VAWA ( the Violence Against Women Act).

There were many other speakers who gave very moving and passionate speeches as well. There was Mike Doherty of CRC who stated that fathers have been relegated to a position of uncle. Carrie Adams spoke about not seeing her kids in six years and all she had been put through and there wasn’t a dry eye in the area. Tony Taylor of Fathers for Justice spoke about the corruption in the system and that there are judges and legislators who know these things are going on and refuse to do anything.

Our hats go off and we give a big thank you to the two candidates who showed up, Lex Green, Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor and LeAlan Jones, Green Party candidate for U.S, Senate. Both of these candidates were for Equally Shared Parenting and for less government involvement in family matters. Mr. Jones is the father of two boys he adopted and Mr. Green has been through the divorce process and understands our issues as his ex-wife gave him problems with their children in the divorce. These are two gentlemen you may want to find out more about.

We also want to thank the media that came out and covered the event. TV News Stations 17 out of Decatur and Channel 20 from Springfield were there early to cover the rally. An IRN Radio reporter and State Journal – Register newspaper reporter was there to cover the candidates’ forum that afternoon. We appreciate them taking the time and also for making this issue of fatherlessness a priority. We are making changes.

I guess the one factor that lets me know this was a success was not all the people who showed up in attendance, not all the media that covered the events nor the candidates who showed and the others who didn’t but claimed they wished they could. What makes it all worthwhile is after we were finished, a man that worked for the state Capitol Building came up and grab me by the arm and said, “Thank you for not letting this issue die and keeping it going. I went through this same thing with my ex and had to spend five days in jail because the judge took everything from me and wanted me to still give my ex-wife half my pension when she had 50,000.00 dollars in the bank saved up, gave me her 17,000.00 dollar lawyer bill and our kids”. Knowing that we just gave somebody else hope gained another voice, that’s what lets me know we were successful. There were also numerous motorists, bus drivers, and truck drivers who would honk their horns and give us a thumbs up as they drove by our Rally at the Lincoln Statue.

If you weren’t there you missed it, but we have a lot coming up. On July 3, the Illinois Family Law Committee will be voting on everything. Custody, Child support the whole works. We may not get 50/50 split, which is what Illinois Fathers wants when it’s all said and done, but judging from the votes of last week’s meeting, we will still get a minimum of 35% time. The board of Illinois Fathers was taped for television show Captions in Peoria, IL with shows that will air on July Fourth and July Seventh. Board member General Parker will be in Washington, DC next week to lobby against VAWA and reforms to repeal mandatory arrest. On November 16, mark your calendars. We want as many members as possible to show up in Springfield to lobby our legislators to accept the Illinois Family Law Committee’s recommendation for the increase in custody time for non-custodial parents. We will keep you apprised of any other events as we are made aware of them.

We want to thank all you have contributed to our fundraising campaign and want you realize all the work we do for you so you know your support is being put good use and is effective. If you have not yet contributed, please consider visiting our website and contributing today. We want to thank Mike McCormick and ACFC for the leadership and support they give us. A special thanks goes out to Mike Doherty and CRC and Carrie Adams with Laps for Love. All these organizations working collaboratively with Illinois Fathers helps us to achieve our goals and get these courts turned around and our kids back where they belong. And its going to take the efforts of all us working together, not apart, to win this battle. Just like the civil rights struggle in the 60’s and Equal Rights for women, we need the efforts of all these organizations to help fight on all fronts to be victorious. And people, we will be VICTORIOUS!!! Have a blessed day.

Despite all of the positives from our Fatherless Day Rally, we must admit that more attendance from our membership would have made the event even more successful. Our turnout was respectable, yet it paled in comparison to the crowds we have seen from various groups such as the Tea Parties, The Gun Rights people, and others. If you have not yet attended an Illinois Fathers event, please try to do so during the next 12 months. If we could all show up for just one event a year, it would go a long way towards educating the general public, the media and our elected officials that something is very wrong with the family court system.

The link below is a recording of our own Mr. General Parker being interviewed on Peoria's main talk station, WMBD.

Go to June 3, 2010 and click on podcast 3

Thursday, April 22, 2010

~ Toys For Tots ~ Candle Light Vigil - Illinois

Chicago, IL - For Immediate Release


We would like to introduce ourselves ; Laps For Love a non for profit org. which is planning a ~ Toys For Tots Day ~ Candle Light Vigil event at 16501 South Kedzie Parkway Markham , Illinois 60428 .

We are inviting you our friends and your families to join us on Saturday April 24 , 2010 at 6 :30 p.m. The location is the Markham Courthouse and our gathering will be on the North East side of Kedzie . There is a driveway that leads you into the parking lot and you must turn either left if headed south on Kedzie or right if you are headed north on Kedzie . The predicted weather forecast of rain /storms may warrant us to gather briefly outdoors but then also go indoors at a location nearby to eat and fellowship if we need to .

A memorable national event on April 25 , 2010 joins people and communities from across the entire United States and abroad to declare *Parental Alienation Awareness Day* .

There are families who are kept apart from one another . There are children who are taken from their parents and never returned .

Laps For Love .Org would welcome all local media , any radio sponsors , other organizations and legal communities to share a ~ Toy For Tots ~ as these donations will be given to patients/ children in a neighboring hospital . If donating a toy , stuffed or non stuffed is unlikely please consider making a cash donation to Laps For Love .Org who will have their dark black shirts on and logo in blue - white .

There are other means for this event which we want all of you to consider and that is : How can you make a difference in the lives of Children ? There will always be various levels and conditions of housing for children , mentoring opportunities with children , tutoring the children , community clothing exchange for children , sport training camps for boys / girls etc...

But once again : How can you make a difference in the lives of Children ?

Are you willing to come and donate a toy on April 24, 2010 at 16501 South Kedzie Parkway Markham , Il. 60428 at 6 : 30 pm .

We are sharing this invitation with many organizations and we look forward to your participation . This gathering can bring comfort for a child who has not seen his/her own biological parent , guardian , or kin and you can make the difference when a toy , or cash donation is offered to Laps For Love. Org and join the many families who want parental alienation to end .

The wet weather may cause us to relocate to a neighboring restaurant and that can be decided amongst the participants and we invite all to join us even if the weather is dry .

Most likely going out to fellowship and eat is a promise .

If this message is received and you feel compelled to share it we encourage you to send it , re post it and let others know. We look forward to meeting you and we thank you for your love and care to children and their families . Laps For Love. Org

Carrie Adams cja3freespirit@yahoo.com

Co - President
John Furbee f4j.john@yahoo.com

Monday, March 29, 2010

Illinois Fathers Gazette - April 10th Rally - Chicago, IL

Illinois Family Law Study Committee - Family's Rally - Chicago

     Our Saturday April 10th event taking place in Chicago represents the best opportunity we have ever had to influence the family law system here in Illinois. The Illinois Family Law Study Committee is meeting that morning and we are holding our event in order to let the committee see that there are many of us who are not happy with the way the system is currently forcing parents away from their children. The Illinois Family Law Study Committee was formed for the purpose of examining the current system and proposing changes to the system. Once this process is done, the legislature probably will not want to revisit this issue anytime soon. You can rest assurred that our opposition has had a voice in this process.

     Like our website home page says, "This is where the rubber meets the road". In our quest to fulfill our responsibilities as parents, we of course see the right and mostly the wrong of what is happening in the family courts. We must take a little time to step back however and view the politics of all this. Simply put, we have allowed our opposition to thump us politically for many years. The Morning of Saturday April 10th is when we can demonstrate to our elected officials that Illinois Parents are fed up with being forced out of their childrens lives.

     Like our website home page says, "This is where the rubber meets the road". In our quest to fulfill our responsibilities as parents, we of course see the right and mostly the wrong of what is happening in the family courts. We must take a little time to step back however and view the politics of all this. Simply put, we have allowed our opposition to thump us politically for many years. The Morning of Saturday April 10th is when we can demonstrate to our elected officials that Illinois Parents are fed up with being forced out of their childrens lives.

     Of course, children are welcome. We plan to make this event peaceful and respectable. We really do not need any outrageous signs or behavior. What we truly need is an outrageous number of people to attend !

Monday, February 15, 2010

Illinois Fathers Gazette - Announcements

    Our next scheduled event is for Wednesday, February 17th at the Peoria County Courthouse. Back in November, Judge Richard McCoy responded to Pro Se litigant David Ihben's request for shared parenting time positively by encouraging the Mother to step outside the courtroom and work out a shared time parenting arrangement with the Father (David Ihben). This shared parenting agreement was in place and working out quite well for 6 weeks.

     During a December 11th hearing that was supposedly for other issues, the Judge did a complete reversal on his earlier shared parenting speech, and instead made the familiar statement, "if thw two of you cannot work together, then I have no choice other than to give full custody to the mother and visitation to the father." Our member, David Ihben, explained that he was holding out his hand to work together with the Mother, and that the shared parenting agreement had worked without any problems during its 6 week duration. But because the Mother took the stance that she "could not work together with the Father", the Judge took the shared parenting agreement away from the Father. Keep in mind that typically, a Judge will not change a custody arrangement without a major change in circumstances having had occurred.

     David is in the process of taking this decision reversal to the appelate court. Part of this process is going through the hearing with Judge McCoy that is called a motion to reconsider. On February 17th, at the Peoria Courthouse at 2:30 in the afternoon, David intends to present as evidence the transcript of Judge McCoys own words where he praises shared parenting.

     We are asking our membership to consider showing up on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 17th at the Peoria County Courthouse. We will start by conducting a peaceful protest outside the courthouse beginning at 1pm. At 2:15, we will move inside the courtroom to witness the hearing.

    If David and Illinois Fathers can find some success in reinstating David's original shared parenting arrangement, it would be an excellent precedent setting case that the rest of us can use. Please consider taking the time to attend the important event at the Peoria Courthouse on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 17th. The Peoria County Courthouse is located in Peoria on the corner of Jefferson and Main.

     Also taking place next week, the RADAR organization will be conducting a major lobbying effort and media effort called ABUSEGATE. The purpose of ABUSEGATE is to shine some light on the problem of rampant false accusations, restraining order abuses, and other abuses of fathers, families and children that are currently taking place. Early next week we will release more information about how you can help.
     One last thing, we are holding a support group meeting the evening of Monday, February 22nd at the Urbana Public Library (Champaign area). The meeting will begin at 6:30pm. A big thank you goes out to member Ms. Joni Cox for arranging this support group meeting in her area. We hope to see you there !

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem - DailyFinance

A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem - DailyFinance

Posted 10:30 AM 01/30/10

Amid the media frenzy over Tiger Woods and Bengals receiver Chris Henry, a key aspect of both stories slipped through the cracks: Like millions of other men, Woods and Henry were -- allegedly at least -- the victims of domestic violence perpetrated by their wives or girlfriends. Beyond its brutal physical and psychological costs, domestic violence against men exacts a cruel economic toll at the personal, societal and national levels.For the most part, the media, authorities and average citizens see domestic violence as a crime that is committed by men and victimizes women. Consequently, funding to combat the problem has overwhelmingly been spent on programs that support women.

Widely Ignored Problem

And yet, more than 200 survey-based studies show that domestic violence is just as likely to strike men as women. In fact, the overwhelming mass of evidence indicates that half of all domestic violence cases involve an exchange of blows and the remaining 50% is evenly split between men and women who are brutalized by their partners.

Part of the reason that this problem is widely ignored lies in the notion that battered males are weak or unmanly. A good example of this is the Barry Williams case: Recently, the former Brady Bunch star sought a restraining order against his live-in girlfriend, who had hit him, stolen $29,000 from his bank account, attempted to kick and stab him and had repeatedly threatened his life.

It is hard to imagine a media outlet mocking a battered woman, but E! online took the opportunity to poke fun at Williams, comparing the event to various Brady Bunch episodes. Similarly, when Saturday Night Live ran a segment in which a frightened Tiger Woods was repeatedly brutalized by his wife, the show was roundly attacked -- for being insensitive to musical guest Rihanna, herself a victim of domestic violence.

Lack of Research

Sometimes it is impossible to ignore the problem, but when domestic violence against men turns deadly -- as in the case of actor Phil Hartman -- the focus tends to shift to mental illness. The same can be said of the Andrea Yates case, which many pundits presented as the story of how an insensitive husband can drive a wife to murder.

Much of the information on domestic violence against men is anecdotal, largely because of the lack of funding to study the problem. Although several organizations explore domestic violence, the biggest single resource is the Department of Justice, which administers grants through its Office on Violence Against Women.

For years, the DOJ has explicitly refused to fund studies that investigate domestic violence against men. According to specialists in this field, the DOJ recently agreed to cover this problem -- as long as researchers give equal time to addressing violence against women.

First National Study

Researchers Denise Hines and Emily Douglas recently completed the first national study to scientifically measure the mental and social impact of domestic violence on male victims. Interestingly, their research was funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, not the DOJ. Not only does this demonstrate the lack of resources for researchers of this issue, but it also suggests that male battering is perceived as a mental health issue, not a crime.

This decriminalization of domestic violence against men affects research conclusions. While survey-based studies have found that men and women commit domestic violence in equal numbers, crime-based studies show that women are far more likely to be victimized. This inconsistency begins to make sense when one considers that man-on-woman violence tends to be seen through a criminal lens, while woman-on-man violence is viewed more benignly

A recent 32-nation study revealed that more than 51% of men and 52% of women felt that there were times when it was appropriate for a wife to slap her husband. By comparison, only 26% of men and 21% of women felt that there were times when it was appropriate for a husband to slap his wife. Murray Straus, creator of the Conflict Tactics Scale and one of the authors of the study, explained this discrepancy: "We don't perceive men as victims. We see women as being more vulnerable than men."

Kneed In The Groin

This trend becomes particularly striking when one considers the 1996 case of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Warren Moon, who tried to restrain his wife after she threw a candlestick at his head and kneed him in the groin. Subsequently charged with spousal abuse, he was only acquitted after his wife admitted that she attacked him -- and that her wounds were self-inflicted. Ironically, her admission of fault did not result in charges being brought against her.

While Moon's trial was particularly high profile, his situation is actually very common. In fact, studies have found that a man who calls the police to report domestic violence is three times more likely to be arrested than the woman who is abusing him.

The mainstream perception of domestic violence also impacts the resources that are available to battered men. For example, the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, the only national toll-free hot line that specializes in helping male victims of domestic violence, has faced numerous roadblocks in its search for funding. In Maine, where the helpline is based, the surest route to funding is through membership in the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

On A Shoestring

But, according to Helpline director Jan Brown, the Coalition refused to even issue the program an application for membership, effectively denying it access to funding. Today, 45 Helpline volunteers field 550 calls per month, 80% of which are from men or people who are looking for help on behalf of a man. Operating with a yearly budget of less than $15,000, it provides intensive training to its workers and offers victims housing, food, bus tickets and a host of other services.

The Helpline's sheltering services are informal and ad hoc, largely because its lack of access to funding makes a shelter financially impossible. In fact, of the estimated 1,200 to 1,800 shelters in the U.S., only one -- the Valley Oasis shelter in Antelope Valley, Calif. -- provides a full range of shelter services to men. And, on average, less than 10% of OVW funds allocated to fight domestic violence are used to help men.

For male victims of domestic violence, the legal system can become another tool for abuse. As in the Moon case, battered men are often likely to find themselves arrested, even when they are the ones who call the police. And, even after the arrest, the process of incarceration, restraining orders, divorce court and child custody hearings continue to disadvantage men.

A High Cost

Restraining orders are a particularly difficult hurdle. Radar Services, a watchdog organization, estimates that approximately 85% of the roughly 2 million temporary restraining orders that are issued every year are made against men. In many states, the requirements for an order are exceedingly vague: In Oregon, for example, a "fear" of violence is sufficient for a restraining order, while Michigan issues them to protect family members against "fear of mental harm."

But there's nothing vague about the effect of restraining orders: They often turn men out of their homes, deny them access to children and result in further personal costs as millions of men have to find new places to live, hire lawyers and pay other expenses. For some men, as Hines and Brown point out, the legal system gives abusive wives and girlfriends tools to continue attacks even after their relationships end.

As Straus notes, "The preponderance of [domestic violence] resources should be made available to women. They are injured more often, are more economically vulnerable, and are often responsible for the couple's children. That having been said, more resources need to be made available to men."

There is no doubt that domestic violence against men can be reduced; the domestic violence initiatives of the past 40 years have brought a hidden crime to light and provided protection for millions of women. The next step is to admit that domestic violence is not a male or female problem, but rather a human problem, and that a lasting solution must address the cruelty -- and suffering -- of both sexes.

About Bruce Watson
Bruce Watson is a features writer for DailyFinance, focusing on the political and cultural effects of economic events. A contributor to Military Lessons of the Persian Gulf War, A Chronology of the Cold War at Sea, the Journal of American Philosophy, A Cafe in Space, and the forthcoming Peanut Butter, Gooseberries, and Latkes! He has also worked as a research assistant in the British House of Commons and at the United States Naval Institute.

Should judicial discipline be taken out of the hands of the judiciary?

Should judges be held accountable for allowing lawyers to file false, perjured and frivilous pleadings with no penalty?

Should applications for Child Support be denied without a divorce decree or separation order of support? (Married/Divorced Parents Only)

Should a parent who makes false allegations of child sexual abuse for the purposes of child custody get only Supervised Visitation?

Perjury in family court should be aggressively prosecuted?

Perjured applications for child support should be denied and aggressively prosecuted?

It should be mandated that child support arrears should be prohibited if a parent has interfered with custody & visitation during dissolution or custody proceedings?

I believe that child support arrearages given to a parent who has interfered with custody only encourages future denials of custody & visitation?

Do you believe that Judges and Prosecutors who refuse to enforce child custody are responsible for the escalation of domestic violence by non-custodial parents?

Do you believe that interference with custody is a willful action by the offending parent to cause significant mental & emotional distress on the victim child(ren)?

Do you believe that interference with custody is a willful action by the offending parent to inflict significant mental & emotional distress on the non-custodial parent?