Gas-Lighting (Psychological Abuse) A Life
Wikipedia defines “gas-lighting” as “a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting own memory, perception and sanity.” The term’s origin is the play written by Patrick Hamilton in 1938. The subsequent 1944 film, Gaslight, starred Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, whose character hides his wife’s jewellery, slips his own pocket watch into her purse, removes art from the walls of the house, and dims gas lights in constant attacks to systematically dismantle victim’s belief in own lucidity. [Note: The abuser pretends to be helping the victim, pretending to be the anchor of “sanity”, while manipulatively training the victim to increasingly depend on the abuser.]
Gaslight – Full Movie – GREAT QUALITY 720p (1940) [1:24:09]
– I am a victim of gaslighting and this movie made me see how I lost my soul and mind in a very abusive relationship. I would also like to add that many people who know my abuser don’t believe me because he is very charming which attracted me to him. I am seeking counselling and have big time codependent issues. He is such a master manipulator!
– Me too dear, we are survivors and we will thrive! It’s the most insidious and evil act to hurt someone emotionally and psychologically.
– Like Bella, my husband married me for money, wanted to commit me so he’d get it all. Keeping her away from her family. The movie brings back the pain. Every child’s education ought to include red flags in relationships. Excellent movie, actors.
– 20 minutes in, and I just noticed my heart rate going up and I’ve been moving my leg out of anxiousness….. The aftermath of being with a narcissist for 2 years that heavily involved gas lighting still creeps with my emotions unfortunately …
VERBAL ABUSE AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Psychology today explains the abuse as:
– Withholding information from the victim by not sharing feelings or thoughts.
– Argumentatively countering or dismissing the victim’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences on a regular basis.
– Discounting is denying or not allowing the victim his or her thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, telling the victim they are wrong.
– Abuser may say something upsetting or insulting and seeing the victim’s reaction may add, “It was just a joke!”
– Blocking and diverting is telling the victim she is talking out of turn or complaining to much which is deserving of the abuser’s anger.
– The abuser accuse and blame the victim of things outside of the victim’s control.
– The abuser criticises the victim regularly with regular phrases such as: You are never satisfied: You are always ungrateful: You are always rude, etc.
– Trivialising is where the abuser makes most things the victim does, wants or do seem insignificant, whimsical and meaningless.
– Undermining is a technique where the abuser constantly counteract or sabotage everything the victim says and does, making her question herself and her own opinions and interests.
– Threats is a common abuse technique, for example: If you don’t do as I tell you I will leave.
– Name calling can be explicit or subtle. Explicit is calling the victim a “bitch”. Subtle techniques, for example can be: “You are so spoiled,” or “You just want to fight with everyone!”
– The “forgetting” or ignoring techniques covers a range of issues from the abuser constantly forgetting appointments, forgetting which food you don’t eat to forgetting, while driving, to stop for the toilet for the victim.
– The abuser wants control and always has orders and demands for the victim.
– Denial is when an abuser always try to justify and rationalise his abusive behaviour or denies that he had behaved aggressively or abusively.
– The abuser presents unforgiving attitude, constant sullenness and abusive anger which is mostly out of context and unjustifiable.
– The abuser’s speech and/or behaviour is derogating, controlling, punishing, or manipulative.
– The abuser regularly withholds love, communication, support or money for maintaining power and control.
3) PHYSICAL VIOLENCE
– Beating, shoving, cornering, forbidding food, water or shelter, etc.
Author’s note: An abuser is vindictive, cruel and do not co-operate with their victim in any way. They order, manipulate, control, criticise, lie and is extremely greedy. They enjoy seeing their victim struggle or suffer and will create oppressive situations to see this happen. “Nobody helped me” is what you will hear as their reason for this. They will ruin and destroy anyone who stands in the way of what they want. Sometimes even killing for it. They’ll utilise a person like a tool/slave in a sociopathic and barbaric manner purely for their own advancement, gratification or enjoyment. While they engage in lies, manipulation, exploitation and pretences. Even in their trash and as fakers they’ll consider themselves superior to others, because they feel they are able to control trusting people.
Similar to the behaviour of a serial rapist or murderer, they search out their victim or target. Those who are not their victims are their audience. Their enablers are the like-minded people, who support whatever they do, because these understand and support hooligan behaviour. The audience gets a show of either the “nice guy”, the “I am the victim, pity me guy” or the “you will respect me without questions guy”. But the audience will almost never see the real abuser.
The abuser must be in conflict with someone, over anything they wish, to vent their anger and frustration. This permanent victim is not allowed to say no, or to leave. Because they will be destroyed by the abuser, or what they love the most will be taken, simply for such an act of “disobedience”.
Punished 4 Protecting: The Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Story
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki suffers 20+ years of extreme physical and emotional abuse, and cruelty, at the hands of her violent and controlling husband, David Rucki. Rucki is wealthy and well-connected, and has the protection and assistance of judges in the Minnesota court system, and all levels of state and local government, in harassing and furthering abusing his ex-wife through the legal system.
Rucki has a long history of violence, including a lengthy CPS file documenting incidents of abuse against his own children, and convictions for violent offences. Rucki has also been court ordered into anger management on several occasions.Intervention does not work with Rucki – the only thing that does change is his tactics of abuse, which continue to escalate. (Read documentation of Rucki’s violence: druckipolicereports)
In May 2011, Sandra and David Rucki agree to a divorce. Under the agreement, Rucki would receive a majority of the financial assets, and Sandra, a stay-at-home mother, would retain custody of the five children. The divorce is finalised by Judge Tim D. Wermager (a former law firm partner of David Warg. Warg is the husband of Judge Karen Asphaug, who would later preside over the Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial). After the financial terms were set in the divorce decree (less than a month later), Rucki challenges the rest of the divorce, claiming he was defrauded, and that he didn’t think the divorce was real, but rather, was just a “paper divorce”. (Read more: David Rucki Paper Divorce Scam). Rucki personally requests that Judge David L. Knutson be appointed to the divorce, and together they work to destroy Sandra and forcibly remove her from the lives of her children, whom she has not seen since 2013.
For deeper insight into this case revealing court and media behaviour, listen to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2RBaKZ2NOk
Gaslighted Out of House and Home
How $300,000 and a talent for storytelling helped a father of six children make their mother disappear.
A key strategy was to paint Marre as an unfit, dangerous mother. Another was for Brenden to hide all his assets.
Marre’s Williamsburg trip and the money meeting was both viewed by Brenden as acts of insubordination. He intensified his “gas-lighting” campaign upon Marre’s return, she says. He’d told her repeatedly over the years she was insane, but now he took it further: She was unfit to parent. He held private meetings in the kitchen with the oldest three children. He visited her parents to inform them she’d been having psychological problems.
Before long he had rendered her a pariah in her own house. The oldest three kids began treating her coldly, glaring at her from afar. They told the younger three to lock their bedroom doors at night.
One night in August of 2013, Marre was preparing to leave for a yoga class when her daughters begged her not to go. They wanted to watch a movie with her; in spite of their suspicious change in behaviour toward her, Marre relented.
Midway through the movie, five Fulton county sheriff’s deputies appeared in the living room. They had come with a padded wagon for her transport to Grady Hospital’s psychiatric ward. After a distressed Marre convinced them she was not a danger to herself or anyone else, the female deputy let her ride in the squad car. After doctors at the ward found “nothing horrific” over Marre’s 24-hour stay there, they released her. She called her oldest child, who intoned, “You are dangerous,” then hung up.
The Women’s Coalition
Yesterday at 12:19am ·
Face of the Crisis: Robbie
An hour after I presented divorce papers my husband called 911 and falsely alleged I assaulted him. I had the bloody lip, but I was the one arrested. My four girls, whom I home-schooled their entire lives, were kept away from me completely for 8 months with no contact whatsoever.
There followed three years of litigation and a six week trial. He is a doctor and has money to burn. It has cost me more than a half million dollars to date.
I spent my entire marriage giving up my law career and moved six times for my ex during his Navy career, two times overseas. After a 28 year marriage, I was given nothing except most of the substantial IRS tax debt.
There are no words to describe the darkness of my case, the “pay to see your kids” I was forced to engage in, the lack of accountability for anything my ex did or anything the judge decided.
Stop Restraining Order – PFA’s Abuse
March 30, 2015
I was married 24 years and belonged to a fundamental christian religion where the husband was head of the household. When I insisted on a divorce to end a miserable marriage,the crafty plan went into action. It started by him insisting I go to my moms three hours away for a few days. I thought it would be good to let him calm down. When I came home all the locks were changed and I could not get in. My youngest was crying hysterically “let mom in daddy” “let mom in!” I stood pounding on the door crying hysterically in panic because I had no money and no gas to get any where. The police were called and the claim was that I threatened him and the children. I slept in my car that night. A restraining order was filed in family law court with no proof or witnesses. He was represented and I was not. I didn’t even have a change of clothes. I was staying at a hotel nearby. It was a few weeks later that it was requested by the custodial parent that I do my supervised visit across the street from the house in a park. I stupidly agreed. After the visit my then 8 year old came running up to me as I was getting ready to leave. She said that Dad told her to come and get me so that I could get some of my things. My stuff was on the driveway and being loaded into boxes. I backed my car into the driveway like an idiot thinking if I was invited then it would be okay. Almost immediately the police were there. At first they were going to let me go, but then they were told of all these crazy stories and were shown texts conversations between us. He insisted upon the police that I be arrested. It then went to criminal court and because of the “victims” accusations, the D.A. offered me 3 years probation, 3000.00 in fines, 52 weeks batterers treatment, costing 50.00 a week, 30 days in jail and a ten year restraining order that is unheard of even by Judges. Narcissist get people to pander to them and the D.A. did. I was then trapped so many times that the number of violations made me out to look like a crazy lady to mediators who barely take a glance at their huge number of cases. For example an automated request sent from Linkden to my daughter to connect, a very mild and kind letter to the elders of my church that he somehow got a hold of, and posts on fb he didn’t like- from other people! I was constantly getting calls from the police with claims that I violated the order, and I would have to prove my innocence. I now have addendum’s added that consists of : Not being able to attend a church he no longer attends, but I did for 25 years. Not being able to communicate to any of the Elders at this church or his church consisting of over 25 that travel from congregation to congregation, Then of course the school, home, office, former employees of his, current employees of his, former clients, current clients, and my children. To even mention his name or my children’s’ names could land me in jail. I have had supervised visits for three years. I have been forced to move to avoid entrapment. I have suffered relentless prosecution most of which the Judge throws out. I had no criminal background, drug use ever, alcoholism or abusive behaviour. The police were never called to our home except by me, because he was abusing me! I lost custody because of an order violating my human rights that never should have been approved by a Judge. The narcissist in this case knew what flaws existed in the Family Law system and the flawed “knee jerk reaction” of the creation of restraining order laws that were enforced in order to protect-not harm. Now three girls have lost a mother. I have been sentenced to a life of heart ache that never goes away, and suffer from severe PTSD. The Judge gave me nothing out of 24 years- from 20 to 44. The best years of a woman’s life. Something has to change.
In June of this year a Ventura County, California judge ruled that Ethan would be given over completely to his father, and that there would be no guaranteed visitation with his mother or therapy.
He said that in the two years he lived with his father, the boy’s relationship with Aberg had deteriorated to such an extent that a therapy course was ‘doomed to failure’.
But Aberg, who filed the appeal on August 24, says that her ex-husband turned their son against her.
They had shared the boy’s time in a 50-50 agreement until January 2015, when she was told in a legal letter that he wanted to give her just one weekend a month in winter and two in summer, she said.
The alternative, the letter said, was to go to court.
The following month – amid claims from Anka that his ex-wife was ‘mentally ill’ she lost physical custody of her son at the suggestion of a mediator, the Daily News reported.
‘The false allegations started pouring in one after the other,’ Aberg added. ‘The court never found me guilty of any of them, and still I lost custody of my son.’
Just months before, she said, she lost custody of her now-14-year-old daughter from another marriage after she was ‘almost arrested’ on Mother’s Day based on a ‘false allegation’ that she scalded the girl.
‘A court order at this time requiring that [Ethan] spend time with his mother, who he presently despises, risks trying to put a round peg into a square hole,’ the judge wrote in April.
‘At some point, Ethan’s stated preference to live with his father may be in his best interest, however objectionable that is to [Aberg].’
Two months later the judge ruled in favour of Paul.
Paul Anka gained full custody of his son Ethan, 11, in June after a long court case.
Mom Anna Aberg is outraged, saying he decides whether she gets to see her boy.
She said the decision to give him full control was ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’.
It came after court-mandated attempts at family therapy fell through.
Ethan ‘despises’ his mother, the judge said just before making the ruling.
Aberg says Anka, his father, poisoned the boy’s mind and made false allegations about her.
My name is Roisin Cassidy. I was a custodial mother of my two children for 15 years, currently aged 15 and 11. I’ve always been a devoted mother, and all I have ever wanted to do was to co parent my children. Nonetheless, their wealthy abusive father asked for sole custody and was successful, by means of a custody report that I believe to be inaccurate and biased, conducted by Dr. Ken B. Perlmutter. This report was signed into a court order by Judge Raymond Swope, San Mateo. I was not permitted to present my evidence in court.
This is not a case of substance abuse, mental illness or parental deficiencies. After leaving an abusive marriage, my children and I were subjected to years of expensive litigation and harassment, as well as two custody evaluations by Ken Perlmutter PhD, Palo Alto. These custody evaluations, requested by their father, placed me and the children under a microscope for years to the point where I had to account for every decision I made no matter how small and for each and every incident that occurred in our daily lives no matter how trivial. If I was five minutes late for a doctor’s appointment, I had to explain why in detail.
In his custody report Dr. Perlmutter made many untrue and outrageous statements and conclusions. One example is Dr. Perlmutter stated numerous times in his report that I suffer from intellectual deficits, even though he had no scientific evidence to support this and despite the fact that my IQ has measured at 128. Dr. Perlmutter even went so far as to tell my children in front of me that me their mother suffers from an intellectual deficit and that they would be better off being raised by their father Stephen Tyrrell and his partner Diane Smith Jordan. I was forced by court order to sit in silence while Perlmutter degraded me to my children. Dr. Perlmutter gloated and yelled at me while I had tears streaming down my face during his interrogations. The fact one of my complaints against the father to Perlmutter was that he often referred to me as retarded in front of our children was completely ignored and seen as appropriate parenting by Dr. Perlmutter.
Recently, after five years of expensive litigation all instigated by the father Stephen Tyrrell, I simply ran out of money and could not continue to defend myself from the constant untrue accusations from this father and his legal team. My children and I had less than 48 hours to say good-bye, and they were uprooted from their Bay Area home and moved out of state. I have not seen my children since, and have only had limited sporadic phone contact. I was fined over $50,000 in court costs, I was accused of having a frivolous defence even though my evidence was not permitted by the court. Parents often lose their children to the parents who abused them, and mistreated them by means of legal and financial abuse.
A North Carolina mom started serving a week-long jail sentence for having her daughter baptised, according to reports.
The 2016 baptism at St. Peter’s Catholic Church when the girl was 2 years old defied a judge’s order in a custody battle between unmarried couple, Kendra Stocks and Paul Schaaf, who are no longer together.
Stocks, 36, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve seven days in the county jail after a judge held her in criminal contempt. She began serving the sentence Friday, WSOC-TV reported.
The station quoted court records as saying Schaaf was a practicing Catholic who attended Mass every week and that the court had issued a ruling that gave him final say in all legal custody decisions, including decisions concerning religion.
The day after that ruling, Stocks went ahead with the christening without notifying Schaff. He found out when Stock posted photos of the ceremony on Facebook, according to the station.
Schaff’s attorney told the Charlotte Observer that Stocks was being punished, not for baptising the girl, but for ignoring a judge.
“For our system to work, there ought to be consequences for wilfully and intentionally violating a court order,” the attorney, Jonathan Feit, told the paper. “I teach my children that. I reject the notion that anybody else is responsible for what is happening besides Ms. Stocks herself.”
“I’m scared,” Stocks told The Charlotte Observer. “I’m sad about what has happened. I don’t regret having her baptised. That was in her best interest … I don’t see how this is in the best interest of the family. Her father is sending her mother to jail.”
I would like to bring to the people’s attention the gross misuse of the so-called ‘care’ system and the flagrant disregard of law, international, European and UK (English). I would also like for the British public to see that foreign nationals are being made out to be a scapegoat for political gain.
I am a foreign national, falsely imprisoned for crime I didn’t commit, tortured by prison staff, separated from my child who was ‘stolen’ by a Local Authority under the over dramatisation of supposed ‘neglect’. This ‘neglect’ was the fact I refused my then 2 1/2 year old child to take him to a speech therapist because my child refused to speak to strangers or in sentences when he did. When I tried to point out that every child developed at different rates, I was told I had ‘mental’ problems. When in fact I was doing what was in the ‘best interest of the child’. Now I am facing being deported whilst my now 5 y.o. child is left in ‘care’ in the UK knowing nothing about me or my whereabouts.
My Son was ‘stolen’ in Spain and watched as his mother was battered by the police. Then picked up by strangers from a London local authority and taken to a ‘foster carers’ home at 3am in the morning. Please bear in mind the child was 4 years old and more than likely asleep when he was dropped off and has never seen his mother since. This was Dec. 2011.
The very ‘system’ that is supposed to protect my child is destroying him. i don’t get anything from Social Services, basically I am treated like a surrogate parent with no thought or feelings. They refuse point blank to answer my questions or anyone else for that matter.
Chantal Lepine In 2012, my children’s father tried to kill us and bury us in the backyard in our acreage. He traumatised my 17 month old so badly she was literally a vegetable and lost all her developmental skills. It would be three years before she started talking again. He also gave our 4 week old baby a head injury and he was in the Children’s Stollary for 8 days. My daughter suffers from PTSD to this day and struggles to do everything. There was an EPO in effect for two years and he didn’t exercise his supervised visits. Haven’t heard from him ever since. Last year he crawled out from whatever rock he’s been hiding under and claimed parental alienation. They took my children and handed them to him. He was granted day to day care in the Court of Queens Bench on Nov 22nd. The TGO with CFS expired on the 27th. How conveniently timed, eh? My children come for visits with injuries that they are forced to lie to me about or they get in trouble for telling me. I have only seen my children twice since the order was granted. I have had Sunday visits since this all started, they didn’t show up today.
Jackie N Dave Russell
Yesterday at 12:44am · Stratford, ON, Canada
My ex husband and I took our twins in Mexico in 2011, they were 11, I ended up in Canada to retrieve my older son who was 15. We had just relocated for a 1 year period… my ex husband sent me back to Canada in July of 2011 to get my son who refused to go to Mexico – his step son
While all this was happening my ex husband was losing his mind in Mexico with our twins and I was stuck here with my older son who lost his mind.
My oldest son went to jail and my ex husband took our twins and moved from the only address I had. He also quit his job and got a new one.
I went to the consulate and fought under The Hague convention since we had no custody order. It was a heart breaking mess and my ex told my twins I had abandoned them and that’s why I came home to their brother.
My ex husband was abusive to me sexually, mentally, emotionally and physically. He was mentally, emotionally and physically abusive with my sons.
In 2013 my oldest son was 18 and disclosed sexual abuse by my ex husband, 7 months later a friends daughter now 18 also disclosed. I subsequently lost my life as it seems.
I was stuck supporting my son, during a 4 year trial, 3 of those years also fighting for my twins in family court. Because my ex mother-in-law is in the Witness Relocation Program, no joke, so I have no access to my now 17 year old twin sons. I don’t know how I have survived this with no therapy, but I have – plus some! I fought for 3 years in Sunridge, 2 times a month to see my kids. I finally gave up in my 3rd year, because the trial was wiping me out mentally and physically.
My ex husband returned to Canada was convicted on 10 charges in 2015 and sentenced to 8 years. He was on bail the whole time until March 2017, when his appeal was dismissed unanimously and he began his sentence.
Victims compensation offered me an apology for costing me my children, since no family/youth court judge would make a decision until the trial was done. It just ended this year…
I haven’t seen much of my twins since there return to Canada even with all the time in family court, no one obeyed the court order but me and the alienation damages went further.
Both of my children blocked me on Facebook. I have been unable to see them at their home. But one of my sons unblocked me last month. I have been sending simple I love you messages, but he doesn’t respond. This morning when I got up my other twin messaged me telling me to go away. He then shared my profile pic on his wall and told me to leave them alone. Also that they know how to contact me. What can I say to him? I don’t know what they know?
A 4-year-old boy at the centre of a tug-of-war between the families of his murdered mother and his father. His father sits in jail accused of the slaying of his mother and he will have to live with the guardian his father chose in two weeks, a Broward judge ruled Thursday.
The boy has been with a foster family since Enrique Macotela’s arrest on a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend Magdalena Weich, with whom he had lived.
Broward Judge Stacey Schulman ruled April 22 that Macotela, the accused murderer of the child’s mother, had the right to choose a new guardian. Macotela picked his sister in New Jersey to adopt the boy, outraging Weich’s family, who, at the hands of this man lost a daughter and are now loosing their grandson.
Leaving their young children behind with relatives, Cathy Clayson and Paul Martin took a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica together in December, 2010, even though their fraught marriage was all but over.
Mr. Martin had insisted on travelling to Jamaica and on renting a car despite her concerns about the country’s safety. And he insisted on driving to a remote spot east of their resort to take pictures just three hours before their flight was due to leave.
He went into the back seat, where his camera was she, “felt a sting on her neck.”
She turned around. “I saw his face, with him holding a knife up,” she said, before he attacked her again, cutting her thumb.
She left the car and ran, she told court, but he caught her and carried her back to the car. “He puts me in a choke hold and he starts strangling me, adding that she remembers urinating on him in the struggle.
He put her in the passenger seat and started to drive. She pleaded with him to take her to a hospital, even offering to lie and say she was attacked by a Jamaican robber. After they returned to a main highway, she honked the horn and grabbed the steering wheel, she eventually jumped from the car. Her husband drove off, and a passing cab driver took her to hospital.
At times, Mr. Martin, who came to court in a dark suit and brought a trolley full of his legal documents, stood to interrupt her account, telling the judge in a soft-spoken voice that he was having trouble hearing or taking notes quickly enough.
An Ontario Superior Court judge says he cannot determine whether an Oshawa-area schoolteacher slashed his wife’s throat while on vacation in Jamaica in 2010, or whether she attacked him first and ended up injured. (Mr Martin had no injuries.)
In a Court decision dated Dec. 30, Justice Roger Timms rules that as a result (of him slitting his wife’s throat), Paul Martin, 47, should get equal and unsupervised access to the couple’s two children, aged 9 and 6.
On the morning of July 19, 2016, their mother and sister were returning to their blue Toyota, having enjoyed a pre-work swim, when a man stepped out from behind the car and aimed at them with a single-barrel shotgun.
Claire Hart, 50, raised a pleading arm towards him. The man was Lance Hart, her husband of 26 years who she had walked out on days earlier, after years of emotional abuse. Ignoring her protestations, Lance, 57, fired three shots, killing his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself.
A pool attendant, hearing the bangs, ran out in time to catch 19-year-old Charlotte Hart’s final words: “It was my Dad who shot me.” She died on the tarmac next to the bodies of her mother and father.
“We always knew our father was a bad person, but it was in an invisible way,” says Luke. “We were controlled and repressed – but thought we were safe physically.”
All are tell-tale signs of coercive and controlling behaviour.
“We saw a number of characteristics on a poster, like the rigid and arbitrary enforcement of rules, financial control, turning up at your place of work and stealing phone records,” explains Luke. “It was the perfect description of what we had been living under for our entire lives.”
To those who knew them, the Harts were a wholesome family. They had a large house, often travelled in a pack of five and seemed to adore one another. The boys were diligent A* students. Charlotte was a keen horse rider and planned to become a teacher. Claire, who worked at Morrisons, was her best friend.
But behind closed doors, the family was under Lance’s nightmarish control. “If you see a kid who never breaks a rule that’s weird,” says Luke. “If you see a family that’s never apart, that’s not normal. There’s something wrong.
“All these things that, on the outside, seem to show cohesion were actually coercion.”
Lance, a builder’s merchant, had a volatile temper. He was never violent, but could inflict upon Claire – the main target of his abuse – agonising pain, by triggering a nerve associated with her multiple sclerosis. When he broke a plate, he would spend hours cursing and blaming his family. He drove recklessly – going 70 mph in a 30 mph zone – to scare them.
“Our lives meant nothing to him,” says Ryan.
On one occasion, when Luke was a toddler, Lance almost killed him – something he didn’t find out until after the funeral. “My father knew I had a peanut allergy, but fed me peanut butter to demonstrate control over my mother,” he says.
Another marker of emotional abuse was Lance’s strict financial control. Charlotte used to enjoy taking the dogs to agility training, but Lance badgered her about the £10 weekly fee until she stopped. Meanwhile, he spent thousands of pounds on building an extension to make the family appear wealthy.
“I used to look at others and think, ‘How does everyone do life, it’s so hard’,” says Luke. “Our father created a world where we could only live secretly. It was like an ever-constricting prison, until the point that you’re crushed.”
When they went to university (Luke to Warwick and Ryan to Durham, both to study engineering) the brothers returned home every weekend to check on their Mum and sister.
Lance charged the brothers a nightly fee, in an attempt to stop them from saving enough money to liberate Charlotte and Claire. “It was more expensive to go home than to stay in a hotel,” Ryan recalls. When he was promoted at work, his fee went up. Later, Lance demanded he pay £10,000 to upgrade the garage, where he kept a motorbike.
Every so often, one of the brothers stood up to their father – but they always lived to regret it. Withholding his reaction at the time, Lance would mete out cruel punishments later. “He would feed the dogs food he knew to be poisonous,” says Ryan. “We knew the more we challenged him the more he would do it.” It was four days after the brothers were finally able to move Charlotte and their Mum out of the family home, and into a rented flat nearby, that Lance murdered them.
“We hadn’t understood the danger, because there hadn’t been any violence,” says Luke. “We didn’t realise most people are killed after leaving.”
They now know that, on average, two women in England and Wales are killed each week at the hands of a partner or ex.
Sharing their experience has helped saved lives, they say. Their story encouraged one woman to leave her husband who, police later discovered, had been plotting to kill her.
“I love to think we’re ruining the lives of these really narcissistic, horrible men who are controlling their families,” says Luke.
In 1995, Kelly’s abusive husband killed her son Justin after she put her children to sleep and left the house to run errands in preparation to leave him with her children the next day. Her ex-husband has since confessed his responsibility for Justin’s death.
Kelly’s trial and conviction rested on the prosecution exploiting myths and misconceptions of survivors of abuse. Even Kelly’s own defence attorney told the jury that she was negligent for not leaving her abusive husband, a damaging and inaccurate argument that hurt her case. Kelly’s history of abuse began when she was less than four years old. She sustained a lifetime of rapes, beatings and other abuse by a succession of family members, acquaintances and two husbands, including the husband who killed Justin. Kelly was not present for her son’s killing, but the DA blamed her for not escaping and saving her children sooner, ignoring the very real and documented dangers associated with attempting to leave an abusive partner. The DA also exploited Kelly’s history of abuse to suggest that she didn’t run because she enjoyed the beatings, and sacrificed her son to “please” her abusive husband. Kelly was then convicted of first-degree murder for “aiding and abetting” her abusive husband, and sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole.
An Orthodox Jewish mother of six who was barred from speaking with her own children because she insisted on raising them in a religious home has been thrown in jail because she lacked the financial means to reimburse her wealthy ex-husband $10,000 in court costs as order by an Ohio judge.
Julie Goffstein and her husband Peter had been raising their boys as members of the Chabad community in Cincinnati when Peter Goffstein decided that he no longer wanted to live a religious lifestyle. Given an ultimatum of choosing between her religion and her marriage, Julie chose to continue living her life as a Jew and the Goffstein’s bitter divorce began to unfold in 2010. After hearing the testimony of 11 character witnesses and two court ordered evaluations, Judge Jon Sieve of the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas awarded full custody of all of the Goffstein children to their mother, specifically noting the importance of continuity for the boys who had been raised in an Orthodox home.
Nine months later, Peter filed for a reallocation of custody and within weeks Judge Sieve had reversed his decision, awarding Peter full custody of the four younger children, observing that Julie’s insistence on sending the children to yeshiva was not in their best interest. While Judge Sieve’s ruling allowed the children to remain in yeshiva, Julie was held responsible for paying their tuition, with Peter given the authority to make all of the children’s educational decisions. Over time, the situation continued to deteriorate, with Peter filing multiple lawsuits against his former wife and Julie moved with the two older boys to Crown Heights where they continued in yeshiva, while the four younger boys were sent to public school against their will by their father.
As the court battles continued, Peter Goffstein continued to keep the younger children shielded from both their mother and their Jewish heritage, allegedly chopping off one child’s payos, removing the boys’ yarmulkas and making them eat pork. Friends of Julie’s also reported that he smeared urine on one child’s face as a punishment for a religious observance and that Peter repeatedly bullied anyone who supported Julie’s mission of raising her sons in an observant home. Eventually the court forbade Julie from discussing any religious matters with her sons, and she was found in contempt of court for telling one son of her efforts to get him back into yeshiva.
While Peter is extremely wealthy, Julie’s financial situation is very bleak, having been stripped of all marital assets by Judge Sieve. His latest decision, holding Julie in contempt of court for being unable to reimburse her ex-husbands court costs and sending her to jail, seems to be the latest obstacle thrown at Julie simply because she has chosen to raise her sons as practicing members of the Jewish faith. Julie’s sons, ranging in age from nine to eighteen are living a life of turmoil, with the younger boys facing their father’s reported harassment and the two older boys now living alone in Crown Heights because of Julie’s imprisonment.
More expatriate spouses forced to leave country after divorce, some are forced to abandon and leave their children behind, even one year old babies.
This method of “getting rid” of expat spouses is becoming more common, according to lawyers.
When an expat moves here, his or her company sponsors the Employment Pass (EP). The employer of the expat, who is typically male. He then sponsors his wife and children as dependants on his pass, which he can ask to cancel any time.
Ms Catherine Rose Yates, a British permanent resident who set up a support group for expats going through a divorce, said she has come across 11 such cases.
“The spouse with the EP is legally entitled to request to cancel the DPs of his family members and, in these cases, by cancelling only the mother’s DP, he is trying to separate her from the child,” she said.
“He is hoping that she would have to leave the country. That puts him in a better position in a custody battle for the children.”
Seven years ago, Paula English told police that her husband had destroyed her cellphone, nailed her bedroom door and windows shut with her inside, and driven her to a secluded area and swung at her with a hammer. He was charged and pleaded guilty to abducting her. They divorced. But English made more money than her ex, and to her shock, he asked for spousal support. She’s still forced to send him a check every month.
If her husband had killed her that night, he couldn’t have inherited her money under Virginia law. But because she survived — he put the hammer down without bashing her head — there was no law stopping him from filing for alimony. Her attorney quickly settled with his, because going before a judge would have been a gamble for English — the court could have made her to pay a higher amount. Under the settlement, English was ordered to pay the man she thought was going to murder her $1,000 a month. When she found out, “I couldn’t speak for the longest time,” English said. She walked out of the courthouse, got into her car, and screamed.
Divorce law varies from state to state, and there are no federal guidelines on how domestic violence should affect a settlement. Mostly these battles play out in private, but occasionally, a sensational story forces the issue into the public eye. It happened in 2011, after California financial adviser Crystal Harris was ordered to pay spousal support to the estranged husband awaiting trial for sexually assaulting her, and when she was ordered after his conviction to pay his legal fees for the divorce. It happened in 2000, when New York investment executive Theresa Havell was ordered to pay $215,000 to the defence attorneys for her ex-husband, who pleaded guilty to assault after he beat her with a steel barbell and told one of their daughters, “I’ve killed Mom.” It happened in 1995, after Barbara Bentley’s attorney said she’d have to negotiate a settlement favourable to the former spouse convicted of trying to kill her in 1991.
These women reported their husbands to the police and left them. And while they saw during criminal proceedings that a husband could be held accountable for violence against his wife, they saw something different in family court. They found out that when they’d said “I do,” they had agreed to financially support their husbands, even if their husbands raped them, beat them up, or tried to kill them.
As America focuses on children of illegal immigrants being separated from their parents, communities across the country are focusing on the lawyers, judges and CPS workers using the courts to take children from parents and grandparents everyday.
Turns out that at the heart of the issue is a core group of lawyers, many who are regularly appointed by the court to act for the children, and most whom make ungodly amounts of money in fees, paid both from public and private funds.
These fees appear in supervised visitation orders, custody expert reports and minor’s counsel appointments, the greatest kickback sham leading a path to the underground economy where lawyers and judges are pimping out custody and support orders in communities across the country.
The Public has been asleep, and naive, when it comes to what is happening to children in America’s family courts. Parents are being jailed when they are unable to pay support, while other parents are bring given a free pass to play keep away in the custody games if represented by the right lawyer.
Most people have no idea that parents are being ordered to pay to see their own children. These payments can be up to $150 an hour to see their own children, as courts have few resources to get families back together. The incentive is for lawyers and judges to make money and increase their power by keeping kids in the system, and parents fighting to see their own kids.
Most alarming is that for the past decade, children have been ordered by judges to go to reunification camps. These are private businesses and for profit entities that lock kids away in hotel rooms, or private properties where they are deprived of food, water, and sleep until they agree to give up their relationship with one parent, usually the one who has no money to hire a lawyer during a divorce of custody case.
Look to the lawyers using these camps as a modern form of child abuse.
Meanwhile, parents who have money can dodge support obligations, conceal domestic violence and get out of violating court orders with ease. It is rigged and the media refuses to report what is going on in communities across America.
The problem is being funded with public money, and few reporters are willing to follow the money in local communities as all are being assigned to only look at Trump.
The media’s war on Trump has directed public attention away from community transparency, so social media, rapid response protests and voter populations are taking to cleaning up local governments and family courts to protect kids at a local level.
An audit of five California counties shows that a few lawyers , known as the ” in crowd ” , can dominate family law cases where children are used like pawns for divorce profiteers. These lawyers are regularly appointed as minor’s counsel, referees and special masters, usually after working as pro tem judges to assist incompetent judges.
This modern pattern and practice as slowly crept into local courts to create a toxic culture. Protests over guns, immigrants and issues impacting women are finally putting family courts on the public radar.
Silicon Valley’s Judge Aaron Persky is an example of public outrage over America’s courts.
In a June 2018 landslide vote, Persky was the first California judge recalled in over 80 years, a recall fueled by the sentencing of Brock Turner and the #metoo movement that took on California’s judiciary and legal culture. A recall that was covered more in the national press than the San Jose Mercury. Persky was a family court judge who separated families long before he was assigned to the criminal courthouse.
Children and parents will continue to face a lifetime of harm from dealing with bad family courts that wrongfully separated children from their parents. This harm is now being discussed on a national level based on the current immigration issues.
The harm suffered by BOTH parents and children who are legally separated can be seen in the form of :
Inability to form Meaningful Relationships
Increased Risk for Dropping Out of School
Increased Drug / Alcohol Use Risk
Lack of Trust
Permanent Financial Oppression
Children who grew up in divorce and endured an army of : Special Masters, custody evaluators and lawyers appointed for the children, are rarely reunited with their parents. They age out of the system, losing their family wealth and support in the process.
Court files show these children often end up with a more abusive parent, and alienated from a parent who had no money to keep up in the legal system.
Most disturbing are the parents who are branded in court, rendering them unable to bring claims of pedophilia and child abuse. These parents are discredited merely because they didn’t have the right lawyer, or because they tried to speak out to protect their children.
These parents and their children are sent to a life sentence because of the deeply flawed courts.
As immigration causes these issues to be discussed on a national level, activists are focusing on California counties and lawyers to bring the message to the public in a manner that helps all of America’s children, not just the children at the border.
Protests are currently planned in Martinez for June 28 and nationwide on June 30. Watch Facebook or email Q for updates on protests in your area. Q is also taking signups in California for RAPID RESPONSE PROTESTS and campaigns to bring these issues to greater media and public attention.
Childhood abuse never ended for thousands of Australian adults
Sarah is living proof that “life after hell” is possible.
For more than 20 years she says she endured beatings, rape and degradation at the hands of her family.
She tells of being locked in sheds, made to eat from a dog’s bowl and left tied to a tree naked and alone in the bush.
Her abusers spanned three generations and included her grandfather, father and some of her brothers. She has scars across her body.
“This is from a whipper snipper,” she says, pointing to a deep gouge of scar tissue wrapped around the back of her ankle. Higher up is another she says was caused by her father’s axe.
As confronting as Sarah’s case may be, she is not alone.
While most people assume child abuse ends at adulthood, it can bring control, fear and manipulation that can last a lifetime.
Incestuous abuse into adulthood affects roughly 1 in 700 Australians, according to research by psychiatrist Warwick Middleton — one of the world’s leading experts in trauma and dissociation. If that estimate is accurate, tens of thousands of Australian adults like Sarah are being abused by family members into their 20s or even up to their 50s.
Hidden in ‘happy’ families, successful careers
Sydney criminologist Michael Salter has found similar patterns in his own research. He said cases of incest are “fairly likely” to continue into adulthood, but this extreme form of domestic abuse is unrecognised within our health and legal systems.
“It’s unlikely that these men are going to respect the age of consent,” says Mr Salter, who is an associate professor of criminology at Western Sydney University. “It doesn’t make sense that they would be saying, ‘Oh you’re 18 now so I’m not going to abuse you anymore’. We’re just not having a sensible conversation about it.”
The ABC spoke with 16 men and women who described being abused from childhood into adulthood.
They said their abusers included fathers, step-fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings and uncles.
Medical and police reports, threatening messages and photos of the abuse supported these accounts. Some family members also confirmed their stories.
Most victims described their families as “well-respected” and outwardly “normal-looking”, yet for many the abuse continued well after their marriage and the birth of their own children, as they navigated successful careers.
“You see a lot of upper-income women who are medical practitioners, barristers, physiatrists — high functioning in their day-to-day lives — being horrifically abused on the weekends by their family,” Mr Salter says.
Helen, a highly successful medical professional, says she hid sexual abuse by her father for decades.
“They didn’t see the struggle within,” she says.
A mental ‘escape’
Professor Middleton describes abuse by a parent as “soul destroying”. In order to survive psychologically, a child will often dissociate from the abuse.
Compartmentalising memories and feelings can be an effective coping strategy for a child dependent on their abuser, says Pam Stavropoulos, head of research at the Blue Knot Foundation, a national organisation that works with the adult survivors of childhood trauma.
Claire*, 33, describes her dissociation as both her greatest ally and her worst enemy.
“You feel like you’ve keep it so secret that you’ve fooled the world and you’ve fooled yourself,” she says.
In her family, women — her mother and grandmother — have been the primary physical and sexual abusers and she says some of her abuse is ongoing.
For many, the attachment to an abuser can be so strong, they lose their own sense of identity.
Kitty, who was abused by her father for more than five decades until his recent death, says she did everything her family said to try to win their love.
“I thought I was some kind of monster because I still love my father,” she says. “It’s like he’s melted into my flesh. I can feel him. He is always here.”
Professor Middleton said premature exposure to sex confuses the mind and the body and leaves a child vulnerable to involuntary sexual responses that perpetrators will frequently manipulate to fuel a sense of shame, convincing them they “want” or “enjoy” the abuse.
For Emma*, violent sexual assaults and beatings at home began when she was five and are continuing more than 40 years later.
“When you are naked, beaten, humiliated and showing physical signs of arousal, it really messes with your head. It messes with your sexuality,” she says.
“Your sense of what is OK and what isn’t becomes really confused. You come to believe that they literally own you and own your body. That you don’t deserve better than this.”
A medical report viewed by ABC shows Emma required a blood transfusion last month after sustaining significant internal tissue damage from a sharp object. The report stated Emma had a history of “multiple similar assaults”.
She said medical staff do want you to get help and sometimes offered to call police.
“What they don’t understand is that for me police are not necessarily a safe option,” she says.
As a teenager she had tried to report to the police, but was sent back home to face the consequences.
She said a “lack of understanding about the dynamics of abuse and the effects of trauma” mean victims rarely get the response and help they need.
While Emma has been unable to escape the abuse, she has made many sacrifices to shelter her children from it. But they still suffer emotionally, she says.
“It makes it hard for anyone who cares about you having to watch you hurt over and over again.”
Incest after marriage and kids
For Graham, it was devastating to find out his wife Cheryl* was being sexually abused by both her parents 10 years into their marriage.
“I had no idea it was going on,” he says, of the abuse that continued even after the birth of their children. “The fight between wanting to kill [her father] and knowing it’s wrong wasn’t fun. I don’t think people know what stress is unless they’ve been faced with something like that.”
With Graham’s support, the family cut contact with his in-laws. He says the fallout of this abuse ripples through society impacting everyone around both the abused and the abuser.
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