|NOW Plays ‘Violence Against Women’ Card Against Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow & His Loving Mother
We’ve often noted how the terms “domestic violence” and “violence against women” have expanded to the point where they can be used against practically any man.
In divorce and custody cases, unscrupulous female litigants often get men thrown out of their own homes on domestic violence restraining orders based simply on alleged “verbal abuse” or on the woman claiming she feels afraid.
Mandatory arrest policies lead police to arrest people on domestic violence calls that involve little or no discernible domestic violence, and the primary aggressor laws of two dozen states instruct police to arrest the man even when the man wasn’t the aggressor. Men can be portrayed as domestic abusers in family court over alleged "emotional abuse."
Two recent examples of this highlight the willingness of leading feminists and their sympathizers to cite practically anything as an example of "violence against women."
Recently the National Organization for Women launched a highly-publicized effort to get CBS to pull an anti-abortion Super Bowl ad that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam did on behalf of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. CBS ran the ad anyway, though it ended up having little to do with abortion. Instead, it was what the Los Angeles Times called a “lighthearted take on a mother-son relationship.” According to the Times:
In the ad, Pam Tebow holds a baby photo of Tim, now 22.
Believe it or not, NOW president Terry O’Neill actually says that this playful mother-son ad glorified violence against women:
“I call him my miracle baby,” she says. “He almost didn’t make it into this world. . . . you know, with all our family’s been through, we have to be tough.”
Suddenly, she appears to be tackled and flies off-screen.
“Timmy!” she scolds, popping back up. “I’m trying to tell our story here!”
Tim joins her and apologizes. “You still worry about me, Mom?”
“Well, yeah,” says Pam Tebow. “You’re not nearly as tough as I am.”
The tagline, “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life,” directs viewers to the website of the sponsor, Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based evangelical Christian organization...
I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it. That’s what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don’t find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself.
To write a Letter to the Editor about this, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other example concerns liberal TV host Keith Olberman’s reporting on Republican Scott Brown’s recent upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race. Olberman called Brown a string of uncomplimentary things, culminating in alleging that Brown is a “supporter of violence against women.”
The evidence? Some idiot in the crowd at one of Brown’s rallies made a dumb remark, a remark which Brown clearly did not hear, and because Brown did not condemn the remark, that means he’s a “supporter of violence against women.” Olberman also called Brown “sexist.”
Fellow liberal TV host Jon Stewart appropriately criticized Olberman for this and Olberman, to his credit, said to Stewart, “You know what, you’re right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry.” However, he didn’t apologize to Brown, and he didn’t specifically retract this inflammatory accusation.
Fathers & Families Speaks to Elkins Family Law Task Force, Makes Recommendations
“The families that judges see in family court are already fractured, but still capable of inflicting pain on one another and often use the courts to do so…They make navigating the family law system so difficult that even a highly functional person becomes stressed.” — Honorable Donna Petre, Sacramento Bee, 2000
The Elkins Family Law Task Force is conducting a comprehensive review of family law proceedings and will recommend to the Judicial Council of California proposals that increase access to justice for all family law litigants.
The Elkins Family Law Task Force recently issued its draft recommendations and Fathers & Families submitted its official comments in response. Our comments, which were submitted by F & F Board Member Elizabeth Barton, PhD of the University of California at Irvine, are here.
Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson appeared at the Task Force’s two-day meeting February 1 & 2, 2010 in the Judicial Council Conference Center of the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco. Below is Robinson’s statement to the Task Force.
Madam Chair and Distinguished Member of the Task Force: I am Michael Robinson and I’ve worked as a legislative advocate and policy consultant in Sacramento since the late 1990s. I am here today on behalf of Fathers & Families (F&F), a national organization based in Boston which has offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
...[I]n general principle, F&F agrees with the draft recommendations the Task Force has made so far. We are concerned, however, that many of the draft recommendations are lacking in substantive detail. Nevertheless, we will withhold further opinion until we see the final report, which we hope will contain more detailed and specific language that will become actual legislative draft proposals...
[Some] recommendations go to improving mediation, ADR, and parent resources to help reduce conflict. We believe that the more that is done to reduce parental conflict at the outset, the less unproductive adversarial litigation we’ll have in custody and parenting time cases.
In 2006, I played a major role in Dymally’s AB 402. This bill codified collaborative practice into the family codes. We believe that many of the principles that govern collaborative practice substantially help reduce conflict. They produce a positive outcome in a non-adversarial manner for all parties including the children. Encouraging mentoring of collaborative practice for practitioners and making parties aware of this process will help.
We also believe that better parental education is necessary on the harmful effects that high conflict has on children, and that parental education on this subject should be a part of all mediation orientations...
We are concerned that the recommendations do not include anything on enforcing custody/parenting time orders. We hope the Task Force also considers this issue.
On the recommendation to enforce perjury, we certainly agree that there is a need to take this issue seriously, and it is long overdue. One area is the problem of false allegations to obtain TROs and DVPOs. There are also problems with evidence standards. They are confusing and all over the map, all depending on what code sections you look at, and in many ways they may be violating representation standards and due process. I have attached a paper that was written by an attorney who works with our organization. This paper lists all of the code sections and has recommended markups, and I would be more than happy to provide an electronic copy that has additional pop up notes.
FLEXCOM even expressed concerns [about restraining orders] in one of their Newsletters in 2005, following the passage of AB 99, Cohn...We agree with FLEXCOM and share their concerns. We would also suggest that the Task Force also recommend adopting legislation similar to a bill that is now before the Maryland Legislature, House Bill 48...the bill requires that the respondent be advised on how a person could be affected if they voluntarily agree to a restraining order, and what rights they are waiving...
The Fathers & Families Legal Defense Fund
Fathers & Families seeks better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers, and which protects the child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce.
The Fathers & Families Legal Defense Fund takes on cases and writes amicus briefs in cases which can help advance the cause of family court reform. In 2009, Fathers & Families brought a lawsuit to block the new Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The lawsuit has been covered by the Associated Press, the New York Times, CBS, WRKO, the Boston Globe, NPR, Newsweek, and numerous other major media outlets. To learn more, click here.
Previously, Fathers & Families wrote an amicus brief for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court which helped win a precedent-setting case protecting children in joint physical custody from being moved out of state, away from one parent.
In the Savarese case, a Massachusetts father was hit with an erroneous child-support arrearage of over $100,000. Despite many obstacles, Fathers and Families was able to get the false arrearage wiped out.
Fathers & Families penned an amicus brief for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in A.H. v. M.P. supporting the parenting rights of a non-biological lesbian mother — a woman who had been a parental figure for the child for years but who was cut off from the child by the biological mother after the couple separated. Fathers & Families feared that the case could set a precedent marginalizing parents to whom children are deeply attached simply because they are breadwinners.
If you believe that you know of or are involved in a case that would be appropriate for the Fathers & Families Legal Defense Fund, we suggest that you fill out our Legal Defense Form below.
Please keep in mind that LDF cases are only cases which can help shape case law, not garden-variety divorces. If you are going through a divorce or a separation and are looking for a referral for family law services, please instead fill out our Family Law Help Form here.
Together with you in the love of our children,
Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families