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Turning A Blind Eye to Abuse

NY Child abuse case update-DSS dropped the ball and ignored the dad?
Updated release being distributed to media outlets in NY. Please pass along
to your lists.

Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc.
PO Box 782, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Voice/fax (518) 383-8202
FaFNY.org
"Working to Keep Fathers and Families Together"

The following piece is submitted for your consideration:

Turning A Blind Eye to Abuse

It appears that the local Fox affiliate (WXXA Fox 23) is the only news
outlet in the Capital District, and indeed nationally, that is willing to
report on family matters in an unbiased manner.  I'm speaking of the
coverage of the little girl severely abused by her mother and live in
boyfriend in Florida and rescued from certain death by her non custodial
father who lives here in Glens Falls, NY.  Many media outlets had scant or
no coverage of this national incident.  Those that did failed to grasp and
report on the underlying problems that caused this case, and child abuse
overall, that being the issue of sole custody in child determinations both
nationally and in NY  and the disenfranchisement of a parent (93% of the
time the father in New York State) and systems that do NOT recognize
non custodial parents.

It is now being widely reported that the Department of Social Service
(DSS) here in NY knew of the abuse and never removed the child from the
mother.  Further, NY DSS failed to notify child protective agencies in
Florida when the mother moved there.  The question is, Why didn't DSS
place the child with the father when they had word of this abuse?

The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE THIRD NATIONAL INCIDENCE
STUDY OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT reports "Children of single
parents had a 77-percent greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse, an
87-percent greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect, and an 80-percent
greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm from abuse or neglect than
children living with both parents." (see
http://www.calib.com/nccanch/pubs/statinfo/nis3.cfm or the complete report
at
http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm98/index.htm ).
The largest class of perpetrator of child abuse is single mother households,
with "boyfriends" (often referred to as a "father figure") among the top
categories, (For Relationship of Perpetrators to Maltreatment Victim go
to:
http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm98/c6f3.gif ).

Also buried in the story are the measures that the "non custodial visiting"
parent had to go through just to obtain access to his own child.  Denial of
access to their own child due to being "non custodial", a non parent in the
eyes of the system, is routine and occurs to about 518,000 children in
New York State alone (second in the nation behind CA).  New York even
labels parents as a "visitor" and not a parent in law.  As is often the case
this "single mother" excluded not only the father but the extended family,
including here, even the child's maternal relatives and extended family. 
These are people, a family, which could have acted as a safety net for this
young child, but by exclusion on the part of the mother and her boyfriend,
weren't there to prevent this child abuse or limit its effect.

While the story of the "not to good" mother who was punching her daughter
around makes waves nationally (as it should) the story of a little girl
nearly starved to death get little more than mention?  As Warren Farrell
points out in "Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to
the Children We Love" the safest place for men, women and children is in
the intact married two parent family.  Second to that is one where the
parents share parenting responsibilities.  Until we begin to address
FAMILY ACCESS, family dissolution, out-of-wedlock births, "single mothers
by choice" and family instability as a whole we are doomed to see these
child abuse scenarios repeated over and over again.

Submitted By James Hays, President Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc.
e-mail
dadlobby@localnet.com

FROM ACFC

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