Visitation Center Dracula
by Stan Rains
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Our Author Replies:
Admittedly, through empirical observations of those I meet in the center where my child and I must go to see one another, through correspondence with other fathers and sharing data with different father's groups, I must stand by my general assessment of visitation centers. If your center went out of the way to report positive information to the courts about a parent/child relation and interaction, with the intent of removing the supervision restriction, your center was indeed an amazing Godsend. And, for that, please accept my serious and undying gratitude. However, I am aware of even worse centers than the one of which I wrote.
I have personal knowledge of the past concentration camp mentality of a visitation center. I say past because there have been changes in personnel and attitudes since the subject article was printed. The cameras are still every 10 feet. Armed off-duty County Constables are still in place on Saturdays. All doors and windows are locked (no emergency or fire escape exits as required by Local Fire Code and Texas Child Care licensing requirements). The main door has special electronic pass key locks and the rear door has multiples of double keyed locks. A case worker is still within 8 to 10 feet of the parent and child at all times with clipboard, pen and regular detailed entries on each parent/child activity and communication, and this is in conjunction with a bank of monitors and vcr's visible through a plate glass window, showing all of the active cameras on the monitors and the vcr's recording every movement and sound in plain, central view of the children. Maximum security prisons aren't this thorough. This lets the child clearly know that daddy ( and sometimes mommy) are dangerous people from whom the child needs to be protected. That is some serious relational and trust issue stuff for a little child.
I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am waiting for the reprisals. The article has placed my daughter and I in greater danger of additional disruption of our limited and expensive time together and the very real likely hood of retaliatory negative reports which would disrupt even more. The Center has not, as of this date, made any report to the courts of which I have been made aware. They only report negative points, unless subpoened and forced to the opposite. And, they do not respect the individual's right to represent themselves. As a matter of fact, the center recorded it when I attempted to address a need of records of the dates and times that my child's mother refused to bring my child to the center for legitimately scheduled visits. My attorney was contacted and told that I had been attempting to exercise my rights, as if it were something damning.
To represent yourself is to set yourself up as a target for more abuse of your child and yourself, through denial of records, data, information on your child and yourself, twisting and misrepresentation of your statements and your intent. The appeals/complaint process of the center makes the child's well being and parents legal position even more of a target for retribution by the center personnel.
Even though 85% of the clients are men, many of the women are victims, as well, of the centers. As a matter of fact the women employed at the center in the past have been seen to be more abusive of the women than of the men. And, shouldn't the disproportionate representation of gender trigger Justice Department ERA and other discrimination violation investigations in Federal Funding and Civil Rights? To paraphrase the recently married Gloria Steinam, the best way to tell if a statement is sexist is to reverse the gender. The same goes for the courts and Federal advocacy dollars.
The visitation center takes court ordered supervised visitation where there has been no evidence of any harm to a child by the parent subject to the orders, in open disobedience of federal law that states can loose federal funding for this very action. For details see Bruce Eden's quote leading the article. Bruce Eden can provide you with more detail on this particular advocacy/legal abuse of children and fathers.
If you are willing to research further into children's rights to and need for a father and to have both parents healthy and active in the their lives, you will shortly begin to run into numerous dichotomies between what stated goals are and the actual end result of so many programs and legislative issues on this subject. Further research will invariably lead you to evidence of fraudulent data knowingly and falsely espoused as universal truth by the very people and organizations you worked with closely at your center.
I do not doubt that you may have run a center that actually helped children maintain healthy time with healthy parents. But, I stand by what I have written, in divorce/custody situations, visitation centers are a Dracula to the visiting parent, they kill relationships and zombify parents and children while ghoulishly draining the parent of desperately needed cash resources, and all by some business manager wanting to maintain a comfy middle class lifestyle. And the use of visitation centers for supervised visitation for no other reason than the mother wants it for the father is illegal.
Jeff Golden is the only person I am aware of who has ever stated the public goal of a proposed visitation center was to report the good and bad acts of both the controlling and controlled parent in a supervised visitation/ exchange center. He is now in jail for being a father in Pennsylvania. He is another daddy that advocacy and divorce industry efforts are turning into a criminal for nothing more than wanting to be a part of his children's lives.
There is a letter writing campaign to support Jeff, he has helped many parents regain access to children, men and women, he has helped address law changes, assisted parents representing themselves Pro Se, put out a prestigious newsletter, and most importantly, dedicated his life to his two children. His former wife has alienated them and poisoned their attitude towards their father. He has accomplished even more, in spite of the trauma, depression, and heartbreak. Yet this caring man of letters has been beat dead financially through a history of continuous litigation, struggle and expense of fighting the advocacy and legal systems as they support the mother's emotional/psychological abuse of their children, to just be a daddy. But, remember, Paul did some of his most important work in Roman prisons. Again, apply Gloria Steinam's rule.
If you really research what is happening and has happened through visitation centers, do not be too hard on yourself for having been a part of the family and child destruction for profit industry. Before becoming personally involved as a parent of a victimized child, I was duped, too. I was supportive of and had been offered a position on the board of the local Women's Shelter. (The FBI has an interesting report out on the activities of Women's Shelters in blocking legitimate criminal investigations into child abuse committed by the mother and documented by third parties, not by a 'controlling monster' daddy.)
Many former advocacy executives have become children and father's rights activists as they realize the destruction of the family is not warranted by false figures showing men are monsters and mothers are never wrong. For others, reality never becomes an option. Most of us in the Father's Movement just want to be
simply a daddy,
P.S. an interesting footnote, I never see the wealthy in the center. It is only the impoverished or lower middle class.
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