Archive: How the False Claims of the Child Abuse Industry Have Harmed America

by John Knight

Those who profit from the Child Abuse Industry must convince both us and their victims that everything is abuse. News media, therapists, prosecutors, judges, lawyers and sex police. Thousands of jobs depend on maximizing claims of abuse.

The Heritage Foundation
estimates that welfare costs US taxpayers $360 billion per year, and it is
now clear that this underwrites a large portion of the high US divorce
rate — the highest in the world — and one of the highest illegitimacy
rates. The Coalition of Parents estimates that the child abuse
industry costs US taxpayers $285 billion per year. This is a case in
which the medicine did more damage than the disease — more children were
damaged by their resulting fatherlessness than were protected by these
efforts. “Child support” may be only $14 billion per year, but the
psychological effects on family dynamics contribute more to family breakup
than just the dollar incentives would imply.

Thus about 41% of the $1.6 Trillion national budget is wasted on programs
which do little other than to undermine family unity, with terrible
consequences. As the following ROFF (Rate of Fatherlessness Factor)
suggests, for each $12.5 billion increase in the last 3 decades in the
annual expenditure for welfare, the rate of fatherlessness rose 1%, and
for each 1% increase in the rate of fatherlessness SAT scores declined 3
points, and the prison population increased by 41,296 inmates.

It seems that the cure is worse than the disease. In child abuse, each
child taken into custody by government is “worth” between $150,000 and
$300,000 in federal funds to a state or county agency, providing a huge
incentive for social workers to cut corners and ignore the consequences of
their actions. So they do this to increase their own job security.

In an absurd allocation of power, social workers have been given legal immunity and presently cannot be held legally accountable for their mistakes. These people act as agents of the government, and in a democracy, no government agent is allowed power without accountability. These legal gods have been allowed unparalleled leeway in rampaging over parents’ rights, and they often totally ignore the rights of the children they are supposed to be protecting.

Any parent who
challenges them is threatened by the removal of their own children under
the most bizarre charges. And children who are removed are used as
hostages to negotiate even more bizarre terms.

The impact of unsubstantiated charges alone on families’ finances and
morale may cost more than the hundreds of billions of direct federal expenditure.
Funded through more than 300 federal programs, the child abuse
industry costs the taxpayer more each year than national defense. The
Mondale Act of 1973 made this business a growth industry, increasing
child abuse reports more than 4 fold to 2.9 million per year, and
increasing unfounded sexual abuse reports more than 28 fold to 210,460. It
is counterintuitive and plain un-American to charge 3 times as many
parents of an unsubstantiated, financially and emotionally devastating
crime, as those accused of “substantiated” charges. The population
increased by 19% and the rate of fatherlessness increased considerably
during this time, but could this alone account for an overall 166%
increase in substantiated charges?

A quick estimate of the number of children murdered each year provides a
bit of a beacon into this shady area. The Department of Justice estimates that 2,475
children were murdered last year. In every war the US has fought the
ratio of wounded:killed is a fairly constant 3:1. Applying the same logic
to this war on families and fatherhood, we would have expected 7,425
“wounded” children, rather than the 1,194,460 actual cases of
“substantiated” child abuse. Is it reasonable to believe that the real
wounded:killed ratio is 483:1 just because highly funded, under trained,
unregulated social workers say so? What percent of these charges of child
abuse cross the line between child discipline and actual abuse,
particularly when a 10 year old boy today who is told to do his homework
is more likely to reply “I’ll call 911 if you do that,” rather than “OK.”

If the education system had improved during this time, the managers of
the child abuse industry could argue that such overkill is worth an extra $285
billion per year. But this muddling of the distinction between student
discipline and child abuse in the last 3 decades led to SAT scores
plummeting 77 points, and the US Department of Education reports that in
international math competition the US is almost at the bottom of the list,
with only Jordan lower, and in language only Poland is lower. The success
of the child abuse industry in breaking up families, and in
lowering child discipline in intact families, must be considered when
calculating its overall impact, and must be called to account.

What is abuse today? The Burbank City Council defines spousal abuse as
“giving the woman the silent treatment” in an official government
publication. And in a recent forum on Intimate Violence sponsored by Dr.
Richard Gelles, which included the very social workers who are responsible
for identifying and filing abuse charges, merely pointing out to them that
mothers are reported by the Department of Justice to be 55% of the perpetrators of child
murders resulted in their almost immediate unanimous consensus that:

“The male lobby is really a batterers lobby. It’s really a rapists lobby.
It’s really a child sexual abusers lobby. It’s trying to make everyone
believe that it’s advocating for men, but it’s really advocating for
batterers and rapists — allowing them to continue, condoning their
violence. It’s trying to divert attention from the victimization of women
and children so that the batterers and rapists can continue to get away
with controlling, abusing and hurting women and children.”

“This new — or continuing — assailants’ lobby is still trying to do the
same thing — discredit the shelters and battered women’s movement by
calling them anti-male. (They still calls us lesbian.) In this way, they can
continue to batter and rape their partners — and once again, there will
be no help.”

The entire transcript of this forum is available for your perusal, and in
it you will find not a single “male lobbyist” [their term] who advocated
any act of violence, or in fact made any anti-female comment.

If this is
their response to someone who even questions their view that “men commit
95% of abuse,” when merely presented with the facts as represented by
statistics collected by the Department of Justice, then how objective
could they possibly be in analyzing “child abuse”?

If a father questions
their statistics while they have custody of his children, how WOULD they
react?

How responsible is it for society to entrust its children with
such emotional “public servants” who are motivated by a $153,000 stipend
for every child they remove from a family, and not by the welfare of that
child?

These are the people who are now making life and death decisions
for your children.

Consider what the experts say — Ralph Underwager & Hollida Wakefield, authors of The Return of the Furies wrote:

>>>>>>>>>>>>

On page 63 of The Return of the Furies we state: “There are numerous
reports [in the literature] indicating that many people perceive their
childhood sexual experiences with adults as neutral and even that some
people report they were positive.” [We then list 19 such references]

They go on to say:

Even though the data seem to suggest otherwise, we maintain that sexual
abuse is always harmful, though it may not be recognized as such by the
individual and though there may be no obvious psychological effects. To
say that it is always harmful is not the same thing as saying it is
necessarily traumatic. But we do not believe sexual contact between an
adult and a child can be acceptable or positive. We wrote in our 1988
book, Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse: “We do not agree that the
effects of childhood sexual experiences with older partners are ever
likely to be positive, as is sometimes claimed. Rather, the effects are
apt to range from neutral to seriously damaging.” We have regularly dealt
with sexual abuse and have never approved a sexual offender’s behaviors or
said that sexual contact between an adult and a child can be beneficial.
(“Furies,” pp 63-64). We go on in the next three pages to explain our
reasons for maintaining that sexual contact between adults and children
can never be positive.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

It should be noted that a polite request for clarification of these data
sources was met first by grandstanding touched with sarcasm, a subtle
suggestion to essentially drop the question, followed by the list
administrator banning any further posts from us to this listserve.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

fathers9@idt.liberty.com asked:


1) You have 19 references which say it was neutral or positive? How many which say it was harmful?


2) “Even though the data seem to suggest otherwise, we maintain that sexual abuse is always harmful.” Even though the subjects themselves disagreed with you?


3) “it may not be recognized as such by the individual and though there may be no obvious psychological effects.” If there are no “obvious” psychological effects, then what do you perceive as the harm?


4) “We do not agree that the effects of childhood sexual experiences with older partners are ever likely to be positive, as is sometimes claimed.” What is the basis for this giant leap of faith? Not the literature. Not the subjects themselves. Not the “obvious” psychological effects. What?


Wow. At what point do you “feel” you abandoned science and switched to sorcery? Do you have any statistical summaries of these cases summarized by “neutral,” “positive,” and “seriously damaging,” or does this get too close to science for your comfort?


If you do have them, I respectfully request that you post them, or their cites.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

From under006@gold.tc.umn.eduTue Mar 19 15:14:20 1996 Date: Tue, 19 Mar 96
16:54:05 -0600 From: Underwager & Wakefield <under006@gold.tc.umn.edu> To:
fathers <fathers9@idt.liberty.com>, Witchhunt <witchhnt@mitvma.mit.edu>

Now we are being criticized for saying that child sexual contact is
harmful!!!

Who would have believed it?

For those who are interested in our reasoning on this, please send your
snail-mail address and we will send you the relevant pages from our book.

Holly

</witchhnt@mitvma.mit.edu></fathers9@idt.liberty.com></under006@gold.tc.umn.edu>

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

to which fathers9@idt.liberty.com replied:

Apparently you did not understand the question, so please allow me to
restate it.

WHAT DATA DO YOU HAVE TO SUPPORT YOUR CONCLUSION?

This is not a “criticism.” This is not a statement of my opinion, nor
that of anyone else’s. This is not an analysis of your methodology.
This is not even to be construed as questioning your source of data. You
do not need to draw any conclusions from this simple request, nor do you
need to grandstand in order to avoid answering the question.

This is an objective inquiry regarding your objective data above which YOU
yourself originally posted. Nothing more, nothing less. If you fail to
answer the question, it is only YOUR own data which goes unsupported.

I trust that you will send the “relevant part of your book by snail mail”
if requested. But is there any reason you can’t express in your own words
for the benefit of this forum WHAT your data is, and how and/or why it
conflicts with your above conclusions?

>>>>>>>>>>>>

This question was never answered, and the list administrator failed to
post the question, providing the following “explanation” instead:

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 11:16:13 -0500
From: BITNET list server at MITVMA <listserv@mitvma.mit.edu> To: fathers9@IDT.LIBERTY.COM
Subject: Rejected posting to WITCHHNT@MITVMA

You are not authorized to mail to list WITCHHNT from your
fathers9@IDT.LIBERTY.COM account. You might be authorized to post to the
list from another of your accounts or under a slightly different address,
but LISTSERV has no way to associate this other account or address with
you and is thus rejecting your message. Your message is being returned to
you unprocessed. If you have any question regarding authorization to use
the WITCHHNT list, please contact the list owner, whose name and address
is listed below:

HARRIS@MIT.EDU

</listserv@mitvma.mit.edu>

>>>>>>>>>>>>

That doesn’t suggest that this forum is interested in the “open
discussion” which they claim to be, and it doesn’t provide much
information on how to measure the long term benefits of preventing some
forms of child abuse. If the subjects themselves don’t know they were
harmed, if there are no “obvious psychological effects,” and if social
workers and psychologists have to work that hard to convince the subjects
that they were harmed, or that they do have adverse psychological effects,
then what is gained? But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and
make a grand gesture for these hard working public servants by assuming
that they increased the annual incomes of each of those substantiated
child abuse subjects by $10,000 per year. This would make the total
benefit to society 1,194,460 subjects times $10,000 each, or about $12
billion.

That makes the cost/benefit of spending $285 billion to gain an almost
inconceivable $12 billion an unacceptable 23:1.

The number of cases INCREASED after the Mondale Act was passed. Can we
assume that the number of substantiated cases of child abuse would have
increased even more WITHOUT this $285 billion expenditure? Would the
number of cases have increased by 200% instead of only 166% — which is
151,490 more cases? It would be inconceivable to suggest that, but if so,
what was the benefit to society of spending almost $2 million each to
prevent a case of child abuse, and how does that balance with the damage
done?

While these victimization groups are destroying families and bashing
fathers in “the best interests of the children,” children are being
severely disadvantaged by being removed from their fathers’ care, and we
know it. It does not take a raft of statistics to know this, but
consider what the statistics show:

Juveniles committed to juvenile prisons (Texas):

  • 1% are from single father homes
  • 20% are from 2-parent homes
  • 79% are from fatherless homes

At the time they were growing up, single father homes constituted 4% of
households, single mother homes 37%, and two parent homes 59%. This
illustrates that the children of single mother households were 8.5 times
more likely to end up in juvenile prisons than children of single father
households, and the children of single father households were 35% LESS
likely than the children of two parent households to end up in juvenile
prisons.

The vital importance to society of children living with their fathers goes
beyond instilling the morality and discipline necessary to keep them from
going to prison. It affects every aspect of their lives.

Fathers’ Absence

  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
  • California has the nation’s highest juvenile incarceration rate and the nation’s highest juvenile unemployment rate.
  • Juveniles have become the driving force behind the national increase in violent crime; the epidemic of youth violence and gangs is related to the breakdown of the two-parent family.
  • 71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. Daughters of single parents are 2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families. Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages. All these intergenerational consequences of single motherhood increase the likelihood of chronic welfare dependency.
  • In 1983, a study found that 60% of perpetrators of child abuse were women with sole custody. Shared parenting can significantly reduce the stress associated with sole custody, and reduce the isolation of children in abusive situations by allowing both parents’ to monitor the children’s health and welfare and to protect them.
  • 18 million children live in single-parent homes. Nearly 75% of American children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11. Only 20% in two-parent families will experience poverty.
  • The feminization of poverty is linked to the feminization of custody, as well as linked to lower earnings for women. Greater opportunity for education and jobs through shared parenting can help break the cycle.
  • Kidnapping: family abductions were 163,200 compared to non-family abductions of 200 to 300, attributed to the parents’ disenchantment with the legal system.

Reestablishing fatherhood is not just a minor issue to the Signatories to
the Fathers’ Manifesto. It is the only way to rid this world of its
current social pathology, and they know it. Any and every plan for doing
this must be presented and carefully scrutinized, regardless of its
“political correctness.” There is too much at stake to ignore any
possible solution.

The Constitutional right to freedom of religion clearly requires the
preservation of families — and this requires strong fatherhood.

Attachment A

The ROF (rate of fatherlessness) between 1965 and 1995 increased by 27 percentage points,
from 9% to 36%. Using the ROF as a unit of measure to characterize our
progress or lack thereof provides a revealing peek into our social and
economic pathology.

The first column is the quantity or percent in 1965, the second is for
1995, the third is the factor or percent by which that item changed, the
fourth column is the increase or decrease in that factor for EACH
percentage point increase in the rate of fatherlessness, and the fifth
column is the total amount of that change in the units used.

Using “fatherlessness” as a standard, welfare spending increased $22.4
billion for EACH 1% increase in the rate of fatherlessness, giving it a
Positive ROFF (Rate of Fatherlessness Factor) of $22.4 billion.

Similarly, the Dollar measured against the Japanese Yen has a Negative
ROFF of 12 Yen, and GNP per US Worker has a Negative ROFF of $433, and
SAT Scores have a Negative ROFF of 3 Points.

CATEGORY 1965 1995 factor ROFF Amount of change
Fatherlessness 9% 36% 4X 1X 27%
Welfare Spending $22.4B $360B 16.1X $12.5B $337B
$ per oz. Gold $34 $418 12.3X $14.22 $384
Yen/$ 400 80 5X 12 Yen 320 Yen
GNP/Worker $56K $44K -21% $433 $11,680
SAT Scores 984 902 -11% 3 Pts 82 Pts
Hrs/day children TV 4 7 +75% 7 Min 3 Hours
Public Debt $314B $4.8Tr 15.3X $166B $4,486B
US % World Auto Market 60% 20% -3X 1.5% -40%
Child Abuse — unsubstantiated 241K 2,490K 10.3X 83,294 2,249K
Child Abuse — substantiated 449K 1,094K 2.44X 23,919 645,810
Illegitimate Teen Births 15% 69% 4.6X 2% 54%
Nat. Healthcare Costs $52B $884B 17X $31B $832B
Cancer Deaths 273K 514K 1.9X 8,926 241,000
Incarceration Rate 385K 1,500K 3.9X 41,296 1,115,000
Criminal Justice Employees 442K 1,825K 4.1X 51,222 1,383,000