Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The Minimization of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Domestic violence and child abuse have been reframed as pathological (not criminal) and the professionals involved in the family court system are incentivized to treat the entire family and persuade everyone involved that abuse isn’t dangerous, it’s just a ‘dispute’.

‘Family Problems’ Aren’t Newsworthy

Does the lack of media coverage protect abusers?

February 17, 2017  By

'Family Problems' Aren't Newsworthy

Garland Waller, assistant professor in the College of Communication at Boston University, believes that the mainstream media should be doing a better job of covering domestic violence as well as child abuse and child sexual abuse.

In 2001, Waller produced an award-winning documentary, Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Family Courts, focused on the flaws in the family court system that allowed men who beat their wives and sexually abused their children to be granted custody. These court decisions put both children and survivors in danger, since they force survivors to interact with their abusers when they drop off and pick up the children.

“I was getting so many letters from women from all over the country, I had a file called ‘Horror Stories.’ There were so many and they were awful. They were still in court, they were complicated, and they went on forever,” she says.

For a second documentary, Waller searched for a story with a positive outcome. She found it when she met Jennifer Collins at a custody conference. Jennifer was the adult daughter of Holly Collins, a domestic violence survivor whose ex-husband was granted custody of her two children. Medical evidence of domestic violence, including Holly’s broken nose and her son Zackary’s fractured skull, wasn’t enough to stop the custody decision.

Waller could see that as adults, the kids were okay. “I met them. They were normal and healthy and they laughed. They had nothing good to say about family court in America but they loved their mom. They said, ‘Mom saved us. Dad would have killed us’,” she says.

Waller’s film, No Way Out But One, premiered in 2012 and tells the Collins’ family’s story. In 1994 Holly fled with her children, ultimately reaching Amsterdam. She applied for asylum in the Netherlands and was approved. “The panel in the Netherlands found they needed to protect them. [Holly] would lose custody and be killed if she returned to the United States. So it was a happy ending, because she saved the kids,” Waller says.

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Child Abuse – Battered Woman, Holly Collins, Protects Her Children From Abuse (Jennifer Collins)

Published on Mar 24, 2008

Jennifer Collins and her brother were abused by their father and yet the Hennepin County Famiy Court (Minnesota) awarded him custody. Their mother, Holly Collins, fled with them to protect them from further abuse. They were granted asylum in Europe.

Jennifer Collins: Family Court Survivor, Courageous Kids Network



John David Battaglia Executed

John David Battaglia was executed on February 1st, 2018 for the May 2001 killings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. Battaglia and his wife had separated, and he shot the girls at his Dallas apartment during a scheduled visit, Fox News reports.

More from Fox News

Battaglia smiled as the mother of his slain children, Mary Jean Pearle, and other witnesses to his execution walked into the death chamber viewing area.

Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, the inmate replied: “No,” then changed his mind. “Well, hi, Mary Jean,” he said, looking and smiling at his ex-wife. “I’ll see y’all later. Bye.”

Pearle turned away from an execution-viewing window after Battaglia stopped breathing and walked to the back of the witness area.

“I’ve seen enough of him,” she said. She returned several minutes later to watch as a physician examined Battaglia and pronounced him dead. Pearle declined to be interviewed afterward.

According to prosecutors, Battaglia became enraged that Pearle notified police about his harassment of her and he used a visit with their daughters to act on his anger. Pearle returned a call from one of her daughters and heard Faith pleading with her father, who put the call on speakerphone.

“No, daddy, please don’t, don’t do it!” Faith begged.

Pearle yelled into the phone for the children to run, then heard gunshots.

“Merry … Christmas,” Battaglia told Pearle, the words of the holiday greeting derisively divided by an obscenity.

There were more gunshots. Pearle called 911.

At the time of the killings, Battaglia was on probation for a Christmas 1999 attack on Pearle. His profanity-laced Christmas greeting to Pearle was an apparent reference to that.

Faith was shot three times, Liberty five. Hours later, Battaglia was arrested outside at a tattoo shop where he had two large red roses inked on his left arm to commemorate his daughters. It took four officers to subdue him.  A fully loaded revolver was found in his truck and more than a dozen firearms were recovered from his apartment.

   John Battaglia Killed His Daughters to Get Even With His Ex

She Never Thought He Would Hurt Their Daughters

Excerpts from article: John David Battaglia shot and killed his two young daughters to get even with his ex-wife for reporting him to his parole officer on a probation violation.

A former Marine and CPA, John Battaglia was well liked by his friends and family. He appeared to be a good guy, fun spirited and charming or that was what MaryJean Pearle thought when she married him, but on their wedding night, Battaglia’s dark side began to emerge.

At first, he would fly off the handle and throw a few curse words and insults at his new wife. Pearle did not like it, but she put up with it because they shared more good times together than bad. The following year their first daughter, Faith, was born and then Liberty, three years later. Now with a family to consider, Pearle tried even harder to make the marriage work.

An Idyllic Life With Hidden Secrets

Living in an upscale neighborhood in Dallas, the small family seemed to have an idyllic life.

But inside the home, Battaglia’s violent episodes began happening more often. He verbally abused Pearle, screaming obscenities at her and calling her vile names.

As time went on, the verbal attacks lasted longer and in an effort to keep her family together, Pearle endured it. The girls adored their Dad, who had always been a gentle and loving father to them, even though his temper tantrums that he unleashed on Pearle continued to increase.

Then one night his anger switched from verbally attacking Pearle, to going after her physically. She was able to get away and call 911. Battaglia was placed on probation and although he was allowed to see the girls, he was not allowed to enter their home.

The separation gave Pearle a chance to think and it did not take long for her to realize that after seven years of abuse and having her children exposed to a lot of it, that it was time to file for a divorce.

Christmas 1999

On Christmas day in 1999, Pearle allowed Battaglia to come into the home so he could visit with the girls. The visit ended in the two of them arguing and Battaglia violently attacking Pearle. He beat her with full force on the back of her head as she tried to protect herself from the blows.

Battaglia was arrested and charged with assault. He was put on two years’ probation and was forbidden to have contact with Pearle. He could also not visit his daughters for 30 days.

When the 30 days ended, normal weekly visitation started back up and so did the verbal assaults toward his ex-wife.  Read article in its entirety

What we can learn from this is that people that beat their spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends are not fit for custody and cannot be trusted with chidren. You cannot co-parent with someone whose hatred of their ex-partner is greater than any love that they possibly have for their children. Oftentimes, the children are the last “weapon” the offending parent has against the targeted parent.

In many circles, the suggestion is that children need to be as far removed from the abusive parent as possible. There are no possibilities for agreement, conciliation, flexibility, or concession. No amount of education, begging, or pleading will work. All suggestions and confrontations will be met with lies, denials, and accusations that the fit parent is the one perpetrating the abuse.

Treating them like normal people (e.g., appealing to their better nature, as in “Please have a heart,” or giving them the chance to apologize and make amends) will make matters worse.

Save your child. There is no relationship with the narcissistic abuser, even with their own children.

No, Daddy, Don’t!: A Father’s Murderous Act of Revenge  Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2003

John Battaglia said hello and it grated on Mary

Jean to hear her ex-husband’s voice.
“Hi, John,” she said lightly. “I got a message that
the girls wanted to ask me something.”

“Yeah,” he said, and Mary Jean could hear the
echo-like sound that always accompanied his punching of the speaker phone button.

“Ask her!” John’s voice pounded. “Ask her,” he repeated in a louder, harsher voice.

“Mommy?” Faith stammered. She was noticeably crying and her voice sputtered in short sobs. “Why do you want Daddy to have to go to jail?”

Mary Jean could feel her body temperature climb. “Oh come on, John, don’t do this to them.”

Then Mary Jean heard the screams that will forever haunt her. Faith cried out, “No, Daddy, don’t!
Oh please no, Daddy. Don’t do it. No, no, no!”

Over her daughter’s piercing cries, Mary Jean heard the blast of a gun. “Run, babies, run!” she
screamed. “As fast as you can, run for the door!”

What’s Up with Shared Parenting?

Why Are MRA Groups Pushing “Shared Parenting” Bills?

Michigan is just the latest state to consider this fathers’-rights-supported measure, which, despite the euphemistic name, poses a big problem for victims of domestic violence.

Written by Kathi Valeii  November 1, 2017

Michigan is considering a shared parenting bill, promoted by fathers’ rights groups, which, as drafted, could be detrimental for victims of domestic abuse.

The bill would require family courts to grant joint legal custody and equal parenting time in custody disputes and divorce. HB 4691 made it out of committee this past summer and is awaiting a hearing in the house. The bill would essentially shift custody decision-making standards from centering the “best interests” of the child to centering the rights of parents. While touted as an equal-parenting initiative, the efforts are spearheaded by father’s rights groups who say that dads don’t don’t get a fair shake in family court. The bill has judges, lawmakers, and domestic abuse advocates concerned about the implications that these blanket rules would have on victims of domestic abuse.

National Parents Organization is the organization that works to advance these shared parenting bills across the country. According to its website, the goal is “to make shared parenting the norm by reforming the family courts and laws in every state.” And, while it strives to maintain an egalitarian agenda of working for parents of all genders, it is a father’s rights group, the grown-up dad version of a men’s rights activist organization, as its original name, Fathers and Families, belies.

The agenda behind shared parenting legislation is important to understand because, while the language around the bills purports to emphasize the rights of both children and parents, these efforts are actually fueled by men’s rights activists who believe that they have been disenfranchised by women and feminism, and that distinction and framework in this discussion matters a lot.

Even without blanket rules that require judges to award equal parenting time, the shift away from awarding sole custody to moms has been increasing, as social norms change. Though not codified in law, gendered language is not used in most state’s guidelines, and the presumption in most states that adhere to “best interests of the child” guidelines is that kids benefit from the presence of both parents.

The shared parenting bill is purportedly a way to reform antiquated and biased family courtroom practices that consider moms as primary caretakers to be the default best interest of the child. But, Rebecca Shiemke, family law attorney specialist for the Michigan Poverty Law Program, says most parents come to agreements about custody on their own, without court intervention. And, she says, gender bias in favor of women in the family courts has not been proven by empirical evidence. In fact, she says, evidence shows the contrary.

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Joint Custody in Minnesota

A court in Minnesota presumes that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interests. When parents seek joint child custody in Minnesota, the court will consider the following factors prior to reaching a decision:

  • The parents’ ability to communicate with one another in decisions that affect the rearing of the child
  • Whether it would be harmful to the child if one parent would have sole decision-making responsibility regarding the rearing of the child
  • The parents’ willingness to employ cooperative, diverse methods when making decisions that affect the child
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parents

For more information about child custody in Minnesota, speak with a qualified attorney in Minnesota or refer to the Minnesota statutes.

New research supports shared custody for children in divorce


Excerpts: Children in shared custody arrangements “do considerably better on every measure, from school success, to fewer teen pregnancies and drug use, to having optimism for the future,” said Dr. Ned Holstein, a public health practitioner and founder of the National Parents Organization(, which aims to reform family court practices.

Holstein noted that in the past year, Missouri and Kentucky have passed “excellent shared parenting legislation,” following states including Utah, Arizona and Alaska.

“If you want to hasten the process of healing, or at least tolerance, the worst thing you can do is declare one person a winner and one person a loser,” he said.

“You’re both winners. You’re both going to be parents. That will actually diminish conflict.”

Read article in its entirety:

The article is not “new” research. It’s just rhetoric to push a false narrative that shared parenting witll solve all problems. In reality the goal is to keep the problems going-to keep the money flowing. Rosenblum states, “What two factors vastly increase the likelihood of a healthy and happy future for kids after divorce? Mom and Dad.

That’s great if one parent isn’t an abusive and violent person. In family court, domestic violence has been reframed as just a “dispute” and violence is not handled in criminal court where it needs to be.

The systematic mishandling of domestic violence and child molest cases as “custody disputes” is based in a financial corruption scheme that calls for diverting grant program funding through “high conflict” cases, in the guise of promoting “fatherhood” and “shared parenting” post-divorce. Rather than assisting men become responsible parents, “Responsible Fatherhood”, “Access to Visitation Enforcement” (supervised visitation for noncustodial parents), “Child Support Enforcement” and similar federal programs perpetuate abuse of women and children through the legal system. Cindy Ross

There is very little oversight of this money, which means that such programs have gotten away with using fatherhood funds to assist abusive and violent fathers in custody battles against protective mothers.

The vast majority of fathers do not abuse children, and there are many instances where courts have unjustly deprived children of good fathers. The problem is that the programs punish children living with healthy strong mothers by incentivizing courts to cash in by arbitrarily minimizing and even eliminating moms from the picture.   Linda Marie Sacks, Co-Chair of the Family Court Committee of the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women

Federally funded misogyny and pedophile protection by Cindy Ross © 

Excerpts: Numerous reports have identified bias against women and corruption in family courts across the country. In bizarre and illegal rulings, family court judges ignore or deliberately suppress evidence of male perpetrated family violence and child molest. Fathers who are batterers and sex offenders are routinely granted visitation and custody, while mothers and children trying to escape abuse are punished through financial sanctions, loss of custody, supervised visitation, jail and institutionalization.

In the guise of reducing poverty and promoting child welfare, women are forced to stay married and mothers are punished for seeking divorces. In the guise of amicable custody resolution, federal programs enforce the systematic abuse of women and children. The pretense is that government programs produce responsible fathers and healthy families. The reality is that federally funded misogyny and pedophile protection programs are lining the pockets of corrupted court officials and appointees.

RELATED: Happy Mother’s Day 

Another Domestic Violence Murder

Victim in south Minneapolis domestic killing had recently filed for divorce

My Huong Huynh Truong was killed after she had filed for divorce.

Photo: Hennepin County Jail

Didn’t See That Coming!

Devin Patrick Kelley Image Courtesy of Hardhat Patriot

The Texas church shooter has a disturbing history of domestic violence, including charges of animal cruelty and fracturing his infant stepson’s skull

    Nov. 7, 2017, 10:53 AM

The gunman behind the mass shooting at a Texas church had a lengthy rap sheet and a history of abuse and harassment.He was discharged from the Air Force after fracturing his infant stepson’s skull and assaulting his wife. He also was arrested for animal cruelty and is said to have stalked his ex-girlfriends, at least of whom was a minor when they dated.

A day after at least 26 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Texas church, disturbing details about the gunman’s past continue to emerge.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was found dead in his car miles from the scene of the shooting. The official cause of death has not been released, although investigators believe he committed suicide.

Kelley had a lengthy rap sheet. He once fractured his infant stepson’s skull, was arrested for animal cruelty, and had a history of harassing ex-girlfriends, NBC News reported.

The former Air Force member was court-martialed in 2012 on two charges of assault at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to the report. A source from the Air Force said Kelley was convicted of fracturing his infant stepson’s skull and assaulting his first wife. He was given a bad conduct discharge in 2014, according to the report.

The report also cited two of Kelley’s ex-girlfriends who said Kelley harassed and stalked them after they broke up.

“Years after dating me he would try to bribe me to hang out with him,” Kelley’s former girlfriend Katy Landry told NBC News. “He ended up assaulting me. He would stalk me by repeatedly calling me — even prank calling me, saying really weird stuff.”

“That was another thing about him — he was very sick in the head … He would tell me very sick strange things,” she said, without elaborating.

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Related Articles: 

Texas shooter Devin Patrick Kelley had pending sex assault case, sheriff says
Texas Gunman Devin Kelley Escaped from Mental Health Facility in 2012

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs

One Percenter Convicted Of Raping Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’

Ashley Alman
The Huffington Post
March 31, 2014

A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he “will not fare well” in prison.

Image: Robert H. Richards IV.

In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. The light sentence has only became public as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, which charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his son as well.

Richards is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.

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Let’s Get Honest! Blog

Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family –and “Conciliation” — Courts’ Operations, Practices, and History

Excerpts fromEllen Pence and Casey Gwinn — Will the real Minnesota Program Development Inc. please stand up?

The Nonprofit Preventing Family Violence and Dispensing Family Justice world can be a very friendly set of associates.  In getting to know these individuals, besides hearing what they say & write (including positively about each other), I think it’s also helpful to look at who is paying how much for the time and the talents.

Getting to know each other …On a  recent post and here (currently), there is a graphic of Ellen Pence — well-known in Domestic Violence circles — interviewing Casey Gwinn, well known in San Diego and for his work on the National Family Justice Center Alliance, i.e., for starting it.

Interview of Ellen Pence by Casey Gwinn

On March 29, 2010, Casey Gwinn interviewed Ellen Pence in St. Paul, Minnesota for three hours. Ellen and Casey focused on the recent release of the Blueprint for Safety by Praxis International and on the work and future of the Family Justice Center movement in America. This video is a 41 minute edited version of the interview. It was played at the International Family Justice Center Conference on April 28, 2010. The National Family Justice Center Alliance, in partnership with the Verizon Foundation, will be making available the entire interview in the next 60 days. Please remember Ellen in your thoughts and prayers as she battles cancer. She has played a powerful leadership role in the domestic violence movement for over 30 years. The impact of her vision, work, and leadership is profound and will help shape the struggle to stop domestic violence for many years to come in the United States and around the world.

(Telling amy’s story comes out of Pennsylvania, and I’m starting to wonder who paid for that one, too.  The Amy in question ended up being shot by her stalker/abuser and probably just fortune/luck/God (etc.) that her parents and her child wasn’t also shot — as all were foolish enough to drive her back to the house for some diapers (etc.) RIGHT after a strong confrontation with the man.  Amy now being dead, others, heads of domestic violence prevention groups, are telling her story — and they are telling HALF her story.  They didn’t even notice that it wasn’t too bright to lose one’s life over some nonfoods that could be purchased cheap at a local store.)  But doesn’t it look official and appropriate — “Telling amy’s story.” )

Personally, what inspired me much more (while in or shortly after leaving the abusive relationship) was stories of women who were NOT shot to death, and how they recovered, went on to succeed in their new lives, and these stories were told in their own words — which could happen because they lived.  They did not die!)

Wikipedia on “Ellen Pence”:   Background

Born in MinneapolisMinnesota, Pence graduated from St. Scholastica in Duluth with a B.A.(in ???_______)   She has been active in institutional change work for battered women since 1975, and helped found the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1980. She is credited with creating the Duluth Model of intervention in domestic violence cases, Coordinated Community Response (CCR), which uses an interagency collaborative approach involving police, probation, courts and human services in response to domestic abuse. The primary goal of CCR is to protect victims from ongoing abuse. Pence received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996. She has used institutional ethnography as a method of organizing community groups to analyze problems created by institutional intervention in families. She founded Praxis International in 1998(?? see bottom of my pos) and is the chief author and architect of the Praxis Institutional Audit, a method of identifying, analyzing and correcting institutional failures to protect people drawn into legal and human service systems because of violence and poverty.

(incidentally, St. Scholastica ain’t your average private liberal arts college.  See the 27-member Board of Trustees, for one.  Catholic/ Benedictine Order influence)

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Excerpts from same blog above

Here is a reference to who created the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, and when:

Welcome to Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs offers domestic violence training and resources based on The Duluth Model to help community activists, domestic violence workers, practitioners in the criminal and civil justice systems, human service providers, and community leaders make a direct impact on domestic violence.

The Duluth Model is recognized nationally and internationally as the leading tool to help communities eliminate violence in the lives of women and children. The model seeks to eliminate domestic violence through written procedures, policies, and protocols governing intervention and prosecution of criminal domestic assault cases.*** The Duluth Model was the first to outline multi-disciplinary procedures to protect and advocate for victims.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs was founded in 1980 by Minnesota Program Development, Inc. 

** as we see, it makes no mention of domestic violence that comes up through or is “handled” through the Family Law system (in which criminal activity gets reclassified as domestic disputes, and downgraded to a family, or civil, matter).  Don’t be fooled easily though, recently a subsidiary of DAIP (see site), called “Battered Women’s Justice Project” has collaborated with the (in)famous AFCC on Explicating what is (and, more to the point, is NOT) domestic violence in custody venue.  More on that another time

Who IS Minnesota Program Development, Inc., then?  I mean, what is their organizational status — who owns them, who runs them, if they are a nonprofit, where are their annual tax fillings, etc.?   What do they DO?


(I figure $18 million to one organization might get our attention.  From HHS):


Note: One EIN can be associated with several different organizations. Also, one DUNS number can be associated with multiple EINs. This occurs in cases where Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) has assigned more than one EIN to a recipient organization.
(Note, this database only goes back to 1995, i.e., there are 14 previous organizational years unrecorded on the database).

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards

Showing: 1 – 1 of 1 Recipients

DULUTH, MN 55802-2152
Country Name: United States of America
County Name: ST. LOUIS
HHS Region: 5
Type: Other Social Services Organization
Class: Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations

This organization obviously has a budget, and must have a payroll.  Though pretty hard to find by a Google search, and it being a private nonprofit (registered in MN?) NGO, it has to process these funds somehow.  A woman lists it in her resume, as an accountant on LinkedIn.  The question I have is, would it exist without federal funds?

Staff Accountant


Nonprofit Organization Management industry

June 1996 – December 2000 (4 years 7 months)

Accomplishments – Financial Leadership
– Developed annual budgets ($5 million) and financial statements presenting them to management and Board of Directors.
– Partnered with Management Team, defined/executed software conversion, created new chart of accounts, and streamlined individual funding, program and organizational reporting processes.
– Managed annual fiscal audit and all audits by State and Federal regulatory agencies.
Integrated in-house payroll system, processed payroll in multiple states, and eliminated outsourcing costs.
– Recruited, hired, trained, and mentored staff accountants and support staff.
– Wrote, produced, and disseminated organization-wide policy and procedural handbook and administered employee benefits program.
– Managed all employee benefit plans.

Until recently, I figured, then that this Minnesota Program Development, Inc. — which I knew to be receiving millions  (larger than average grants, at least outside the healthy marriage movement) from the Department of HHS, so I figured that probably they were some workforce development group.  Particularly as it showed up looking for staff; they were hiring.  However, now I am not so sure.

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Just Another Day in the Life of Domestic Violence

Plymouth police chief: Gunman shot woman who fled their car

The suspect died in gunfire exchange with officers after killing woman in Plymouth.

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