Anne Stevenson Originally posted in Huffington Post
The so-called “War on Women” is raging, and billions of your tax dollars are being misused to fuel it via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The solution is to remove the middle class from the welfare roles and do away with gender-based funding incentives.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program it created transformed welfare policy by drastically reducing and shifting federal assistance away from the homes of mothers and children and into the homes of violent offenders. In an article entitled “How Federal Welfare Funding Drives Judicial Discretion in Child-Custody Determinations and Domestic Relations Matters” fathers and rights activists Lary Holland and Jason Bottomsly explain that this policy has backfired because the incentives are structured so that the state will only benefit if children are removed from loving homes:
“In essence, the federal guidelines wanted the states to function as collection agencies, recovering financial support from parents who had willfully abandoned their parental responsibilities to their children. The result, however, was different from the intent and has caused the state welfare programs to adjust their environment to have a greater need, which has caused the program to collect from willing parents that would ordinarily provide a loving environment for their children absent a court order limiting a parent’s involvement. Despite the original intent of the IV-D welfare program, it now provides an incentive for the states to use their family courts to produce forcibly absent parents in order to increase the states’ IV-D welfare caseload.”
These HHS policies created a new breed of dangerous Welfare Kings through HHS Office of Child Support Enforcement when it began subsidizing the homes and legal battles of the unfit, unwilling, and violent fathers. At the beginning of a custody case, only the offender is sick, but if one violent offender gets custody, the whole family needs treatment. Consequently, it is also not uncommon for dozens of family court mental health and legal professionals onto the case to sustain his deadly custody rights through HHS programs.
The top 5 HHS programs endangering women and children are:
1. Child Support Enforcement (Access and Visitation Programs and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative) A 2011 report from the Office of the Inspector General demonstrates that the States are collecting child support, but not disbursing it to the children it is intended to benefit. So where is the money going? Although previous graduates include mass murderer D.C. Sniper John Muhammad, the 2012 HHS budget reflects President Obama’s $1 billion endorsement of the fraud-riddled fatherhood industry.
Using the virtually unregulated child support system as a vehicle and the father’s will to evade prison time as collateral, the fathers are told they can risk their liberty and property attempting to pay down arrears, or alternatively, sue the mother for custody using a variety of federally funded “supports.” Unlike the welfare programs for women and children which had restrictive income eligibility requirements, HHS Responsible Fatherhood program benefits are not needs based and are available to all fathers-even billionaires. Benefits from Responsible Fatherhood programs to abusers include:
- Child support obligations are suspended
- Free attorney representation in the family courts to fight for custody
- Free housing
- Direct cash incentives
- Free groceries
- Free car maintenance, gas, and other transportation costs
- Free healthcare and dental care
While many upstanding fathers honestly complain about TANF programs and the courts victimizing them, the dirty little secret in the fatherhood industry it that the grant recipients who train court personnel, social services, and child support personnel are often fathers rights groups like the Fathers and Families Coalition, the Children’s Rights Council (Founder David Levy sits on the board of the Supervised Visitation Network) and the National Fatherhood Institute.
Clearly, judges understand the danger abusers pose, which is why their courts are guarded with armed deputies and not unarmed social workers. HHS programs are actually a deadly investment given that (a) abusive men win custody of their victims 70% of the time when they ask for it, and (b) regardless of the gender of the victim, it is a public safety issue when DOJ studies show men perpetrate more than 95% of violent assaults against women. A 2011 CDC study also shows that men are raped by other men more than 93% of the time, and women are raped by men more than 98% of the time.
2. Incarceration/Reentry Programs.
The purpose of these programs is to recruit violent offenders who are still incarcerated directly from prison, then help them gain custody of victims. It is unclear to me how a child benefits from the dangerous influence of a violent offender insofar as it reduces support to the home they are recovering in. The program paints the offender as the victim and domestic violence as a disease they are afflicted with, curable by the removal of witnesses to their crimes.
Although violence is a voluntary act, HHS now invested our tax dollars into rehabilitating the incurable who choose to assault the most vulnerable members of society. Studies of male DV perpetrators show that 50% of them are sociopaths and another 25% have sociopathic tendancies. Psychopaths are people who feel no emotional connections to others and have zero regard for the rules and regulations of society, they do not respond to therapy, and cannot be rehabilitated. Dr. Robert Hare
reports that psychopaths make up 1% of the general population, but 25% of the prison population:
“Violence is not uncommon among offender populations, but psychopaths still manage to stand out,” he says. “They commit more than twice as many violent and aggressive acts, both in and out of prison, as do other criminals … The recidivism rate of psychopaths is about double that of other offenders … The violent recidivism rate of psychopaths is about triple that of other offenders.”
- Massachusetts Probation Department: The Probation Department conducts all pre-trial mediations in the MA family courts. As of 2007, the department claims to have helped 1,600 male offenders with their custody cases, including Springfield inmate Shawn Suarez who was recruited into the custody switching program from jail, was released, won custody, then was sent back to prison on another violation. In 2011 and 2012, several high ranking administrators in the Probation Department were indicted by the DOJ and charged with conspiracy and fraud under the Racketeer, Influence, and Corrupt Organizations Act.
- Colorado’s “Parenting From Prison” received grants to implement programs which recruit violent offenders who are still incarcerated directly from prison, then help them gain custody of children.
- CT Child Rapist and mass murderer Joshua Komisarjevsky‘s nine-year old daughter was brought to visit him 55 times while in prison awaiting trial for murdering and raping 11-year old Michaela Petit, and also killing her sister Haley (age 17,) and their mom. Prior to murdering and raping the Petit family, Komisarjevsky gained sole custody of his daughter, who he promptly handed over to his parents to raise. The same parents who he blamed for his crimes after being found guilty of 17 counts, including the three homicides, and sentenced to death.
3. Foster care. Despite the fact that the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect found that children are six times more likely to die in the State’s care than those with their parents, it is assumed by some politicians that if you are poor, then you must need the US Department of Health and Human Services programs to tell you what’s best for your own family.
- In 2012, Colorado Governor John Hicklenhooper ordered an overhaul of the State’s child welfare system after the Denver Post reported 43 children were murdered as a consequence of social workers who dropped the ball.
- In 2011, San Francisco Department of Child Protective Services
paid out4 million to a former foster child who suffered years of abuse after his sister was beaten and starved to death by the foster parent. Another report showed that more than 1,000 CA foster homes matched the addresses of registered sex offenders, 600 of whom were high risk.
- This report talks about the 1.5 million mothers who say they were “coerced,” “manipulated,” and “duped” into handing over their babies for adoption. These women say sometimes their parents forged consent documents, but more often they say these forced adoptions were coordinated by the people their families trusted most… priests, nuns, social workers, nurses or doctors.”
- This report by ABC News reporter Diane Sawyer showed that 25% of all foster kids were on psychotropic drugs, and the States did not do enough to oversee them.
4. Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. With an annual budget of more than $20 million, the Center gives grants directly to religious groups exempt from anti discrimination laws, such as churches and mosques, as well as nonprofits affliated with them. Often partnered with the above-referenced Fatherhood industry programs, the Partnership’s purpose is to “build and support partnerships with faith-based and community organizations in order to better serve individuals, families and communities in need.” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains that:
“Faith leaders are trusted partners in local communities. You have a unique ability to reach people, especially the most vulnerable, with the tools and information they need to get healthy, stay well, and thrive.”
The consequence of this policy is that unsubsidized secular nonprofits that provide community services such as childcare, education, and healthcare cannot compete with the radical anti-woman nonprofits the Obama administration gives preference to. Examples include:
- Catholic Charities received $650 million from HHS between 2008-2011, despite the fact that they have lobbied to uphold their discrimination based policies that deny adequate healthcare to women, children, and the LGBT community. This includes policies which refuse women birth control, abortion, and rape counseling to the more than 10,600 children allegedly raped by some 4,392 preists as of 2002.
- Atlanta based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church received $1 million from HHS to support accused pedophile Bishop Eddie Long‘s $3 million salary and benefits package, as well as anti-gay marriage lobbying efforts. In 2012, the SEC announced charges against his successor, Fatherhood promotor Ephran Taylor who “was actually peddling was a giant Ponzi scheme, one aimed to “swindle over $11 million, primarily from African-American churchgoers,” that reached into churches nationwide, from Long’s megachurch in Atlanta to Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church congregation in Houston.”
“Final Defendant Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud in Scheme Involving Homeless and Pregnant Teenagers “ (3/22/2012). This press release from the GA Office of the Attorney General regarding God’s Promise Center, a business located in Henry County which purported to be a residential treatment program for homeless teenage girls.
Domestic violence is a multibillion dollar industry complete with its own ambiguous gender neutral lingo often causes victims in profitably dangerous homes. The CDC estimated that in 2003 Americans spent $8.3 billion on the domestic violence industry, which does not take into consideration the nearly 8 million work days per year that victims miss as a direct consequence of being assaulted, nor the costs associated with the children they care for who might also be abused. With as much as $585 billion also spent subsidizing the child abuse industry, so it’s no wonder some unethical abuse industry professionals cash in by keeping the public in danger and placing children in dangerous homes.
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