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Response to Reminder article by Fatherhood Coalition Hampshire County Chapter Co-Chairman

Letter to the Editor,  The Reminder, January 8, 2002

By George Schroder, Hampshire County Co-Chairman, (written Dec. 21, 2001)

Activists Confront Melconian and Lees, Sarah M. Corigliano, The Reminder; Nov. 28, 2001

Letter to the Editor
The Reminder

Dear Editor

Your Nov. 28 Metro West Edition of The Reminder had a front page story, "Activists Confront Melconian and Lees," by Sarah M. Corigliano. In the article Senator Melconian said, "It was clear they (father activists) had some gross misconceptions" and "I'm glad we had the meeting to clarify."

She also said that they think anything related to child support, child custody or domestic violence always works for the mothers benefit in Court. Well, what we (members of The Fatherhood Coalition) understand is that a Census Bureau Report issued March 1999 entitled, "Child Support for Custodial Mothers and Fathers" cites that, "about 11.6 million or over 85 percent of the 13.7 million custodial parents were women. That figure jumps up to about 92 percent, give-or-take a point, in Massachusetts.

Additionally, the other 15 percent of custodial parents nationally is comprised of fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles and foster parents combined. The report also states that child support award rates were 61 percent for mother and 40 percent for fathers.

As for "domestic violence," a term yet to be defined in law by our government, please allow us to introduce to your readers a research preview entitled, "Partner Violence Among Young Adults" printed by the National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice. This review states that, "preliminary findings of this study do not conflict with those of US epidemiological studies which survey broad populations as opposed to clinical studies of "domestic violence" in which samples are likely to be drawn from shelters or the courts. These findings show that three times more women than men (18.6% to 5.7%) kicked, bit, hit with a fist, or hit with an object their victims.

The existence of two or more types of studies compounded by myths spread by propaganda machines of our legislature and judiciary is very frustrating and hard to comprehend for the average citizen. Studies from clinical reports (those gathered from shelters) always cite statistics that overwhelmingly and inaccurately depict men as the majority perpetrator of "domestic violence." However there are no shelters for male victims to escape abuse, and therefore no data for the public to collect there.

A professor and PhD of psychology, Martin S. Fiebert, from California State University, Long Beach has compiled a bibliography which contains 123 scholarly investigations, 99 empirical studies, and 24 reviews and analyses which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive or more aggressive than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. Yet, Senator Melconian managed to embellish clinical accounts of abuse even further when she stated to five members of the coalition during the impromptu meeting that men batter women 99.999... percent of the time when there's "domestic violence."

Senator Melconian was asked politely by the group to stop spreading misinformation that results in innocent men and fathers, and their children being harmed by the system.

George Schroder
Hampshire County Co-Chair
The Fatherhood Coalition

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