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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kerry Washington Public Service Announcement on Domestic Violence


According to the Huffington Post, Kerry Washington wants to keep the conversation about domestic violence going.  In a recent article, the Huffington Post reported as follows:
On Monday, the Emmy-nominated actress spoke out about an often-overlooked reason why women stay in abusive relationships: financial abuse.
"It's the reason why so many people stay," she said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "That whole hashtag #WhyIStayed that happened last week, you saw how many of those responses were about feeling trapped financially."
The "Scandal" star appeared at an event in New York as an ambassador for The Allstate Foundation, which runs an initiative called “Purple Purse” to raise awareness of domestic abuse. As the campaign's spokeswoman, Washington designed a limited-edition purple purse to draw attention to the role of money in abusive relationships.
Financial abuse is a tactic often used by abusers to control and isolate their partners. It takes many forms: Abusers may drastically limit their victims' access to cash so they have no money of their own if they want to flee. They may sabotage their victims' ability to work, or pile up debt under their victims' names. Experts cite financial abuse as one of the top reasons why many victims are unable to escape abusive relationships.
"I think people just aren't as aware of financial abuse," Washington told HuffPost. "If a woman isn't even aware of the dynamics of financial abuse -- what it looks like, what it is -- she may not even know that that's part of the tools being used to control her and manipulate her and keep her trapped. When there is more information around it, people can begin to identify it and then get the help they need."
Washington said she loved designing the bag and hoped it would spur more conversations about domestic violence. "A purse is a powerful symbol," she said. "It's where a woman's economic power lives."
On "Scandal," Washington plays Olivia Pope, a firebrand D.C. crisis handler with a team of "gladiators in suits."
One of those gladiators, Abby Whelan, is a domestic violence survivor whom Pope helped rescue from her abusive husband in a subplot on the show. Washington said fans often approach actress Darby Stanchfield and thank her for not shying away from such a tough issue.
"We've actually been told that this season is going to be a really strong season for Abby's character. I wonder if we'll get to see more of how that dynamic played between them as friends, as Olivia stepped in to help get her out of that relationship," she said. "I'm very curious to see how that plays out."
Washington also released a PSA on financial abuse.

"Finances are almost always a weapon of choice," she says in the video. "Taking away access to cash, destroying credit, jeopardizing jobs -- financial abuse leaves invisible bruises that can take decades to heal."
All proceeds from the initiative will go to domestic violence organizations nationwide to support their efforts helping survivors rebuild financial security.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


WASHINGTON, September 11, 2014  — A California family court’s questionable handling of one celebrity’s high-ticket divorce case has pushed the discussion over the link between family court corruption and child safety into the mainstream media spotlight. Much of the attention comes thanks to the efforts of celebrities affiliated with the Children’s Justice Campaign, a ground breaking new charity with a focus on placing child welfare before legal industry profits.

One might expect corrupt child custody decisions to come from corrupt patriarchies like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, yet the American courts are also known to run illicit businesses, placing children into the hands of predatorspedophiles and murderers.

For more information, please click on the link below:


Esteban L. Hernandez of the "Register Citizen" reports as follows:

"The state has filed a motion to disbar a Torrington attorney after he allegedly violated an agreement prohibiting him from representing women just weeks after the deal was struck in July.

The latest allegations of misconduct against Ira S. Mayo resulted in a July deal which would have suspended him for four months in the fall to avoid disbarrment. However, the state claims Mayo has already violated the terms of that agreement.

According to court documents filed Aug. 6 by state disciplinary counsel Desi Imetovski, Mayo is scheduled to appear at Middlesex Superior Court in Middletown Sept. 8 for allegedly violating an agreement between Mayo and his attorney Randolph Richardson that prohibited him from representing women."

Apparently, some of these women were referred to Attorney Mayo by the Susan B. Anthony Center which should alert women to be cautious about such referrals.

For more information on this article, please click on the link below:

Monday, September 15, 2014


For those of you interested in the AMC/GAL sliding scale which will be instituted in October 2014 in response to S.B. #494, please click on the link below.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Kerry Sherck, a journalist with the CT Law Tribune reported as follows:

"Former White House lawyer J. Michael Farren could convincingly "assert appellate rights and make appellate arguments," a Superior Court judge said. But he couldn't muster the three words the judge wanted to hear: "I am sorry."

And so, more than four years after Farren brutally attacked his then-wife with a flashlight in their New Canaan home, and moments after he addressed the court without issuing an apology, Farren was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Sept. 11. He had been convicted of attempted murder in July.

Justice Richard Comerford took note of Farren's apparent lack of contrition as he issued the sentence. "I never heard him say I'm sorry," the judge said. "Not, 'I'm sorry to this woman,' not, 'I'm sorry to my children.' That is bizarre and rather tragic and speaks volumes to me about what type of individual we're dealing with."

For more information on this article, please click on the link below:


On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza of Newtown, CT walked into a local elementary school and gunned down 20 little children and 6 of their teachers. 

In the aftermath of this tragic event, citizens of the State of Connecticut have asked themselves what can be done to prevent a situation like this from occurring ever again.  In response, the State Legislature put together the "Task Force to Study the Provision of Behavioral Health Services For Young Adults."  

While testifying before this task force, Dr. Harold I. Schwartz spoke out in favor of his preferred solution -- forced outpatient treatment -- stating, "Chronic schizophrenia and certain other chronic and severe mental illnesses are often marked by denial of illness."  Further, he stated, "The failure to recognize illness and the need for treatment ... is a function of the disease's impact on the brain -- not unlike the stroke victim who is unable to recognize that one side of the body is paralyzed." 

The term that Dr. Harold Schwartz has used to describe this condition is "anosognosia". 

But has anyone considered the capacity for insight that Dr. Harold Schwartz and his psychiatric cohorts showed at the Institute of Living during pedophile priest scandals that hit the Catholic Church and the Institute of Living in the 1990s and the early 2000? 

Has anyone fully examined Dr. Harold Schwartz's disingenuous and self serving explanations for the Institute's culpable actions in certifying pedophile priests as fit to return to work where they inevitably continued on to molest other children? 

Has anyone considered the role of the Institute of Living's psychiatrists who, in three separate extensive evaluations, certified that Dr. George Reardon, who viciously molested up to 130 children for a period of 30 years, was not a pedophile, even though one of his child victims was able to describe his genitals in full detail? 

Further, let us put aside the multiple decades of ongoing and repeated reports from consumers and psychiatric survivors that they were misdiagnosed, wrongly medicated and improperly subjected to unwanted and harmful treatments such as ECT.  Instead, let us focus on the Institute of Living, the foremost proponent of forced treatment laws. 

The treatment that the Institute offers is so extraordinarily negligent and incompetent as indicated by the priest pedophile scandal and the case of Dr. George Reardon that the only conclusion you can draw, in my view, is that the real people who actually lack insight, or have anosognosia, are the psychiatrists at the Institute of Living, not consumers, and certainly not the psychiatric survivors of their wrongdoing. 

For those of you for whom this is news, what is the connection between the Institute of Living and the pedophile priest scandal?  

On March 17, 2002, The Hartford Courant reported that Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the head of the Archdiocese of New York, while bishop of Bridgeport had knowingly allowed several priests accused of multiple acts of sexual abuse to continue working. 

In response to the outrage, the Cardinal wrote a pastoral letter saying that he had sent accused priests "immediately to one of the most prominent psychiatric institutions in the nation for evaluation."  In other words, the priests were sent to the Institute of Living, which had been providing treatment for pedophile priests since the early 1980s and often certifying them as fit to return to work.  

The Institute's director at the time, Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, denied that the Institute had any responsibility for this wrongdoing stating that the Church had withheld information about past complaints of abuse and thus misled them about how bad the situation was with some priests. 

But seriously, is this a legitimate explanation?  Shouldn't even a single incident of child abuse be considered sufficient to bar a priest from returning to work?  Plus, isn't that the work of a psychiatrist, i.e. to ferret out the truth underneath all the lies?

Nonetheless, Dr. Harold Schwartz's statement is simply not correct.  For instance, in the case of Father John Geoghan, who ultimately molested over a hundred young boys, even though the Institute was not aware of every complaint against the priest, they were aware that there had been several confirmed incidents since Father Geoghan himself admitted to them.  Still, according to an article in The New Yorker, the Institute's discharge summary for Father Geoghan was "notable for its sympathetic tone and its reliance on Geoghan's own accounts of his past behavior" and ultimately the Institute recommended that he be allowed to return to work. 

And why did they do this?  For money!  As the New Yorker article states, "The eighties were a decade of ruin for the Institute" according to a former staff member, "In 1981 the institute had three hundred and eighty beds, drew patients from around the country, kept them for months, and had a six-month waiting list.  By 1990, after H.M.O.s had rewritten the rules for private in-patient care throughout the Northeast and elsewhere, the institute had become a cash-strapped regional facility with a hundred and twenty beds, many of them available." 

"Amid fears that the institute might go out of business, the board of directors aggressively expanded its programs for priests...whose care could be provided for by generous third-party payments.  With priests, of course, the pocket was bottomless."  According to this psychiatrist, 'the Church would pay what it took, for as long as was necessary.'  He added that the treatment of troubled priests...soon became one of the institute's most lucrative services."

Does anyone truly want to give Dr. Harold Schwartz and his ilk full authority for running forced outpatient treatment programs for people with mental health disabilities, doctors who in their day had no problem justifying a policy of returning priest pedophiles to situations where they could molest again? 

Dr. Harold Schwartz's second explanation in defense of the Institute in connection to the pedophile priest scandal was that the profession of psychiatry has no way of predicting how any individual might act in the future. 

Yet isn't that what mental health professionals represent that they are capable of doing when they come as experts in termination of parental rights proceedings, or in family court proceedings or criminal proceedings?  Isn't that what they will be doing in coming to probate court to certify that persons with mental health disabilities are incapable of making their own decisions?

How come psychiatrists can deny they are capable of certain kinds of work when it doesn't suit them, but readily take on such tasks when the money is right? 

Dr. Harold Schwartz can point the finger at people who are labeled with mental health disabilities and declare they have no insight, but what about him?  Isn't his defense of the Institute of Living during the pedophile priest scandal sufficient evidence that he himself has absolutely no insight? 

I can understand that we need to address the problem of violence and make sure that incidents such as the Newtown shooting does not happen again.  But I do not believe that the solution is to deny people with mental health disabilities their civil rights and subject them to forced treatment conducted by the likes of Dr. Harold Schwartz whose complete lack of insight is ten times worse and more harmful to society than that of any mental health consumer or survivor.