Posts in "prevention" tag

Response to AJC: Great continued Coverage on Kristofak Case

It has been a while since I first posted about the tragic murder of a woman who was a great mother, beloved church member, neighbor, daughter and friend to many.

My hope is that ultimately we will know that she didn’t die in vain, but for that to happen we are going to need to see our court system do a much better job of acknowledging danger – imminent danger and violent threats – and following through to prevent such losses as in this case.

What happened to this mother could have been avoided, and this man could have and should have been kept in jail for the sentence handed down to him, based on the facts, the evidence and the record which showed the judge knew he had been hospitalized because he was mentally unstable.

The lack of care and concern here is typical, unfortunately, in many cases where there is clear intent and opportunity to cause harm to vulnerable citizens, and especially to children. It’s just not something that is taken seriously by many judges and other court professionals. But hopefully that will change and improve in our lifetime.

Thank you to these contributors, to Men Stopping Violence and the AJC for highlighting what really needs to be changed in how we look at and respond to conflict:

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2013/01/10/when-protective-orders-fail/

This is one of the best pieces written yet on this story, so thank you to all the contributors and to the AJC for ongoing coverage.

As Director of My Advocate Center, Atlanta, GA, I am especially appreciative of Judge Hobie Jones’ comment above. It’s time to call it like we see it. …Based on the facts and patterns around this and other cases, and not as a “Monday morning quarterback” (which I agree with you on).

And it is true that this is not just a women’s issue – violence and false allegations of domestic violence affect everyone. Our focus is on the damages to children that stem from all of it. If you hurt or threaten a good parent, you are harming her (or his) children.

False allegations, as well as NOT heeding and responding to REAL violence…and NOT using the evidence or following protocols that we have in place…all put us in a downward spiral.

Family court pretends violence & abuse do not exist, except to profit from them in a way that leads to more abuse.
Family court pretends violence & abuse do not exist, except to profit from them in a way that leads to more abuse.

I knew Donna and John, but not recently, and because I didn’t cross paths again with her in time…I am both distraught and determined that we not let this discussion end without seeing the needed changes in how we respond to these situations.

There ARE pending local cases that mirror this tragedy in too many ways, so we would appreciate continued coverage and investigation. Please email for case and location details for hearings and transcripts.

Slaughter of Children

Few words are needed.   Dismay, shock, horror…those about cover it.  Unnecessary loss for so many. I wish I didn’t feel the need to write in response to school shootings or to reference other situations in which children are damaging themselves or others.

As a parent and human being your heart and mind reach out to the parents who lost their precious young children, the ones who deserved no harm and who deserved to be able to grow up and live out their lives.

This tragedy appears to be bringing many together, as well as firing up debate over causes and preventions.

It is making me even more determined to help a few understand how their decisions, or a lack of appropriate decision-making around how “high conflict” personalities are managed, are affecting children.

Much of what I write is geared toward a few —  some who want ideas, support, tools & resources with which to help awaken and drive change – and to others who are curious but haven’t yet accepted that they are a part of the problem…and that I am asking of all:  please become a part of the Solution.

The mental state of the shooter of these young children reminds me of another disturbed young adult – really a child in so many ways – and the process during which his mental and emotional state declined to where he is now.   Where he is now is sad.   Angry at the world, lacking in self-worth, and lacking in regard for how his behavior and addictions affect others.   Coping skills learned when support and nurturing and accountability and structure were removed from his life.  (Of course that is the consolidated explanation.)

This young adult who started out as a sweet child caught in a very high-stress conflict, is now a raging addict with an arrest record that would make you cringe.   There isn’t much hope for him to turn it around, but I hope I’m wrong.  I believe it could have been prevented – if proper legal and psychological counsel had been provided.

Legal counsel is invaluable where it recognizes the Needs of Children and works accordingly, upholding laws, rules as well as Fiduciary Duty.   When those things are lacking, more children are left unsupported and exposed – left to their own devices in the wake of a crisis, and that doesn’t always work out so well.

If you are uncertain and want to know more about a real life example of how poor case management, and withholding proper counseling and support can all play out for a child caught between dysfunctional parents, please email via My Advocate Center.   Connecting the dots for you is simple.

My point in expressing grief and anger is to explain what I know, and that is that certain professionals are aware that how they are treating families is leading to more dysfunction, addiction and abuse in teens and young adults.  We just have to decide that it’s not “fine” and to face the issues like we would face faulty wiring or plumbing that could lead to worse trouble and expense.

Since I wrote this post originally more lives have been lost, including that of the boy described above. Other teens have gone missing, and some are being held in lockdown facilities – not because they need to be there for treatment, but because that is how they can be silenced, and because it is profitable for certain court professionals to send them there.

This is real, it IS close to Home; and there IS something YOU can do about it.   Just ask.