Väter für Kinder e.V. ging folgende Ankündigung zu.  Sie zeigt u.a. jedenfalls, daß Umgangsvereitelung, PAS und andere Formen der Mißhandlung anderswo in öffentlichen Foren sachlich diskutiert werden. Senatorin Anne Cools hielt zu diesen Themen öffentliche Anhörungen und sprach auch häufig schon im kanadischen Senat, z.B. über Gewalt in der Gesellschaft (28.3.1995). Sie setzte aber auch Änderungen im Regierungsentwurf zum neuen Scheidungsrecht durch, unter anderem die Verpflichtung zur Einsetzung einer Kommision, die untersucht wie kanadische Gerichte mit Scheidung und Umgangsfragen umgehen. Sehr energisch setzte sie sich auch für einen Gesetzesentwurf (S-4) ein, nach dem Falschanschuldigungen in Rechtsstreiten, insbes. in Familiensachen, unter besondere Strafe gestellt werden sollen (1995, 1996).

            Thema:  Public Forum with Senator Anne Cools - Final

February 6 and 7, 1998

Robson Square Conference Centre
Downstairs - 800 Robson Street, 
Vancouver, B.C.

"Neglected Aspects of Abuse in the Family"

Keynote Address by the Senator

(7:00--8:00 PM Friday; Audience response 8:00--9:00)
Introduction by Carey Linde, LL.B.

Conference Sessions

Session 1: "Both sexes commit it, both sexes suffer it"
(Expert speakers 9:30-10:30 AM; audience response 10:30-11:30 AM.)

Ferrel Christensen (Philosophy Department, U of A)
Philip Cook (Author of new book, Abused Men)
Don Wright (Director of BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse)

Session 2: "False accusations are a form of abuse"
(Experts speak 1:00-2:00 PM; audience response 2:00-3:00 PM.)

Barry Beyerstein (Psychology Department, SFU)
Tana Dineen (Psychologist, author of Manufacturing Victims)
Georgialee Lang (Family-law lawyer)
Donald S. Moir (lawyer)

Session 3: "Access denial and parental alienation are abuse"
(Experts speak 3:30-4:30 PM; audience responds 4:30-5:30 PM)

Edward Kruk (Faculty of Social Work, UBC; researcher/author of relevant
    Einfügung durch Web Master VfK:

Pamela Malkin (Psychologist who does custody evaluations)
Ted McNabb (family-law lawyer)

Why We Are Holding This Public Forum

On International Women's Day three years ago, Senator Anne Cools caused something of a stir in Canada.  Invited to speak at a feminist gathering, she drew on her years of experience in social service work -- including work in women's shelters -- [Anmerkung Web Master VfK:  Erin Pizzey, die 1971 das erste Frauenhaus in England gründete, hat sehr ähnliche Erfahrungen gemacht. Vgl. ihr Buch ,,Prone to Violence", auch in auszugsweiser deutscher Übersetzung.] to tell her audience that solving the problem of violence in society demands that society face something it has hidden from itself for years: women's role in the problem. This notably includes women's own violence toward spouses and children in the home, and also the further violence committed as a consequence by their sons and daughters when they grow up.

Perhaps because she overstated the role of abusive mothers to stress the neglected point, or perhaps because it is politically incorrect to speak of women as anything but victims, or perhaps because she is a member of Canada's Senate and a woman of colour -- or perhaps for all these reasons -- the speech set off a flurry of media responses and talk-show discussions around the country. Prominent feminists were predictably outraged. But many other individuals of both sexes, some of whom had been struggling for years to break through the wall of silence maintained by sexist feminists and sexist chivalrists, were immensely cheered by her words. Hundreds of them, from all across Canada, contacted her office.

The Senator made it clear to them that this was not a one-time event.  She is determined to make a real difference in the serious problem of violence and abuse, and painfully aware that such cannot be done while large parts of it are swept under the rug and the rest is misdiagnosed. Among other things, she told supporters, she is prepared to travel around Canada holding "consultations" -- public forums involving experts and ordinary citizens in each locality who have testimony on this subject for her to take back to the government of Canada.

Activists in various cities subsequently went to work to arrange such forums and invite the Senator to attend them. So far, consultations have been held in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Peterborough.  In line with the concerns originally raised by Senator Cools, participants at these gatherings have related facts revealing that both sexes, not just men and boys, are violent and abusive in the family; and that both sexes, not just women and girls, are victimised by that behaviour.

Other kinds of abusiveness in the home, however, have also been seriously neglected up to now, for the same ideological reasons, and they too have been addressed at the consultations. These notably include the making of false accusations of abuse.  Especially during divorce, this indirect form of violence is terribly widespread and terribly harmful. Also in this category is the serious emotional abuse consisting of one parent harming a child's relationship with the other parent or with extended-family members. Especially during and following divorce, poisoning the child's mind against, or cutting off the child's access to, a loved one can be more damaging than physical abuse.

Now it is Vancouver's turn. Local volunteers have organized to host a consultation for the Senator in the fervent hope of raising the consciousness of the community to the same set of neglected problems. and of inviting all to come together in the search for solutions. Please join with us in that quest.


Carey Linde, LL.B., 604 684 7794, fax 682-1243
Elizabeth Young 604 888 1050 rburr@direct.ca
Doug Reid fax 604 922 2076 coparent@radiant.net c/o
B.C. Shared Parenting Association

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