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Roger Gallaway Speaks
February 25, 2010 permalink
London area residents will have an opportunity on March 11 to hear a presentation by former Sarnia MP Roger Gallaway, an articulate critic of Canada's system of divorce and family law. An earlier announcement that Mr Gallaway would speak on February 11 was a mistake.
An Evening of Awareness in relation to Domestic Violence.
Posted By London Equal Parenting Committee, February 22, 2010
The London Equal Parenting Committee is proud to announce that former Sarnia MP, and Co-Chair of the Special Joint Committee's Report, "For the Sake of the Children", will be speaking at the Crouch Branch of the London Public Library in London on March 11, 2010.
Roger Gallaway's subject title is "Domestic Violence in Divorce: Propaganda and other Fictions".
Domestic Violence industry leaders have also been invited to make a presentation at this event.
Doors open at 6:00 PM, with Roger's presentation running from 6:30 to 7:00. A Question & Answer discussion will follow the speakers' presentations.
The Crouch Library's address is 550 Hamilton Road (just west of Egerton).
The London Equal Parenting Committee offers emotional support and advocacy for all persons involved in separation/divorce and access issues. The Committee's purpose is to ensure and promote a child's right to maintain significant and meaningful relationships with both parents - and all grandparents - after relationship breakdown.
Admission is free.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-614-8713.
Source: The Londoner
Addendum: Here is a poster (pdf) promoting the meeting.
Addendum: The London Free Press announces the meeting.
Ex-MP calls for shared parenting
DIVORCE: Sarnia-Lambton's Roger Gallaway says judges should grant equal parenting except in proven cases of abuse
When it comes to gaining access to their kids, a growing number of divorced fathers say they've been stymied by a police and court system that reflexively views women as believable and men as violent.
It's an emotional topic that dismays many of those who work in the field of domestic violence.
But a growing number of men's groups -- and a private member's bill (C-422) that would amend the Divorce Act by instructing judges to grant equal shared parenting except in proven cases of abuse -- are advancing this view.
One man I spoke to, for instance, says his ex-wife falsely accused him of slamming a van door on her leg. And even though that assault charge was later withdrawn by the Crown attorney, the man says the allegations damaged his reputation during proceedings with a family court judge who restricted his access to his kids.
It's those kinds of situations that the fledgling London Equal Parenting Committee will explore during "an evening of awareness in relation to domestic violence" Thursday at Crouch Library.
The evening's main speaker is Roger Gallaway, the former Sarnia-Lambton MP who co-chaired a 1998 federal report called For The Sake Of The Children, which examined issues surrounding child custody.
"What I find distressing is the lack of objectivity around this whole subject," says Gallaway, who represented his riding for the Liberal party from 1993 to 2006. "There has to be some type of balance put into the discussion. And it's sadly lacking."
Gallaway regrets that none of the 1998 report's recommendations -- including a call for stricter rules regarding the reporting of abuse -- were ever adopted.
"An allegation of violence is a weapon," he says. "And in Ontario we have a zero-tolerance policy, which generally speaking says that when allegations are made, it's the male who's removed (from the residence). And that then casts the die for what will occur in terms of child custody or access."
Gallaway adds that more and more people are starting to realize that more and more deserving fathers are being shortchanged when it comes to contentious custody battles.
"There's a growing constituency . . . that sees what's occurring and knows these men aren't bad people," he says. "So the doubt about what is being said about (so-called) violent men is growing."
Longtime domestic violence expert Peter Jaffe acknowledges "there are cases that involve false allegations, but they're a small minority."
Jaffe insists, however, that there are enough checks and balances already embedded within the justice system to filter out dubious allegations.
"The No. 1 problem we have in 2010 is people living with violence and abuse and not getting help for it," says Jaffe, academic director of UWO's Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. "What's needed is more resources."
What's really needed, of course, is a co-operative culture where estranged parents do what's best for their kids. But that's about as likely as me having a baby.
IF YOU GO
What: Domestic Violence in Divorce: Propaganda and other Fictions, presented by the London Equal Parenting Committee and featuring Roger Gallaway.
When: Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Crouch Library, 550 Hamilton Rd.
Admission: Free (for details call 519-614-8713 or e-mail email@example.com)
Ian Gillespie is a Free Press city columnist.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, read Ian's blog. or follow Ianatlfpress on Twitter.
Source: London Free Press
Addendum: Our contact person forwards an email critical of the London Free Press article from lawyer Grant Brown, who has dropped his family practice. Mr Brown makes his argument with the rare force that engenders simultaneous outrage and laughter
- Grant Brown [ grant.brown at shaw.ca ]
- Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:04 AM
- Ex-MP calls for shared parenting
It is mind-boggling that you can, with a straight face, refer to Peter Jaffe as an "expert" on domestic violence - or anything else, for that matter.
Jaffe was a member of a panel in the early 1990s which produced a report claiming that satanic ritual abuse of children was commonplace in North America, and the evidence for this assertion was "recovered memories." "Recovered memory" theory went the way of the dodo bird shortly thereafter, and no evidence of satanic ritual abuse of children was ever found anywhere. Jaffe's credibility should have been in tatters.
Jaffe was also the "expert witness" at the trial of Paul Bernardo who said that Karla Homolka could have been a "battered woman" who was not responsible for the drugging, raping, and murder of several teenage girls, including her little sister Tammy. Never mind that at the time of this incident, holiday videos showed a beaming and preening Karla, totally besotted with Bernardo and not the least bit abused. Jaffe's opinion of Homolka is so repugnant to decent human beings that using him as an "authority" in your newspaper taints you by association. You might as well quote the Grand Poohba of the KKK as an authority on race relations.
You now quote Jaffe saying that false allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are rare. This is utter hogwash, as any criminal defence or family lawyer in the city could have told you. Have you bothered to check Jaffe's sources for this "opinion"? Does he even have any credible sources? Did you not notice that Jaffe is funded by the Ontario Women's Directorate specifically to propagate the lie that women are always and ever the innocent victims of men? (It says all you need to know about the objectivity of his outfit in the title.) What kind of investigative journalism do you engage in there in London?
False allegations are rampant, especially in family law cases. The problem is so serious - due in large part to the kind of biopolitical claptrap advanced by Jaffe in the early 1990s - that in 2000 the Alberta courts instituted a procedure for screening all such allegations by a team of police and child psychologists. This practice was instituted by Madam Justice M. Trussler, Associate Chief Justice of Alberta for Family Law. I appeared before her a few years ago representing a man falsely accused of sexual abuse of his step-daughter. She told me in open court that at least 80% of the cases screened for child abuse - and there are hundreds every year in Alberta - are determined to be "unfounded." (A much smaller percentage actually result in guilty verdicts.) That ratio corresponds with what I have experienced in my own practice of family law.
I take Justice Trussler to be a vastly more credible authority on the subject of false allegations than Jaffe ever will be. Why don't you look for the truth, rather than for some kind of phony "balance" or juicy "controversy" in your stories? You poorly serve your readers by propagating Jaffe's lies.
Grant A. Brown, DPhil (Oxon), LL.B.