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Los Angeles, CA--I reported last week that Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, charged that the leaders of some fathers' rights groups are "abusers" in Mindy Jacobs' new Edmonton Sun column When dad is just bad (9/10/08). I suggested you write to Jacobs at [email protected] and the Edmonton Sun at [email protected]. Jacobs told me a few days later that she had "received hundreds of letters" from our readers over her column, and that she would be writing a follow-up column that considered fathers' perspective. From her new column Divorced from reality (Edmonton Sun, 9/18/08):
I inadvertently stoked the ever-simmering gender war last week when comments I reported from a domestic violence conference unleashed a fusillade of male outrage. From California to Massachusetts, American men flayed me for painting a picture of male abuse while ignoring the flip side - that women are also perpetrators. Canadian ex-husbands and fathers also poured out their wrath... I have clearly acknowledged in past columns that spousal violence is perpetrated by both men and women. But there is no denying that women are much more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe physical abuse and spousal homicide. Still, the men want their say so let's proceed. I received countless e-mails from wounded men (both physically and emotionally) who said they'd either been assaulted by unhinged wives or falsely accused of either harming their wives or molesting their kids. "I'm a guppy in a sea of really big and angry fish," wrote one man who said he was falsely accused of sexually abusing his two-year-old daughter. Men wrote about being assaulted by their wives - with no subsequent charges by the police. They complained about the nasty games women play to cut them out of their kids' lives.
Jacobs told me that while most of the letters came from the US she wanted a local tie, so she interviewed Edmonton attorney Grant Brown. Brown had some interesting things to say:
"...judges actually create the deadbeats. They make such harsh orders against fathers and give fathers no rights...A lot of (dads) just give up... "Dads can spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to see their kids and the judges do nothing to make it happen... "The money should be going to the kids instead of paying for the lawyers."
Jacobs concludes:
If a woman's ever tossed in jail for the weekend for refusing her ex court-ordered access to the kids, let me know. Now that's a story.
Read her full column here. To read my previous blog posts on this controversy, click here, here and here.

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