Caitlin Moran: A Woman with No Conscience – i.e – a feminist

 

 

I get a lot of stuff coming in on the “Reader” thingymabob on my site (not very tech minded) one popped up yesterday from J4MB about an article by the has-been feminist Caitlin Moran, apparently Moran had something to say about the upcoming abortion referendum here in Ireland. To be honest, I don’t read feminist crap anymore, same shoite different decade, but, I read the excerpt from this.  I do tend to read the comments, if there are any, and invariably, they are very negative towards the “feminist perspective”, obviously peoples bullshit detectors have become more finely tuned. Anyhoo, I went and subscribed to the Times so I could read this piece of drivel. Sigh

If you want to read it, or a synopsis of it, either read J4MB https://j4mb.org.uk/2018/05/12/an-open-email-to-caitlin-moran-columnist-the-times/ or subscribe to the Times

Conclusion: Caitlin Moran is a self-serving, egotistical ignorant, ill-informed attention seeking media whore.

She penned this piece of putrid garbage and the Times published it – therefor it would seem that the Times has no problem publishing ill-informed hysterical and self-serving ego boosting diatribes by has-been feminists.

Particularly when said has-been feminist, true to form doesn’t have even a passing or nodding acquaintance with either the truth or facts – it would appear that “feminist” and “facts/truth” remain mutually exclusive terms.

The gist of this piece of garbage is that Irish women (of which I am one) are living in abject fear and terror, every minute of every day. She appears to be claiming/asserting/breathlessly declaring that all “unwanted” pregnancies are the result of a crime – rape/incest. She also appears to be peddling some ridiculous tripe about ‘respecting motherhood’ !

There is also some sideways attempt to castigate the “country”

“It is a cruel and unusual stance for a country to take – to insist that its women must, legally, grit their teeth and cope with whatever a single crime or mistake hands them.”

“This is not a risky change Ireland considers this week. It does not face potential economic or social peril. It is a small consequence, really: to finally, properly, respect motherhood and women.”

To be honest this garbage is so badly written, that having to wade through it and analyse whatever the hell she is blathering on about gave me a headache. It is a mish mash of hysterical bullshit and ignorant and arrogant unfounded assertions. So, lets deal with facts, shall we.

I’m going to start with “the country” on the basis that it will be Irish Citizens exercising their democratic right to vote, who will ultimately decide whether or not to repeal the 8th amendment which states:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

This became law in 1983.

On foot of a Supreme Court Judgement in 1992 the goalposts shifted in an extraordinary and unexpected way.

“The Supreme Court rules in Attorney General v X that a 14 year old girl, known as X, pregnant as a result of rape, faces a real and substantial risk to her life due to threat of suicide and this threat can only be averted by the termination of her pregnancy. Therefore, X is entitled to an abortion in Ireland under the provision of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution that requires the State to have “due regard to the equal right to life of the mother”.

The Court does not consider that abortion can be permitted only where the risk is of immediate or inevitable death of the pregnant woman, as this would insufficiently protect her right to life.

The law is now clear that termination of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment whether the risk to the life of a pregnant woman arises on physical or mental health grounds. Risk to life does not have to be a virtual certainty. But risk to physical or mental health alone is not sufficient.”

https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Abortion-in-Ireland-Timeline

In 2013

“July 2013: President Michael D. Higgins signs the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act into law. The Act is intended to implement the 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court in the X case and the 2010 ECtHR in the case of A, B and C v Ireland and provide for lawful access to abortion where a pregnant woman’s life is risk. 25 public hospitals are listed as appropriate institutions where a termination can be carried out”

See Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/35/enacted/en/pdf

Chapter 1 Section 7, 8 and 9 deal with situations when a lawful medical procedure may be carried out on a pregnant woman that results in the loss of life of an unborn child.

  1. Risk of loss of life from physical illness

“Risk of loss of life from physical illness

  1. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

  2. Risk of loss of life from physical illness in emergency

“Risk of loss of life from physical illness in emergency

  1. (1) Notwithstanding the generality of section 7, or any determination made or pending pursuant to section 13 of an application under section 10(2), it shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

  2. Risk of loss of life from suicide

“Risk of loss of life from suicide

  1. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

In each section, there is no mention of abortion, or of terminating a pregnancy, the phrase used is ‘…….in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended…..’

In the spirit of the Constitutional equal protection given to both the life of the woman and the life of the unborn child, and in compliance with the judgement in the X case, the legislation balances the life of both in certain specified situations and where the life of the mother is in jeopardy allows medical treatment to go ahead lawfully to save that life, even if in the course of that intervention the unborn child dies.  It other words, in those situations the life of the unborn is sacrificed to save the life of the woman.

THAT is the legal situation in Ireland at the present time.

But, apart from the nutcases on either “side” of this issue, what do ordinary Irish Citizens think?

https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Public-Opinion

Generally – that abortion should be “allowed” in cases of rape, foetal anomaly, risk to health/life, including suicide. What should be noted is this, that ordinary Irish Citizens, not idealogues, not has-been attention seeking feminists, not political opportunists actually consider this ‘debate’ to be a matter of conscience, they are very conscious of the less than savoury history of this country, the vast majority of Irish Citizens in this country, on this issue want to do what they genuinely believe is the right thing.

So, using scare tactics, misinformation, or penning obnoxious screeds is self-defeating – what this will all come down to is this – is that foetus an unborn human child or not? If so, does that unborn human child deserve the protection of the law?

A tiny miniscule percentage of “unwanted pregnancies” are the result of rape/sexual assault. Of that tiny miniscule percentage an even tinier miniscule percentage of women finding themselves in that situation choose to terminate those pregnancies – the vast majority of these unfortunate women actually choose to give birth and parent these children.

The vast majority of abortions obtained by Irish women in mainly the UK over the period of 2010 – 2015 are obtained for reasons OTHER than that pregnancy being the result of rape/sexual assault.

 

These are the facts 

The RCNI (Rape Crisis Network of Ireland) collects and collates statistics on rape and sexual assault in Ireland, as part of that remit the RCNI also publishes statistics with regard to the number of pregnancies that result from rape/sexual assault.

Those advocating for a repeal of the 8th amendment to Bunreacht na hEireann 1937 (Constitution of Ireland 1937) generally use two highly emotive devices to propel this agenda. Scare stories about thousands of Irish women being made to (forced) to carry pregnancies as a result of rape to term, and even scarier stories about Irish women’s lives being in danger if they are pregnant and are refused an abortion – the tragic case of Savita Halapanavar is trotted out, notwithstanding that the official inquiry into this woman’s death concluded she died from failure to diagnose and treat her promptly for Sepsis.

 

“A post-mortem examination was performed on the 30th of October, 2012. The cause of death established by the Coroner’s Inquest in this case in April, 2013 was:

“1(a) Fulminant septic shock from E. coli bacteremia.

1(b) Ascending genital tract sepsis.

1(c) Miscarriage at 17 weeks gestation associated with chorioamnionitis.

(2) There were no co-morbidities”.

The Report Continues

“Sepsis is a common cause of death in the general population. In the United States, sepsis contributes to more than 200, 000 deaths per year. Sepsis is also the most common cause of maternal mortality identified in the UK Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiry (CMACE)2006-2008 report (2011).

Sepsis is a systemic illness that complicates severe infection which is caused by the invasion and multiplication of microbes in normally sterile sites in the body. Sepsis causes a systemic inflammatory response with evidence or suspicion (pending the results of tests) of an underlying infection. When accompanied by evidence of organ/tissue hypoperfusion or dysfunction, sepsis becomes severe sepsis. When severe sepsis is accompanied by hypotension (low blood pressure) despite adequate fluid resuscitation, a patient is considered to have septic shock. Progression from sepsis to severe sepsis to septic shock can occur within hours and correlates with increasing mortality. Early diagnosis and management is essential to reduce the mortality rate.

Sepsis is difficult to diagnose in pregnancy due to the associated natural physiological changes and this calls for efficient assessment and monitoring of the patient by the clinical team to enable them to promptly recognise and respond to the signs of infection and clinical deterioration”.

“Key Causal Factor 1:

Inadequate assessment and monitoring that would have enabled the clinical team to recognise and respond to the signs that the patient’s condition was deteriorating due to infection associated with a failure to devise and follow a plan of care for this patient that was satisfactorily cognisant of the facts that:

→ the most likely cause of the patient’s inevitable miscarriage was infection and

→ the risk of infection and sepsis increased with time following admission and especially following the spontaneous rupture of the patient’s membranes.

Key Causal Factor 2:

Failure to offer all management options to a patient experiencing inevitable miscarriage of an early second trimester pregnancy where the risk to the mother increased with time from the time that membranes were ruptured.

Key Causal Factor 3:

Non adherence to clinical guidelines related to the prompt and effective management of sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock when it was diagnosed. “

Report is here. http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2013/06/savita-halappanavar-hse-report.pdf

 

These are the actual figures from the RCNI for pregnancies that are the result of rape – as well as the choices that these women made.

 

2010http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/Pregnancyandsvedition2.pdf

In 2010 1,545 survivors of sexual violence attended Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs). Of these, a small number became pregnant as a result of rape (75 girls and women).

Range of outcomes of pregnancy for survivors attending RCCs in 2010 who became pregnant as a result of rape (%) n = 75

Of the 75 females who became pregnant as a result of rape there were a range of outcomes:

Ten survivors of rape had their pregnancies terminated

Ten survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

Forty three survivors of rape went to term, gave birth and parent their children

Nine survivors of rape miscarried or had stillbirths

Three survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy

 

2011http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RangeOfOutcomesOfSurvivorsOfRapeWhoArePregnantAsAResultOfRape2011.pdf

In 2011 2,036 female survivors of sexual violence attended Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs). Of these, 90 girls and women became pregnant as a result of rape.

Range of outcomes of pregnancy for survivors attending RCCs in 2011 who became pregnant as a result of rape (%) n = 90

Of the 90 females who became pregnant as a result of rape there were a range of outcomes:

Seventeen survivors of rape had their pregnancy terminated

Twelve survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

Forty eight survivors of rape went on to give birth and parent their children

Eleven survivors of rape miscarried or had stillbirths

Two survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-AR+National-Statistics-2011.pdf

 

2013 – Graph 21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 75

8% of females attending RCCs in 2013 became pregnant as a result of rape. RCNI and RCCs support survivors’ choices, whatever they may be.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (46%)

25%of the se survivors had their pregnancy terminated

15% of survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

13% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths

1% of survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and disclosed different outcomes for each pregnancy

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-National-Statistics-2013.pdf

 

2014 –  21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 53

Of the female survivors attending RCCs in 2014 who were raped when they were aged eight or over,

8% became pregnant as a result of the rape. RCNI and RCCs create a safe place for survivors to support them in making choices, RCCs support survivors’ choices. Pregnancy outcomes cannot be taken as an indication of survivor choice as the circumstances of those choices, emotionally, legally and financially often constrain rape victims’ freedoms to choose.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (40%).

26% of these survivors had their pregnancy terminated.

23% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths.

11% of survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering.

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-National-Stats-2014.pdf

 

2015 – Graph 21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 53

Of the female survivors attending RCCs in 2015 who were raped when they were aged eight or over, 5% became pregnant as a result of the rape. RCNI and RCCs create a safe place for survivors to support them in making choices, RCCs support survivors’ choices. Pregnancy outcomes cannot be taken as an indication of survivor choice as the circumstances of those choices, emotionally, legally and financially often constrain rape victims’ freedoms to choose.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (37%).

24% of these survivors had their pregnancy terminated.

11% of rape survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering.

28% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths.

See – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-RCC-StatsAR-2015-2.pdf

 

See also: Women From the Republic of Ireland Accessing Abortion Services in England and Wales 1980 – 2016

Source: UK Department of Health https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

The total number of terminations obtained as a result of rape/sexual recorded by the RCNI FROM 2010 – 2015 (excluding 2012)  is c.61

Over the five years when I could find the figures, the average number of terminations obtained per year is 12.

I would posit that the majority of those terminations was obtained in the UK, bearing in mind the official statistics published the UK /government with regard to abortions in England and Wales.

Comparison of Official Statistics of Irish Women obtaining terminations in both the UK and the Netherlands with Official figures of women terminating pregnancies as a result of rape from the RCNI (Rape Crisis Network Ireland)

 

UK                              Netherlands     Total                     RCNI – (Rape)

                                                                                                Termination

2016 – 3,265                n/a                  3,265                           n/a

2015 – 3,451                n/a                  3,451                           13

2014 – 3,735                16                    3,751                           14

2013 – 3,679                12                    3,691                           19

2012 – 3,982                24                    3,996                           n/a

2011 – 4,149                33                    4,182                           11

2010 – 4,402                31                    4,433                           10

 

NB – Figures for 2016 and 2012 (RCNI) not available.

*3982 persons declared themselves residents of the Republic of Ireland in official UK Gov. figures from 2012

Putting these two figures together and comparing them statistically creates a problem – the number of abortions obtained as a result of rape/sexual assault is so small in relation to the number of abortions obtained by women declaring themselves Irish residents that the percentage is minuscule – leading to only one conclusion – of all the reasons why Irish women go to the UK for an abortion – pregnancy as the result of rape/assault is too small to produce a significant percentage.

In every year, of the small numbers of women whose pregnancy was as a result of rape/sexual assault, the majority of those women chose to give birth and parent those children. A brave and selfless decision by these women that I applaud. A decision that took courage and compassion.

To be absolutely fair to those small number of women who chose to terminate these pregnancies? I am genuinely sorry that you felt you had to do this, and I in no way condemn you for that choice. For these women I have no problem seeing or understanding the reasons for their decisions.

What I have a problem with are rabble rousing has been-feminists hi-jacking the genuine traumas of this very small number of women to propel their “abortion on demand” “abortion is a right” bullshit.

Abortion is and should be a medical solution to a medical (and yes I do include psychological trauma) crisis. End of.

A ‘crisis pregnancy’ is a pregnancy that presents a risk to the life and health of the pregnant woman – getting knocked up after a night on the razz is NOT a crisis pregnancy.

Finding out that the baby you’re carrying will not survive, or has such severe foetal abnormalities that the chance of survival is miniscule is a crisis pregnancy.

Finding out that the baby is the wrong gender is NOT a crisis pregnancy.

Anyone who has a problem with either sets of figures can take it up with either the RCNI or the UK government.

If you want a clear picture of Abortion Statistics in England and Wales, from 2012 – 2016 see below:

2012https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/statistics-on-abortions-carried-out-in-england-and-wales-in-2012

2013https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/319460/Abortion_Statistics__England_and_Wales_2013.pdf

2014https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/433437/2014_Commentary__5_.pdf

2015https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/570040/Updated_Abortion_Statistics_2015.pdf

2016https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/abortion-stats-2016-commentary-with-tables.pdf

 

Those are the facts – do with them what you will.

The 8th amendment declares in effect that the life of the unborn child and the woman are of equal value, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 provides that in certain circumstances where those equal rights to life must be balanced against one another, that it is the unborn life that may be sacrificed to save the life of the mother

“On Friday 25th May 2018, you will be asked to vote on a proposal to change the Constitution of Ireland. The proposed change to the Constitution concerns the regulation  of termination of pregnancy.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, means that it is lawful for a pregnancy to be terminated only where the pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. This includes a risk of suicide.

The proposal on 25th May is to delete Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and to insert in its place that

“Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

(emphasis added)

https://refcom2018.refcom.ie/refcom-guide-2018-english.pdf

So, thats it – “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.” no safeguards, no caveats, no limits, no guidance – the proposed wording allows whoever is in power (on the advice of whoever exerts the greatest influence) to put into place laws that WILL NOT be amenable to Constitutional Challenge – EVER.

So, while Irish Citizens genuinely want to do the right thing and alieviate genuine suffering in certain specified circumstances, this proposed wording will leave unfettered power in the hands of legislators, lobbyists, special interests, and those who demand “special treatment” for only one half of humanity.

Ultimately it will be up to each individual to put their mark beside either Yes or No on the ballot paper, all I would ask is that you follow your conscience, and I will follow mine.

 

Is Mise Le meas

 

Edit: I added another paragraph to this article (a sleepless night notwithstanding) including the text of the proposed replacement wording to the Constitution, because I realised that without this information to consider I would be remiss.

I know from my own experience of discussions with various people over the last few months, that many people are genuinely at a loss as to how to vote, that there are more people who genuinely want to do the right thing than there are loud-mouthed, (some frothing at the mouth) nutcases screaming incoherently for one side or the other.

Repealing the 8th amendment and replacing it with the proposed wording (see above) in NOT the right thing to do – in MY opinion.

 

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In The Best Interests of the Child…..Getting it Wrong: A Pyrrhic Victory Creating Conflict to “Win” Custody of Children. Part 1

 

 

How women manipulate the legal system and rely on judicial ignorance, judicial reliance on faulty and unsupported assumptions and “mother myths” to sever, disrupt, poison and damage Father/Child Relationships by creating a toxic conflictual environment, (which for convenience I will refer to as Toxic Parental Alienation Conflict TPAC)I contend that it isn’t the manufactured “conflict” that damages children the most – it is losing their Fathers through Family Law Judges relying on and applying the above mentioned judicial ignorance, faulty research and unsupported assumptions and “mother myths”  in judicial decision making in contested “custody” cases that causes the worst outcomes for children.

In effect – Family Law Judges who make custody decisions “in the best interests of the child” by allowing TPAC to influence erroneous decisions to award “sole custody” to the mothers creating the TPAC and “limited” or “supervised access” to Fathers are entrenching, endorsing and supporting the continuing negative psychological damage being inflicted on children.

How? By giving TPAC mothers permission to continue to cause psychological damage to children BY PREVENTING THESE CHILDREN FROM HAVING A FULL MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR FATHERS.

To reiterate – it isn’t the “conflict” that ultimately causes the most damage to the children – it is losing their fathers.

Which is not to say that that the TPAC isn’t damaging – it is – but there are two negative processes interacting here – children being used as pawns in TPAC, and the RESULT of children being subjected to TPAC – losing their Father – and yes, I acknowledge that mothers have also been the victims of TPAC – but the vast majority of parents being targeted are Fathers.

The Nature of Conflict

It is, for want of a better expression, human nature to disagree with or dispute the opinions, views or positions of other people – we are betimes in conflict with the stated opinions of other people, we express that disagreement and put forward an alternative opinion and/or view. We debate. We argue.

My mother used to say “it would be a boring world if everybody agreed with everybody else all the time” and I concur. No doubt you have all either been involved in, or observed two people in heated exchanges – usually because there is passionate disagreement – if one is unable to convince the other of the validity of your point of view, despite your best efforts, the normal adult thing to do is to “agree to disagree”

On a more mundane everyday level, human life is peppered with small micro disagreements, small incidents of conflict – I want to watch Babylon 5 (Duh!) someone else wants to watch Top Gear (Huh!) ooops – conflict. The solution is glaringly obvious……………for grown ups that is. Get another bloody television.

The point is human life is about conflict, disagreements, disputes, large, small and microscopic – we manage them, we resolve them, usually on the fly and we MOVE ON. This happens in all human relationships – ALL – including parental relationships – obviously some parental relationships are more argumentative, more tetchy, more conflictual than others – but – in the context of those parental relationships, the issue isn’t and shouldn’t be about the level of parental conflict BETWEEN the parents – the issue is – are the children dragged into these conflicts and how do the courts view this “conflict”

There is of course another more insidious underlying process in play – in TPAC the conflict is manufactured, engineered, deliberately instigated, for one purpose and one purpose only – to sever the parental relationship between the child/ren and the targeted parent – usually the father, and the children are manipulated into becoming involved in, part of, and enmeshed in this manufactured “conflict”

The fact that there is “conflict” in particular where one parent is actively engaging in behaviour’s that disrupt, prevent, impede and/or damage the other parents relationship with his child/ren, is actively seeking judicial endorsement of a curtailment of the other parents relationship with his child/ren is, in my opinion an immediate red flag – and should be. Any parent who demands that the Court sanctions and endorses a “gate-keeping” role, authority, position over the other parents relationship with his children is immediately suspect.

I’m going to pause here for a moment for a little aside and quote from Re-examining the Research on Parental Conflict, Coparenting, and Custody Arrangements: Linda Nielsen Wake Forest University: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 2017, Vol. 23, No. 2, 211–231

Empirical Basis for the Conflict Hypothesis

The assumption that, unless parents have a low conflict, cooperative relationship, the children will fare more poorly if they have frequent contact with their father or if they live in a JPC family seems to have originated from five studies in the 1980s. Twenty five to 30 years ago when these studies were conducted, it was generally assumed that children benefitted most from maximum mothering time while their parents lived together, as well as after they separated. From this perspective, restricting the children’s time with their father would have a less negative impact than exposing them to the parental conflict. The assumption was that, unless the parents had a friendly, low conflict relationship, the more time fathers and children spent together, the more conflict would likely arise. These beliefs are reflected in custody laws which have historically restricted children’s time with their fathers to every other weekend and occasional vacation time (DiFonzo, 2014). The earliest of the five studies (Johnston, Kline, & Tschann, 1989) garnered nationwide attention when cited in Wallerstein’s bestselling book on divorce (Wallerstein, Lewis, & Blakeslee, 2000) to support the view that,

Joint custody arrangements that involve the child in going back and forth at frequent intervals are particularly harmful to children in a high conflict family. Children who are ordered to traverse a battleground between warring parents show serious symptoms that affect their physical and mental health. The research findings on how seriously troubled these children are and how quickly their adjustment deteriorates are very powerful. (Wallerstein et al., 2000, p. 215)

Wallerstein’s books received national media attention for well more than a decade (Kirn, 2012). Prioritizing conflict and recommending against JPC or frequent “visitation” unless conflict was low gained further momentum in books written for family court and mental health professionals (Garrity & Baris, 1997; Hodges, 1991; Johnston & Campbell, 1988; Stahl, 1999). Johnston et al. (1989) was a pioneering study that for many years was misinterpreted and cited as evidence that joint physical custody was only suitable for parents with little to no conflict. Given its longstanding influence and the fact that its author (Johnston, 1995) has expressed regret about how the study has been, and continues to be (e.g., Shaffer, 2007) misunderstood and misused, it merits careful attention.”

NB JPC means Joint Physical Custody.

A summary of Dr. Neilsen’s research is available here and the full text of her research paper is here. Dr. Neilsen reviewed 54 studies conducted over an extensive period of time, including the one quoted from above, which has been relied on extensively to support SPC (Sole Physical Custody) decisions and more importantly, the assumptions that Family Law Judges use and are consistently trotted out to support SPC arrangements – Dr. Neilsens research empirically discredits (in my opinion) ALL previous assumptions in relation to SPC decisions, and the erroneous and flawed thinking upon which those decisions have, and continue to be made with regard to the custody of children.

From:

10 Surprising Findings on Shared Parenting After Divorce or Separation: Linda Neilsen

  1. In the 54 studies—absent situations in which children needed protection from an abusive or negligent parent even before their parents separated—children in shared-parenting families had better outcomes than children in sole physical custody families. The measures of well-being included: academic achievement, emotional health (anxiety, depression, self-esteem, life satisfaction), behavioral problems (delinquency, school misbehavior, bullying, drugs, alcohol, smoking), physical health and stress-related illnesses, and relationships with parents, stepparents, and grandparents.
  2. Infants and toddlers in JPC families have no worse outcomes than those in SPC families. Sharing overnight parenting time does not weaken young children’s bonds with either parent.
  3. When the level of parental conflict was factored in, JPC children still had better outcomes across multiple measures of well-being. High conflict did not override the benefits linked to shared parenting, so JPC children’s better outcomes cannot be attributed to lower parental conflict.
  4. Even when family income was factored in, JPC children still had better outcomes. Moreover, JPC parents were not significantly richer than SPC parents.
  5. JPC parents generally did not have better co-parenting relationships or significantly less conflict than SPC parents. The benefits linked to JPC cannot be attributed to better co-parenting or to lower conflict.
  6. Most JPC parents do not mutually or voluntarily agree to the plan at the outset. In the majority of cases, one parent initially opposed the plan and compromised as a result of legal negotiations, mediation, or court orders. Yet in these studies, JPC children still had better outcomes than SPC children.
  7. When children are exposed to high, ongoing conflict between their parents, including physical conflict, they do not have any worse outcomes in JPC than in SPC families. Being involved in high, ongoing conflict is no more damaging to children in JPC than in SPC families.
  8. Maintaining strong relationships with both parents by living in JPC families appears to offset the damage of high parental conflict and poor co-parenting. Although JPC does not eliminate the negative impact of frequently being caught in the middle of high, ongoing conflict between divorced parents, it does appear to reduce children’s stress, anxiety, and depression.
  9. JPC parents are more likely to have detached, distant, and “parallel” parenting relationships than to have “co-parenting” relationships where they work closely together, communicate often, interact regularly, coordinate household rules and routines, or try to parent with the same parenting style.
  10. No study has shown that children whose parents are in high legal conflict or who take their custody dispute to court have worse outcomes than children whose parents have less legal conflict and no custody hearing.

These findings refute a number of popular myths about shared parenting. One among many examples is a 2013 study from the University of Virginia that was reported in dozens of media outlets around the world under frightening headlines such as: “Spending overnights away from mom weakens infants’ bonds.” In the official press release, the researchers stated that their study should guide judges’ decisions about custody for children under the age of four. In fact, however, the study is not in any way applicable to the general population. The participants were impoverished, poorly-educated, non-white parents who had never been married or lived together, had high rates of incarceration, drug abuse, and violence, and had children with multiple partners. Moreover, there were no clear relationships between overnighting and children’s attachments to their mothers.

My review of 54 studies on shared parenting finds that, independent of parental conflict and family income, children in shared physical custody families—with the exception of situations where children need protection from an abusive or negligent parent—have better outcomes across a variety of measures of well-being than do children in sole physical custody. Knowledge and understanding of these findings allow us to dismantle some of the myths surrounding shared parenting so we can better serve the interests of the millions of children whose parents are no longer living together.

Dr. Linda Nielsen is a professor of Adolescent and Educational Psychology at Wake Forest University. She has written numerous articles on shared parenting research and is frequently called upon to share the research with legislative committees and family court professionals. For copies of her research articles contact nielsen@wfu.edu

So, TPAC creates, manufactures, engineers and feeds the conflict, damaging the children subjected to it, and the Courts sees this “conflict” and award SPC to the perpetrator, the instigator, the manipulator, further causing psychological distress and damage to these already burdened children, and the circuit is complete.

The alienator has achieved her object – destroyed the relationship between the children and his/her father, and basking in the glow of victory, sweeps out of Court with a smirk – the children are……..collateral damage. She won!

Family Law Judges believe they have achieved a “reasonable and just outcome”………………..in the best interests of the child.

Feminists, their twisted acolytes and enablers cheer yet another victory over “the patriarchy” and all’s well with the world, alternatively they pen this rubbish. Sigh. I know.

From: “… HE’S JUST SWAPPED HIS FISTS FOR THE SYSTEM” THE GOVERNANCE OF GENDER THROUGH CUSTODY LAW Author(s): VIVIENNE ELIZABETH, NICOLA GAVEY and  JULIA TOLMIE Source: Gender and Society, Vol. 26, No. 2 (April 2012), pp. 239-260 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.

“In Anglo-Western countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, state interventions to “assist” parents who cannot agree on postseparation care arrangements are informed by the welfare principle, better known by the seemingly simple phrase “the best interests of the child.” As others have pointed out, the welfare principle is notoriously indeterminate; what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation (Boyd 2003,2004,2006; Collier 2006; Coltrane and Hickman 1992; Fineman 1988; Kaganas and Day Sclater 2004; Rhoades 2002, 2006; Smart 1997; Smart and Neale 1999a).

Partly as a result of attempts by a global fathers’ rights movement to reassert entitlements to children, the welfare principle is currently defined in terms of an ongoing relationship with both parents. This understanding of a child’s best interests is associated with a shift to joint legal custody, which accords the rights and in theory the responsibilities of parenthood to both parents irrespective of the nature of their relationship, and the rise of joint physical custody—a situation that includes a wide variety of care arrangements for children, all of which generally involve children spending time in the physical care of both parents.

In Australia and an increasing number of U.S. states, emphasis is placed on equal shared parenting, which entails children spending approximately 50:50 time in the physical care of each parent.

In this article, we treat the intervention of custody law, framed by both custody legislation and the actions of various family law professionals, including judges, lawyers, mediators, psychologists, counselors and social workers, in the lives of separated parents as an instance of the governance of gender (Brush 2003).”

Though one of my favourite quotes from this “research” is this:

“Indeed, Rekha Mirchandani (2006) on the basis of her research on a domestic violence court in Salt Lake City, Utah, claims that state institutions can be transformed into feminist regimes that challenge “male dominance in the home” by undermining men’s prerogatives in relation to their partners and children.”

The irony of the authors use of the words “entitlements” and “men’s prerogatives” has not escaped me, nor you I would imagine.

So, “best interests of the child” is to all intents and purposes the new mantra of Family Law Courts, notwithstanding the authors of HE’S JUST SWAPPED HIS FISTS FOR THE SYSTEM” THE GOVERNANCE OF GENDER THROUGH CUSTODY LAW………etc  contention that “……what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation…….”

“In Anglo-Western countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, state interventions to “assist” parents who cannot agree on postseparation care arrangements are informed by the welfare principle, better known by the seemingly simple phrase “the best interests of the child.” As others have pointed out, the welfare principle is notoriously indeterminate; what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation (Boyd 2003,2004,2006; Collier 2006; Coltrane and Hickman 1992; Fineman 1988; Kaganas and Day Sclater 2004; Rhoades 2002, 2006; Smart 1997; Smart and Neale 1999a).”

Actually – it isn’t – in contention – by legitimate unbiased and responsible persons working in the area of child welfare. But, feminists do so love their vague wishy washy, woozly, “what the hell is she talking about” “research” “I’m just going to pull a load of figures out my ass and present them as legitimate research to support whatever twisted and ideologically driven “theory” I have subscribed to”

Nor, I might add, is it a vague and ephemeral concept in law.

In The Best Interests of the Child…..How The Courts Get it Wrong. Part 2.

Part 2 on Monday.

 

 

 

Rory Hearn on Austerity

“Ireland’s austerity ‘success’ is no model for Greece

GREECE is being told to follow Ireland’s crisis solution of harsh austerity and acceptance of bank-and-bailout debt. This narrative conveniently ignores that the Irish ‘recovery’ has been built on major human rights violations and the undermining of long-term social and economic development.

Health spending has been cut by 27% since 2008, resulting in an 81% increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys and chairs in emergency departments.

There is a dark side to Ireland’s ‘success’ that requires discussion about the most effective responses to financial and fiscal crises.

The eight austerity budgets between 2008 and 2014 involved €18.5bn in public-spending cuts and €12bn in tax-raising (revenue) measures. Key public services, in particular health and housing, have been weakened as a result.

Public service staff have been reduced by 10% (37,500). Health spending has been cut by 27% since 2008, resulting in an 81% increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys and chairs in emergency departments. One-third of all children admitted to hospital suffering with mental-health difficulties have been put in adult wards and the waiting lists for youth mental-health services have increased to 2,818 people.

Funding for local authority housing was cut from €1.3bn, in 2007, to just €83m, in 2013. This meant a loss of 25,000 social-housing units. This is a major contribution to the homelessness crisis, with 1,000 children and 500 families now living in emergency accommodation in Dublin. Because of the decision to prioritise bank recapitalisation and developer debt write-down, homeowner mortgage arrears have escalated.

There are 37,000 homeowners in mortgage arrears of over 720 days, and legal repossession notices were issued to 50,000 homeowners.

The cuts to welfare have had devastating impacts.Affected areas include lone-parent supports, child benefit, youth payments, fuel, back-to-school clothing and footwear, rent supplement, and disability and carers’ allowance.

But charges were introduced where they did not exist before — putting a further burden on lower-income households. These charges are ‘regressive’, in that they were not tailored to income level. These include water, property, school transport, prescription, A&E and chemotherapy charges. Fees have effectively been reintroduced at third-level (increasing from €1,000 to €3,000). This will have major implications for participation rates from lower-income households.

Funding for local community development, youth organisations, drugs prevention, family support, and to combat rural and urban disadvantage was disproportionally hit. Programme funding was reduced by 50%.

We are likely to see the long-term social impacts of these cuts in the further exclusion from the labour force of youths in disadvantaged areas. Issues of drugs and crime will surely worsen.

An EU report on the impact of austerity showed that the quality of secondary- and primary-level education has also been reduced, with fewer teachers, rationalisation of teacher/student support services, and the abolition of school grants.

The report links early school-leaving to austerity measures, which are highly concentrated in low-income areas. This, along with the cuts in funding to third-level, will seriously damage our education system, the core of the country’s economic development.

Hundreds of thousands of families and children have been pushed into poverty. The child-poverty rate rose from 18%, in 2008, to 29.1%, in 2013.The deprivation rate increased from 26.9%, in 2012, to 30.5%, in 2013, while for lone-parent families it has risen to 63%. Food poverty affects 600,000 (up 13.2%). Austerity has also devastated rural areas and small towns, with unemployment levels remaining much higher in the south-east.

In one of the most disturbing pieces of research into the impact of austerity, UCC and the National Suicide Research Foundation found an increase in self-harm rates of 31% in men, and 22% in women, between 2008 and 2012, while the male suicide rate is 57% higher (that’s 500 additional deaths). They cited a number of factors, including reductions in public expenditure, cuts to welfare, substantial healthcare cuts, falling house prices and personal debt.

Capital expenditure on important public infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, roads, transport, broadband, water and wastewater was drastically reduced, by 60%, between 2008 and 2014.

Such spending on infrastructure is the bedrock of sustainable and competitive economies, and the lost decade of investment in these will leave Ireland’s economy much more vulnerable into the future.

Don’t forget, also, €17bn of our national pension reserve — which was available to fund infrastructure development and future pensions — was put into the bailout.

The commitment by Irish governments to pay all the bank- and crisis-related debt will damage our long-term social and economic development, and result in ongoing crises in health, housing, and mental health, and in rising poverty and inequality. This is because funding that should be going to these much-needed public services will, instead, be going on debt interest payments. Debt interest payments rose from €2bn (3.4% of tax revenue), in 2007, to a staggering €7.5bn, or 18% of all tax revenue, in 2014. These interest payments will enforce a form of permanent austerity in the coming decade.

Then, there is the often-forgotten issue of forced emigration. Almost 10% of Irish young people emigrated during the recession and emigration worsened as austerity intensified. It rose from 20,000, in 2009, to 50,000, in 2013. Without emigration, the unemployment rate would be 20%.

Finally, almost half of Ireland’s dramatic increase in GDP is from multinational activity, which does not take place in Ireland.

Thus, much of Ireland’s growth is based on facilitating some of the most profitable global corporations and financial services in reducing the tax they otherwise would have to pay to countries across the world. This is an unethical, unfair, and ultimately unsustainable form of economic activity.

It is clear, as highlighted by a recent assessment by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, that austerity hit the most vulnerable and marginalised the hardest in Ireland. But there was, and remains, a choice about how countries such as Ireland and Greece, and the Troika, respond to debt and financial crises. Debt relief is an important option, as is taxing the wealthy, financial services or higher incomes, rather than taking it from public services, the poor and middle-income earners. The Troika and Irish governments favoured the latter and we can see the human misery and economic damage caused, as a result.

The Irish austerity-and-recovery model is being misrepresented on the international stage and should not be followed by Greece or other crises countries.

The Irish case actually points to the human and economic necessity of debt relief and alternative approaches to fiscal crises.

Dr Rory Hearne is a lecturer in the department of geography and faculty of social sciences at Maynooth University

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved”

 

 

 

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/irelands-austerity-success-is-no-model-for-greece-340662.html

 

 

 

 

 

My Note – What he said 🙂

“An Irish Solution to an Irish Problem”

 

Before I say what I have to say I want to put some contact details and numbers up, and for anyone that because of the topic I am about to addresses finds themselves hurled back into time, a painful time that stripped them of their innocence, that allowed them to become prey for evil and malign bastards – I am so sorry.

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Many of you having been carrying this pain, this anguish for many many years – you have lived your lives in the shadows, and tried to do whatever you could do to numb that terrible pain.

NOTHING that happened to you was your fault – NOTHING – you were a child – an innocent – those people who did this to you – May they Rot in Hell.

Ireland is and has been place that hides and connives with evil – THIS State for many many years threw its innocents to the wolves – wolves dressed in clerical garb. And this all happened in not so distant past.

THIS State allowed vicious evil men and women to abuse innocent children, mostly boys, but also girls, and fucking paid them to do it.

Then as those children finally escaped – those that survived – from this nightmare “childhood” threw them – some of them – literally out onto the streets. When those first brave souls – having survived that nightmare “childhood” somehow found the courage to reveal their nightmares – to stand up and say the truth of what had been done them – what did this State do?

It tried to protect these monsters – it tried to wash its hands of responsibility and complicity in the vileness, the evil, the malignancy that festered in this State for many many years.

No – not way back in the mists of time – not in some faraway time that no one who is living now doesn’t remember. In our lifetimes.

IN LIVING MEMORY. In the 1980’s and 1990’s. When those damaged and wounded souls started to come forward – I was there – I remember the horrors that began to emerge – how these damaged and wounded innocents were treated.

For those who did come forward they found themselves caught in another nightmare – a nightmare where THIS State failed them again.

Then the suicide rates started to climb – men who could no longer live with the pain of what had been done to them – gave up.

There are men living in this State NOW – who wake with nightmares, who try to numb the pain of what was done to them, with alcohol – with anything that help them forget – but they don’t forget.

Feminism isn’t “the cause” of the toxic roots of this State’s most egregious and evil deeds RELIGION is – RELIGION endorsed by, protected by and condoned by THIS STATE.

For decades this State connived with a poisonous and evil malign force – from the foundation of this State between 1916 – 1937 – THIS STATE embraced that toxic, malign and evil force and gave its adherents its innocent children to abuse, to harm, to dispose of, to damage.

Right up until the late 1970’s – for any child who found himself, and in some cases herself trapped in this nightmare – they would have entered adulthood in the 1980’s and 1990’s carrying the scars, the pain, the anguish of what was done to them.

When the first “women’s libbers” made their appearance onto the public stage in this benighted country in the early 1970’s – the vast majority of people in this country – both women and men REJECTED it – why would we need ANOTHER toxic doctrine, when we already had the most vile and evil one?

At first, there was an awareness raised of LEGITIMATE women’s rights issues – and yes – there were LEGITIMATE issues – women DID have unfair and biased laws and policies to contend with – LEGITIMATE issues that needed to be addressed – and in spite of what “feminism” would have you believe – they were – albeit reluctantly and albeit grudgingly – as this happened – the “women’s lib” movement faded away – became more or less irrelevant – except for a few – for a few nasty and indoctrinated women – this wasn’t good enough – so they began “importing” those who would and could make sure that as we struggled to shake off one toxic vile and evil doctrine – another one was ready to takes its place – another one that with determination and a concentrated and focused campaign began to infect and infest our state – WITH yet again, the connivance of THIS State.

What was and is to my mind, looking back at that period a horror show– the 1980’s and 1990’s – was watching two opposing and equally vile and evil doctrines vying for supremacy in the hearts and minds of Irish people – as the horrors of the results of one toxic vile and evil doctrine were revealed – another one waited in the wings to take over.

We exchanged one cult for another – one religion for another – one set of poisonous “beliefs” for another.

We sent our own to be “trained” in the tenets of this new toxic doctrine – to the US – to the UK – to Canada – and they came back – armed with the tools they needed to begin their work – and as with history – a convergence of events created the absolute perfect environment for them and this new toxic doctrine to take root, to spread and to solidify its position as the “new religion”

The Celtic Tiger started to roar – all of a sudden – we had arrived – now the time was ripe for this “new religion” to step up and start manufacturing “grievances” to start demanding “funding” and boy did they ever get it – millions and millions of Euros were poured into “Women’s Programmes” millions and millions of Euros were “up for grabs” – I know – I was there – I worked in adult education – I worked on some of these programmes – and no – my preference was to work with men – because it didn’t take long for me to realise that women – women were – obnoxious – and now they were encouraged to be even MORE obnoxious – more greedy and grasping – all of a sudden – this STATE was awash with “victims of the patriarchy” you know when was the first time I heard that phrase? 1986.

The first time I heard this? “women have been oppressed for centuries by all men”? Around 7/8 years or so later – you who said it? Germaine bloody Greer – you know what my reaction was? Oh fuck off you dozy twat.

Feminism replaced Catholicism in this State as the “religion of choice” FOR women – feminism did what it has always done – it hijacked a LEGITIMATE civil rights movement and imposed its own toxic doctrine ON that movement till there was nothing left of that original and LEGITIMATE movement – it happened gradually – it happened in fits and starts – and it took till the late 1980’s early 1990’s for it to have its claws deeply embedded enough into not just the consciousness of the people of this State, but into every policy area, every government department, every civil society organisation and “charity”.

THAT is the “History of Feminism” in Ireland – THAT is the “back – story” to the CAUSES of so many problems, so many “issues” so many layers of Human Rights abuses IN Ireland.

We are not dealing with the toxic fallout of ONE “religion” we are dealing with the toxic fallout of ironically, two opposing but equally nasty, equally vile, equally malign forces.

For a very brief period in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there was an overlap – as these two toxic doctrines vied for supremacy – and we all know which one emerged “the winner”

THAT is why – when it comes to “fighting feminism” IN Ireland – it is too simplistic to say that “feminism is the cause of all our problems” it is beyond ignorant and ill-informed to try and impose either an American model or even a UK model of “men’s rights activism” onto this complex and multilayered mess IN Ireland.

Neither of those countries ever allowed RELIGION to dictate – the workings of The State – neither of those countries ever would have allowed its Head of State to be hauled before a bloody bishop – Charles McQuaid – if you’re interested – and TOLD what “Government Policy” was acceptable to that RELIGION, and have that government comply.

Nor would Canada or Australia – THAT is why “fighting feminism” or fighting the toxic influence of feminism IN Ireland – requires that you know your bloody history – you understand and acknowledge the more complex, more multi-layered CAUSES and factors that operate in and have operated IN Ireland.

Feminism isn’t our only problem – our fucking history is our problem – feminism is a factor.

 

 

Darkness Into Light – Suicide in Ireland – The True Picture.

 

Contrary to what amounts to a cynical propaganda attempt by MHRI (Men’s Human Rights Ireland) to portray the issue of suicide in Ireland, and in particular male suicide as a health and social issue that is and has been swept under the carpet in Ireland – the exact reverse is the true picture – this is an issue that does receive attention – by qualified professionals – in particular Dr. Joan Freeman of Pieta House among many many others.

In fact MHRI takes some swipes at Pieta House – a free service in the business of offering help and support to those who are suicidal – because Pieta House doesn’t engage in rhetorical battles with feminists – they support, counsel and help suicidal persons to reach a place where taking your life becomes less of a viable option – MHRI also fails to mention that when one is receiving counselling (as I have) the contents of what you say is CONFIDENTIAL. As are the sessions offered by the many other suicide prevention services available in Ireland – whom they also fail to mention or give credit to, no doubt also expecting those service providers to also reveal the CONFIDENTIAL substance of these counselling sessions so that MHRI can reveal these sometimes painful sessions to the entire world in order to take pot shots at feminists. Nice.

Nor does MHRI even consider for one moment acknowledging or giving credit to the hundreds if not thousands of people who dedicate themselves selflessly, many on a voluntary basis to provide these services – to be a voice at the end of a phone willing to listen for as long as it takes to a human being in pain, for no other reason than to – be there – listening.

 

“About Pieta House

Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, opened its doors in Lucan in January 2006. Since then, six centres of excellence have followed suit in Ballyfermot, Mungret, Roscrea, Tuam, Bishopstown and most recently Castleisland while we also have an outreach centre in Finglas.

Our founder, Joan Freeman, was a practicing psychologist. She closed down her counselling business almost a decade ago to dedicate her time to helping people who were suicidal. After three years of research, she opened up Pieta House in Lucan, County Dublin. It quickly became a respected and recognised service for those who were in suicidal distress.

With her long experience of counselling people who were self-harming, Joan knew this taboo subject was little discussed and rarely understood. She decided that Pieta House would also help people with this distressing issue.

Pieta House now has a staff of 170 and the demand for our services hasn’t let up. In 2013, nearly 4,000 people came to Pieta House for help and the numbers contacting us are rising all the time.

We’re passionate about our work. As 90% of our income comes from fundraising events, we rely heavily on the support and encouragement of our volunteers and the friends of Pieta.”

In fact AVfM did a feature on Dr. Freeman, at the launch of a campaign specifically addressing the issue of male suicide – the Mind Our Men campaign – launched in early 2013. I have searched through practically everything published on AVfM from November 2012 – October 2013 and cannot locate the video of the news programme featuring Dr. Joan Freeman that was published on AVfM to link too, at this point you can either take my word for it or not – the lack of this link does not negate the substance of and validity of the information I have incorporated into this article which shows that the picture presented by MHRI about suicide in Ireland and how it is addressed is patently false. Please see this link to illustrate not only the work that Dr. Joan Freeman is doing, but how the mainstream media, in the form of our national TV station covers this issue sensitively and seriously.

Not only is the issue of male suicide being addressed, but these dedicated and qualified people have been working in Ireland as you saw above, since 2006 – for eight years – and began this work at a time when suicide was not something you talked about – Dr. Joan Freeman and her colleagues changed that – so to have MHRI swoop in with their Save Our Sons campaign – and insinuate that until now this issue was being ignored is beyond cynical, beyond calculated, and smacks of a propaganda campaign to propel a less than savoury agenda – now who does that remind me of I wonder?

In fact there is another campaign being run, also under the auspices of Pieta House – it is called Darkness into Light which is in its sixth year.

“Speaking at the launch in The Little Museum of Dublin, Joan Freeman, CEO and founder of Pieta House said: “Darkness into Light is an incredible experience and one that people remember for a long, long time. There’s already huge anticipation and with so many new locations involved for 2014 it’s going from strength to strength. We’re tying this year’s event in with our Mind Our Men campaign that aims to reduce male suicide in Ireland, so I want to ask everyone to bring a male friend or family member with them. We’re making a big push this year to get all the men out – it means an early rise but they won’t regret it.”

Darkness Into Light 2013 attracted 40,000 participants in 20 locations around Ireland. With this year’s event taking place in 39 locations, Pieta House is hoping for a near doubling of last year’s turnout.”

Not only that but this year’s event, which takes place on 10th May 2014 will be an international event

London and Sydney will host Darkness Into Light events this year as Pieta House’s flagship fundraiser held in association with Electric Ireland goes international for the first time.”

I have a relatively simple philosophy – I believe in Human Rights – and the only qualification to be vested with Human Rights is to be a Human Being.

Right now all over this planet, men’s human rights are being violated – men are suffering, men and boys are being marginalised, abused, disenfranchised and literally throw onto the rubbish heap of humanity as disposable, as detritus, as worth less than a used tissue.

Anyone who is prepared to stand up and recognise this, and work for and on behalf of men and boys – gets MY vote – anyone who has dedicated themselves unselfishly to work for the betterment of men and boys deserves not just the credit for this, but our support, our recognition and our thanks.

One of those people is Dr. Joan Freeman and her 170 volunteers and colleagues who have spent nigh on 10 years in Ireland changing the public’s perception of not just the issue of suicide in Ireland but of male suicide in Ireland and of raising awareness of this issue.

What MHRI has done – and is doing with this Save Our Sons campaign, in my opinion –is an insult, a calculated cynical insult to all those dedicated people – it is a slap in the face to people who have already “done the groundwork” and it is attempt to use a sensitive and painful issue like suicide to portray themselves as the cavalry charging in to the rescue – that until MHRI came on the scene – nothing was being done – had they thrown their support behind either Pieta House, the Mind Our Men campaign, or the Darkness into Light campaign or even had the fucking decency to mention them – I might not be writing this article now.

But they didn’t – did they – in fact their inaugural article on this subject was so misrepresentative, so completely false that I did take them to task on this blog – and overnight – the article changed – all of a sudden there was a grudging mention of Pieta House.

I took a look at the MHRI site and NONE of the above mentioned campaigns gets a mention – NOT ONE – in favour of peddling a misrepresented picture of how suicide, in particular male suicide is addressed and treated in Ireland.

I don’t personally give a rat’s arse if they call themselves Men’s Rights Activists or not –I’ve been “advised” that any dissension “within the ranks” of the MHRM, either worldwide or here in Ireland would “be bad for Men’s Human Rights in Ireland. That we need to show a “united front”

Really? Is that so? Again, what does that remind me of? What other “movement” “closes ranks” and protects its arseholes, or its most vicious and frankly disturbed members – because – the movement must be protected, at all costs?

I’ll give you a clue – it begins with the letter “F”.

Well fuck that – I don’t give a flying rat’s arse how “high profile” how “influential” or how many “followers” or “high profile supporters” you have – who backs you or doesn’t back you. If you are a wanker, an arsehole, or if you play by the same rulebook that feminists do then – fuck you – you are full of shit, and I have zero tolerance for bullshit, whether it emanates from feminists or MRA/MHRA’s.

THAT’S what will be “bad for Men’s Human Rights in Ireland and worldwide – turning a blind eye to blatant bullshit and misinformation.

And this “campaign” that MHRI is running is bullshit – its putative leader John Gormley is full of shit – yeah you were wondering when I’d get to him. I did contemplate just “letting this go” on the basis that “they can do their thing and I’ll do mine” but – the Men’s Human Rights Movement has enough external enemies working to discredit it, working to find even the slightest little flaw or mistake to pounce on and use to discredit the entire movement – to allow this bullshit to go unchallenged would be to give tacit approval to the same underhanded techniques and sleazy tactics that the feminists use.

I would rather raise the ire and probably hatred of my fellow MHRA’s and be branded a “traitor” or whatever other choice term will now be hurled at me that just stand by silently while this shit is peddled in the name of the MHRM. Wouldn’t be the first time that a supposed fellow MRA has vented his spleen at and about me.

I read that stupid article on AVfM the “boo hoo facebook banned me again” and then the litany of whines about how facebook has been “picking on” poor John!

My first reaction? – big fucking deal – facebook banned you, though I did note you didn’t actually present any evidence of that – nor did you present any evidence of all these “threats” you had received – again – who the fuck does that remind me of?

What I read – was an egotistical, self aggrandising  UNQUALIFIED arsehole trying to portray himself as a valiant messiah bravely battling the forces of evil – all by his little lonesome.

But the most cynical if not downright ironic aspect of this putative messiah’s self aggrandising “mission” is this – he states that:

“We are hitting the streets again shortly more than likely next weekend (supposed to be this weekend but we had to change it at last minute)”

Right above a huge graphic of this cynical Save Our Sons campaign launched by MHRI – without any irony or for that matter acknowledgment of what is taking place the following weekend, not just in Ireland, but in Sydney Australia, and London England.

“On 10th May 2014 will be an international event

London and Sydney will host Darkness Into Light events this year as Pieta House’s flagship fundraiser held in association with Electric Ireland goes international for the first time.”

Nor did AVfM check its own back catalogue that shows an article/video lauding the efforts of Dr. Joan Freeman when she launched the Mind Our Men campaign in Ireland last year, in favour of giving an arsehole the attention, the platform for his own personal little ego trip

You simply took the word of a self aggrandising idiot portraying himself as the new messiah of Men’s Human Rights in Ireland – and on the back of probably the most emotive subject there is – men taking their own lives – in a country that doesn’t give a shit about them – and didn’t, till MHRI came along to save the day. Except on THIS subject – that is a lie.

There are huge Men’s Rights issues in Ireland, and it is those issues that drive these men to take their lives – but is untrue and patently false to claim that “no-one cares” they may not fully understand the dynamics of social/legal and cultural forces that drive these men to do this – but they bloody care – and have been caring for a long time, and working to address and support these men – MHRI has done these dedicated men and women a huge disservice – and what they are engaged in is nothing short of propaganda.

That’s what I saw – that’s what I see – will a shitload of both Irish and non Irish MRA’s including no doubt all the members of MHRI (whoever they are) plus a few more seriously disturbed nutjobs – one of whom was recently banned from AVfM, now launch a big hate campaign against me? Probably.

Do I care? Nope – bring it on. Because unlike MHRI – I don’t subscribe to the view that the end justifies the means – nor do I subscribe to the view that “well misrepresenting facts, disseminating false data or false perceptions works for feminism – so it will work for us”

Do you know what makes Men’s Human Rights Activists different from feminists, what sets the Men’s Human Rights Movement apart from feminism?

We tell the truth, the plain unvarnished truth, we don’t dress it up, we don’t tell half the truth, and cross our fingers on the other half, we don’t present a “version” of the truth” if it suits our purpose

We don’t lie by commission or omission, or fail to show ALL aspects, ALL data, ALL current information in case it diffuses the power or impact of what it is we want to convey.

We tell the truth – even if it shows us in a bad light – we don’t hide behind fudged statistics, manipulated data, we don’t create and manufacture false perceptions – we’re NOT fucking feminists.

We tell the truth.

I want no part, no association with MHRI – I publically condemn them, I publically call bullshit. You want to do some good? You want to advance Men’s Human Rights in Ireland?

Clean up your fucking act!

You want Men’s Human Rights abuses to be taken seriously, not just at a social and cultural level but at a political level, both in Ireland and in the wider world?

Clean up your fucking act!

And have the fucking decency to acknowledge and give due respect to people who have been working their arse’s off FOR Irish men and boys – before you lot were out of short pants and getting your feelings hurt by facebook. Not just in relation to this most sensitive of subjects but all Men’s Rights issues in Ireland – quietly, behind the scenes, for years, with no support, no acknowledgement, and no need to go onto the premier Men’s rights site and whine about getting banned from facebook.

I’ve been told that writing this article and posting it will “damage the MHRM” and my response is this:

Do you think for one minute that the 40,000 people who supported Pieta House’s THREE campaigns last year, or the over 170 people who have worked on a mostly voluntary basis for the last 8 – 10 years – along with the hundreds if not thousands of people who have benefitted from the services provided for FREE by Pieta House DESERVE to be shit all over by arseholes like John Gormley and MHRI – that they DESERVE to be bullshitted out of existence, and have those bullshitters PROTECTED – because it’s bad for the MHRM? People who literally in some cases owe their lives to those dedicated people who work for Pieta House? are to be dismissed and those who did support and help them dismissed?

“Peter, who lost his 16-year-old son Simon to suicide in 2003, went on to set up support organisation SOSAD (Save Our Sons And Daughters).

He says: “I think the reason men are more likely to die by suicide has more to do with the thoughts, such as the ones I had.”

I don’t support liars, I don’t shield bullshitters and I don’t stand by and allow anyone – feminist or MRA to dismiss and misrepresent or ignore the work of people who have dedicated themselves, worked tirelessly and selflessly for the benefit of others including Irish men and boys for years, because it doesn’t suit the agenda of the “movers and shakers” in the fucking MHRM.

I’m NOT a feminist – never have been, never will be – so no I won’t “close ranks” I won’t “turn a blind eye” we either fight this battle with honour, with integrity and with truth or we might as well join the feminist movement – we clean house – we stand by principles NOT personalities – or we give up.

We acknowledge and give credit to those who have worked and are working, who have dedicated and are dedicating themselves in particular to this most sensitive and emotive of all issues – and we do NOT send out a message to men and boys that there is no hope, that no-one cares, that that there is no help, no support, and leave them in more despair than before they logged onto a supposed men’s rights site – to be told this – that until MHRI came there was and is nothing – this is unacceptable – it is cynical and it is bullshit – peddled to portray MHRI as the only source of help – THAT is a lie.

Edge Of The Cliff

 

For those who have contemplated taking their own lives, they will recognise that feeling – of standing on the edge of a cliff – with nothing but darkness behind you, and darkness all around you, and darkness in front of you – one more step – into that darkness and you hope the pain stops.

I know that feeling – five maybe six weeks ago I was standing on the edge of that cliff – it wasn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last – right now I have stepped back – slightly – from the edge of that cliff – but I can still see it from where I stand – metaphorically speaking – it beckons.

Many people who have never experienced this find it hard to understand, they will say things like “you have so much to live for” or “this is not the answer” when in fact, your reality tells you that what you have to live for isn’t enough to make the pain stop, and for you the choice is to either live with the pain or do the only thing you believe will make that pain stop.

You are in the world but not part of the world, breathing is a burden, being awake or being asleep doesn’t change anything – you wish you would just stop breathing, that you would fall asleep and never wake up. All around you the rest of world feels like you are viewing it through dark glass, you feel hollow inside – not just emotionally but physically.

Your emotions don’t feel like they belong to you, yes you still feel anger, even sometimes a form of “normal” someone says something funny and you laugh – but – none of them really feel like part of you – you watch yourself from the outside – playing “normal” or whatever is “normal” for you – it isn’t an act – more like the actions of a person playing the role of the person you used to be.

And all around you the darkness gathers – the edge of the cliff gets closer ond closer, you move towards it and it moves towards you.

Every person who stands on the edge of that cliff does so for different reasons, and each person’s reasons make sense only to them – it all depends on what it is you value – what it is you hold dear – and no two people value or hold dear the same things, in the same way or with the same intensity – but there is one thing that all people who stand on the edge of that cliff have in common – they don’t value or hold dear themselves.

They believe that it is them, they are the problem, their mere existence is what causes and creates “problems” for others – and inevitably – it is the actions and behaviours of those “others” that reinforces that belief.

But when I say “others” I don’t just mean random strangers who take umbrage with you – or persons unknown to you who try to strip away and dismantle that shield, that barrier that, emotional and psychological roadblock that stands between you and the edge of the cliff.

As human beings, we invest only certain people with that power, we give only certain people that power, we make ourselves vulnerable to only certain people, we hand only them the weapons they need to dismantle that roadblock. We do this gladly because we believe they will never use them. Against us.

In my case, it was my children, and for many men, it is also their children, all psychological and emotional barriers come down, you make yourself vulnerable, and you do it gladly, for your children.

When your children are born, a connection is made that defies description, a bond is created that exists on more than just an emotional plane – it transcends all that – it is comprised of a substance that if severed actually feels like your connection to life itself has been severed. This is not a female or male bond – it is a human bond.

My children launched a campaign against me about five or six weeks ago – a vicious hate campaign – along with their father and his girlfriend and to the best of my knowledge a number of other “anonymous” persons – I have been alienated from them for about six years – and yes I know it is unusual for a mother to be alienated from her children, it is almost always fathers who find themselves cast into that outer darkness, vilified and literally cast into the role of the “sum of all evil” every bad thing that has ever happened in the world is laid at your door – every cross word, mistake and flaw is magnified out of all proportion – till even you start to see yourself as that monster they have created.

What I do also know that as soon as I have posted this they will start again – they will sneer, they will up the ante – they will snigger and they will call me a liar, in fact all sorts of names – that or they will post comments and send me emails urging me to “just do it” “we will dance on your grave” they will demand proof – and the only “proof” that would satisfy them would be my death. Should I continue to live they will cite that as proof that I “was just looking for attention”

But, it is when you finally lose hope – as I did – that you become empty, hollow, when the darkness envelopes you – and when you find yourself standing on the edge of that cliff – because you see – you realise – it is your existence – the fact that you are breathing, that you are here – that is causing those who you love the most to be consumed with hatred for you – you can feel it – it actually feels like you are choking on it.

Many men find themselves in that position – not seeing your children is one thing – having those who have been instrumental in creating this is another thing – but having those children – embrace and then hurl back at you the hatred, the venom, the anger and the vileness that is Parental Alienation is when you know – when you know that – there is nothing more to live for.

That’s why you stand on the edge of that cliff – because this is a hatred that you cannot brush off, cannot shrug at, cannot ignore or live with – this is a hatred that reaches into your very soul and rips you apart – tears down that barrier as if it was tissue paper – this is a hatred that finds you standing on the edge of that cliff – because there is no other place left for you to go.

I am still here because of two people – they literally saved my life – or – have allowed me to step back from that cliff edge – yes I can still see it – yes it is still there – just over the horizon – is the pain gone? No – pain like that doesn’t just go away – its sleeps – it curls up inside you – and every now and then it stretches and unfolds its claws – every now and then it expands and envelopes you – you start learning to share your life with it – you accommodate it – you make room for it – and you hope and pray that you and it can co-exist. Because you have no choice – because you see – that kind of pain holds all the cards.

You don’t control it – its controls you – it lies in wait – and strikes when the mood takes it – there are people who understand this, who know that right now, you simply do not have the emotional or psychological tools to excise this pain – to rebuild that barrier – to step far enough away so that it becomes unimportant – until it is so far away and you have rebuilt a strong enough barrier so that it would take a lot (you hope) to tear it down again.

They understand your reality, and accept it – they don’t try to impose their reality on to you and expect you to embrace it – they teach you to live within your reality. Because as human beings that is all we can ever do – live within our own realities and learn slowly and gradually to accommodate all aspects of that reality, including learning to live with a part of yourself missing and with the pain that this brings.

You don’t heal – you start learning to live with wounds.

I wrote an article excoriating MHRI (Men’s Human Rights Ireland) and calling bullshit on their cynical Save Our Sons, and dissemination of a completely false picture of suicide and suicide prevention services in Ireland (which I will publish later) campaign because – suicide is not a game – it is not a PR opportunity – it isn’t a political or rhetorical weapon to beat feminists over the head with – the fact that a human being has taken their own life successfully is not a matter of numbers, of statistics – of comparisons.

The issue isn’t numbers, the issue is REASONS. Suicide is not an agenda – it is a human tragedy. Human life is and can be fragile – we have all at some time or another stood either at the edge of that cliff or close to it – suicide prevention is more than just a skill one can learn, it requires a level of dedication and humanity that very few possess or have a gift for – those people who do are – worthy of our thanks, and our acknowledgment – which they rarely if ever ask for or expect. They do their work quietly, without fanfare, they do it without a thought for themselves – they do it because they must do it.

The issue is that a human being was in such despair, such pain and anguish that for that human being the only escape was in death – THAT is the issue – does it really matter if that human being is male or female – or are we now in the business of applying different standards of value to human beings, within the MHRM – only this time the other way round – more men take their lives than women – more boys than girls – does THAT really matter when one way or another – a human being lies dead at his/her own hand? We address the REASONS – we address the causes – and pay due respect – give due credit to all those selfless and dedicated people who wait on the end of a phone line – to try a save a human life. Any life.

The reality of people standing on the edge of that cliff – with only one more step to go – is quite another thing – and is an issue of their reality – of the life they are forced to live – of the limitations imposed upon them by external forces, by the actions or inactions of others – by the creation of a reality that is made up of many factors – by the deliberate and focused enveloping of a darkness of the soul – and for many many men and boys it is mostly women who create and concoct and manufacture that darkness.

But, in spite of the greater numbers of men and boys who find themselves in that darkness – standing on the edge of a cliff – women and girls too find themselves there – what matters is NOT that the person standing in the darkness, on the edge of that cliff is male or female – not at that point – what matters is that a human being is standing there – a human being that see’s and feels nothing but pain – nothing but darkness.

That darkness is made up of hatred, of vitriol, of revenge, of a desire to inflict pain, of lies, of distortions and of malice – and it is endorsed, encouraged and applauded by those who refuse to acknowledge its existence, who refuse to open their eyes and see – because no-one wants to believe that human beings would do that to one another. What propels a human being on that journey to the edge of that cliff is where we must focus our attention – is what we must address – and it is invariably the actions or inactions of other human beings that fuel this journey. Do the numbers matter? Not really. The REASONS matter.

But no-one wants their illusions shattered, their false perceptions corrected, their comfortable lies and myths exposed – to do so would mean acknowledging their complicity – recognising the part they have played – sometimes unconsciously, carelessly, human beings do not want to accept that they have within themselves the capacity to inflict such pain, such grief, such soul destroying injury on another human being – because that would mean they would have to look at a part of themselves that is dark, is malign, is vicious, is hateful.

You don’t heal – you learn to live with wounds – wounds that have been inflicted by those who you believed were incapable of such things – that is why you stand on the edge of that cliff.

I know this is just one set of circumstances that can propel a person to stand on the edge of that cliff – there are others – many others – but the motivating factor is loss – loss of something precious to you – of something you value – of something that gives your life meaning.

The choice facing those who stand there – looking into that darkness isn’t whether you will or you won’t take your own life – the choice is – can you or can you not live with the pain of what you have lost

Can you share that life with that pain – is there enough for you to hang onto to – will you be able to wake up the next day, and the next day, and the next day – knowing that the pain, the loss is waiting for you – will be your constant companion?

It isn’t about wanting to die – it is about being afraid to live.

 

To those who are now or are edging closer to the edge of that cliff – please – I beg you – pause – just for a moment and make one last call – take out your mobile phone – and just make one last call. It will only take a minute.

I know it doesn’t matter to you – I know you can’t see the point – and I know you think it’s a waste of time – but there are some people who want you to waste their time – who have nothing else to do right now except wait for you to call.

That’s all they do – wait for you to call – one last call – what can it matter – you can always hang up – but just make that one last call – please. A few more minutes is all it will take.

Put these numbers into your phone now – even if you know you will never phone them – just put them in – even just one into your phone now. Don’t leave without saying goodbye to just one person, without hearing for the last time the voice of another human being.

Samaritans116 123

http://www.samaritans.org/your-community/samaritans-work-ireland

1Life 1 800 24 7 100

http://www.1life.ie/index.html

TextHELP – 51 444

Console1 800 247 247

http://www.console.ie/

 

If you believe that you are nearing closer to the edge of that cliff then, contact;

 

SOSAD (Save Our Sons and Daughters)

http://www.sosadireland.ie/locations.php

Office Locations

Carrickmacross

6A Parnell Street, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

24 hour emergency: 042-9668992, 086-0459168 Email: carrick@sosadireland.ie

 

Cavan

3 Tower Hamlets (beside Garda station) Farnham Street, Cavan, Co. Cavan
24 hour emergency: 049 4326339, 0834339090 Email: cavan@sosadireland.ie

 Drogheda

30 Magdalene St, Drogheda, Co. Louth
24 hour emergency: 041 9848754 Email: info@sosadireland.ie

 Dundalk

31 Williamson’s place, Dundalk, Co. Louth
24 hour emergency: 042 9327311, 083 4244182 Email: dundalk@sosadireland.ie

 Navan

4 O’Growney Tce, Navan, Co. Meath
24 hour emergency: 046 9031855, 083 3712622 Email: navan@sosadireland.ie

 Tullamore

Bow House, O Moore St, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
24 hour emergency: 057 9346704, 083 1711238 Email: tullamore@sosadireland.ie

 

Or: Find your nearest Pieta House:

http://www.pieta.ie/index.php/contact-us

Pieta House Ballyfermot

Mount La Salle Ballyfermot Road Dublin 10 Phone: 01-6200020 Centre Manager: Noeleen Devlin

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am to 8pm Saturday: 10am to 3pm

 

Pieta House Cork

Highfield Lawn, Model Farm Road Bishopstown Cork Phone: 021-4341400 Centre Manager: Sylvia O’Driscoll Wong

Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9am to 5pm Wednesday: 9am to 8pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm

 

Pieta House Finglas

47 Mellowes Court Finglas Dublin 11 Phone: 01-8648899 Centre Manager: Linda Murray

Opening Hours: Monday: 5.30pm to 9.30pm Tuesday: 10am to 2pm Wednesday: 2pm to 6pm Thursday: 9am to 2pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm

 

Pieta House Kerry

Crageens Castleisland County Kerry Phone: 066-7163660 Centre Manager: To be confirmed

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

 

Pieta House Lucan

Lucan Road Lucan Dublin Phone: 01-6010000 Centre Manager: Avril Mansouri

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 9pm Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 2pm

 

Pieta House Midwest

Ardaulin Mungret Limerick Phone: 061-484444 Centre Manager: Nora Conway

Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 9am to 5pm Tuesday and Thursday: 9am to 8pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm

 

Pieta House Roscrea

The Glebe, Ballyhall, Roscrea Tipperary Phone: 0505-22568 Centre Manager: Martina Leamy

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 2pm Wednesday: 4pm to 8pm

 

Pieta House Tallaght

Mount La Salle Ballyfermot Road Dublin 10 Phone: 087-9368633 Centre Manager: Enda Dowling

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm

 

Pieta House West

Bishop Street Tuam Galway Phone: 093-25586 Centre Manager: To be confirmed

Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9am to 5pm Wednesday: 9am to 8pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm

For additional information on our services email:mary@pieta.ie

 

 

 

Personal Statement.

My apologies for not responding to most of the emails sent to mensrightsireland@gmail.com or to comments on this blog or on my other blog over the last two weeks

I am posting this on both:

http://www.mensrightsarehumanrights.wordpress.com – Not A Feminist

and

http://www.mensrightsireland.wordpress.com – Men’s Rights Ireland

 

I have been dealing with a personal crisis, the details of which I personally am not ready to share, though others might, or perhaps already have, in or on some other media. I have no doubt that when they see this they will be more than delighted to, as one of them has already stated she “has stories to tell” at this point I neither care, nor am concerned about whatever “stories” any of them tell.

The event in Maynooth on 3rd of May has to be rescheduled, till either the 7th June 2014 or the 14th of June 2014, but it IS going ahead and I will confirm those details by the end of this week.

I will endeavour to respond to the many emails I have received on mensrightsireland@gmail.com over today and tomorrow and to the comments posted on this blog and my other one, and I offer my sincere apologies for simply just disappearing and failing to respond to both emails and most of the comments posted in the last two weeks. I only came back “online” a few days ago – for brief periods.

With my best wishes to all those engaged in the Men’s Human Rights Movement and to the many people who have posted such interesting and thought provoking comments on not just this blog, but my other one, and to all men and boys and fathers everywhere who are struggling with living in this world as it is today.

 

Anne Marie Dempsey/Anja Eriud

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