“David Nevers, of Hinsdale, Ill., was once featured on an ABC domestic violence special after his wife got his kids — even though she put him in the hospital, he said.
“‘Please, before you crucify Mr. Dickinson for his comments, listen to some of the stories divorced fathers have to tell,’ he added.”
In a story recently reported by the Associated Press in hundreds of news outlets, embattled politician Crow Dickinson of Conway, New Hampshire pointed to the problem of women using false domestic violence accusations to gain leverage in divorce. He is being crucified by misguided women’s advocates. His comments came as he was asked to explain his vote against more funding for a local domestic violence service provider.
In response, Fathers & Families supporters deluged the Conway town council (“Board of Selectmen”) with letters in support of Dickinson. Today the local newspaper group, which includes the Laconia Daily Sun, Conway Daily Sun, and others, wrote a series of articles about our protests and the controversy.
For more background on the issue, click here.
In “Domestic violence against men a ‘hidden problem,” (2/27/09), reporter Nate Giarnese writes:
Who”s sticking up for men? Droves are too ashamed to admit abuse at the hands of women they love. Many fear that reporting it means losing wives, kids and homes, or getting carted off to jail by a system geared toward women, men”s advocates say.
“It”s a hidden problem,’ said Glenn Sacks of Fathers and Families. Sacks said he”s got nothing against women”s shelters and takes no position on Conway”s decision not to fund Starting Point. But after Conway selectman Crow Dickinson was vilified across the nation last week for saying women file false claims to gain leverage in divorce battles, group members are leaping to Dickinson”s side.
“It”s completely true,’ Sacks said. “Several hundred of our members have written to selectmen in support of Crow Dickinson.’
David Nevers, of Hinsdale, Ill., was once featured on an ABC domestic violence special after his wife got his kids — even though she put him in the hospital, he said.
“Despite sending me to the ER four times (second- degree burns, broken nose, torn kneecap and a concussion), and despite being arrested for domestic battery (and pleading guilty), my ex-wife was awarded sole custody of our three daughters, and ownership of the marital residence,’ he wrote.
“Please, before you crucify Mr. Dickinson for his comments, listen to some of the stories divorced fathers have to tell,’ he added.
Even women rose to declare that men being falsely accused is a recurring problem.
“Sometimes when a man can prove that these charges are false, the woman gets no sanctions put against her,’ wrote Barbara LaMarra. “It is a good time to check out the judges who believe this nonsense and put them off the bench. It is certainly time for change.’
Sacks said men resist calling police or shelters for help because they know they can be immediately arrested under laws aimed at safeguarding women. If they have any hopes of keeping their children, leaving home, even through a court-regulated divorce, is a scary risk, he said.
“They don”t want to provoke a divorce if a divorce means she”s going to get custody of the kids,’ he said. “If they leave with the kids, there”s an Amber Alert, they get arrested. But they don”t want to leave their kids alone with a violent woman.’
Sacks agreed Dickinson”s comments were by no means a valid argument against funding Starting Point.
“We”re certainly not against domestic violence service programs,’ he said.
But he said the cards are stacked against men, who [suffer 1/3 of all domestic violence injuries.]
“It”s a hidden problem,’ he said, noting while men use brute force, women employ weapons and the element of surprise.
William M., of Wellesley, Mass., stood behind Dickinson.
“My wife has attempted to fake violence. The only thing that has saved me has been the luck of having a witness when it happened,’ he said. “The facts support Dickinson, and so do I.’
Nevers said he finally won back his children. But it was a hard road, fraught with failed appeals and a trial court that decided her domestic violence was not a “relevant’ factor.
“Five years after the divorce, my two younger daughters fled their mother”s house to live with me, rather than face her abuse,’ he said. “It took another three years before I was named as their custodial parent.’
The full article can be seen beginning on page 1 here. Reporter Nate Giarnese did a good job. He can be reached at Nate@mountwashingtonvalley.com
[Note: We are not familiar with the details of the funding dispute involving Starting Point, and we take no position on the matter. However, we oppose Starting Point’s supporters’ vilification of Dickinson and their apparent refusal to discuss the very real issue of false allegations.]