Update on Column Quoting National DV Leader Saying Leaders of Fathers’ Groups Are ‘Abusers’

Los Angeles, CA– I reported last week that Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, charged that the leaders of some fathers’ rights groups are “abusers” in Mindy Jacobs’ new Edmonton Sun column When dad is just bad (9/10/08).

According to Jacobs:

What’s a conference on domestic violence without fireworks? An American speaker shot off a doozy here yesterday, charging that the leaders of some fathers’ rights groups are abusers who use the organizations as tools to harass women.’

“It’s really important that we recognize that they’re gaining traction,’ Rita Smith, executive director of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told an international women’s shelters conference.

In a later interview, Smith said her experience of men working on fathers’ rights is that many of the leaders are abusers or were accused of abuse.

“The agenda, often by the leadership, is to completely undermine women’s rights,’ she said. ‘The ones that are the most dangerous are, in fact, creating safety problems for women and children.”

I suggested you write to Jacobs at and the Edmonton Sun at I just spoke with Jacobs, and she said she had “received hundreds of letters” over her column.

I told her I was sorry if a few of my readers forgot their manners, but that this is an issue they feel passionately about.

As she has told many of you in her responses, she is writing a follow-up which will come out later this week.

The Edmonton Sun also published a couple letters over the column on Friday. One of the letter writers, Brad Gray, wrote:

Regarding Mindy Jacobs’s column about the domestic violence conference, it is apparent she perpetuates false stereotypes about men. Having a Y chromosome does not make one an abuser. She quotes Rita Smith as saying fathers’ rights groups are often led by abusers or those accused of abuse.

I was falsely accused of abuse and spent considerable time and thousands of dollars in legal fees just to see my kids. I feel these groups perform an important role helping men during marital breakdown and custody battles.

Thanks to all of you who participated.

To read my previous blog posts on this matter, click here and here.

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