This article- Family Violence: Effects of Forced Parenthood On Kids, would be coming in two parts because of it’s length.
‘’Having been a battered, abused, neglected and deprived child in Barrie, Ontario, between 1956 and 1965, I would be interested in becoming a member of CSPCC’’.
-My name is Earl Richards and this is my Family Domestic Violence Story.
My father, David Richards, used to come home drunk to 4 Dufferin Street, Barrie. After a bout of evening drinking at the Simcoe Hotel, he would shout all night, arguing and fighting with my mother. If he wasn’t shouting all night, then he would have the record player blasting.
This caused unbearable mental torture and made it impossible to sleep. Thus, for years on end I went to school dead tired and in dread of repeating the same experience each night. I suffered emotional abuse about which your organization is concerned.
My father used to beat my mother all the time, about three to five nights a week from 1956 to 1962. It was not uncommon for me to see my mother with black eyes, broken glasses and blue and black bruises on her arms. Sometimes he would punch holes in the gypsum board walls and punch out windows in the winter.
During that period of time, I must have phoned the Barrie Police about 200 times. The police failed to report the child abuse to the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). I told my father to “settle down and shut up” in the middle of the night. This drunken louse was wild and crazy.
He used my home for a flop house. Sometimes he would beat my mother so severely that she would have to leave the house and walk 12 blocks to a friend’s house on Caroline Street, in bitter cold weather, with temperatures at 30 degrees (F), below zero. There were no battered wives transition houses in those days. He would beat her when he was drunk and when he was sober, you could not get him to talk.
I spent the first 17 years of my life living with him and he never once said a nice word to me, a further example of the psychological and emotional abuse that I endured. The main reason why this abuse dragged on for nine years was because in those days, you could not get a divorce and because the CAS workers and the social workers did not check on my brothers and me.
If he had killed my mother the police would have done something, but the police would do nothing for the beatings. If there was no weapon, the police would not get involved. The only ground for divorce was adultery, as per Matthew 19:9. In reality, in those days, the only way to get out of a marriage was “faked adultery”.
My mother, timid and intimidated, would be too shy to feign adultery and to testify in court. Physical brutality never became the grounds for divorce until 1968 when Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau pushed the Divorce Law Reform Bill through the Parliament. Physical brutality did not become grounds for immediate divorce until June 1986, thirty years too late.
My mother was trapped by inadequate, antiquated divorce laws. Her parents lived about 3 miles away (Shanty Bay). They never checked on the condition of their grandchildren. This violent situation ended temporarily on October 16, 1962 at Family Court, with Judge Marjorie Hamilton presiding and the family law lawyer, Bruce Owen, representing us; At least, that’s what I think he was doing in the court.
To make a long story short, the Barrie Family Court Judge put my father in jail for six months on a nonsupport charge and not on the numerous charges of assault causing bodily harm. My father needed professional, mental health counseling, not a jail sentence. It was a relief to get him out of the house.
He spent the welfare money to “guzzle his guts” with beer and on cigarettes and not on his family. This was one way to stop the violence, temporarily because divorces were impossible. Obviously, what we were saying to the court was, “We children are hungry; For Christ sake do something”. I was 15 years old and very skinny.
In 1957, Don Jackson of the Barrie CAS came around and he stated “that we children would be taken out of the house”, but there was no follow up and there was no due diligence. Jackson never checked out the condition of us children. Jackson did not know the difference between sociology and social work.
Hamilton was a political appointee without any experience and qualifications in family matters as she did not seem to have any common sense and insight. This makes me very hesitant about getting married. Do divorce court judges and divorce lawyers have any more common sense than family court judges and family law lawyers? There is no family life left when kids are starving.
The institution of marriage wears no awe-inspiring robe of virtue with me. I don’t want my life, income, investments, estates, capital and assets to come under the control of any type of judge and lawyer again with absolute power and authority with no accountability by the public and the press.
The Family Court enjoys absolute immunity from civil prosecution. There should be some form of legislated supervision over the conduct and wanton power of incompetent and corrupt family courts, in the public interest and in the children’s interest.
The Family Court failed to carry out the duty to inform the CAS about the child abuse. Who is going to charge the Family Court with “child endangerment”? The Judge asked Owen if we were getting enough to eat, then Owen asked my mother, and she said, “That she did not know”.
Why did Hamilton, Owen and the court reporter just sit there and stare at us while my brothers and I starved? The judge and the lawyer, failed to carry out the duty to report the child abuse and neglect to the CAS. This line of questioning was ridiculous; why didn’t they ask my brothers and me if we were getting enough to eat? If we were getting enough to eat, then what were we doing in court? Wasting our time, putting up with stupid questions.
In fact, the judge and the lawyer didn’t have to ask her, all they had to do was look at me (the evidence and the witness). As was previously stated, I was very thin and frail, that would have told the judge and the lawyer that we were not getting enough to eat. If the parents are not aware that their children are not getting enough to eat, then a maintenance order is irrelevant; A maintenance order isn’t worth the paper it is written on because nobody enforces it.
For several years, I thought a family court judge’s decision was not appeal-able, because Owen did not appeal the negligent decision before the next meal hour. You do not award custody of children to an unfit mother who does not know whether her children are getting enough to eat.
Owen did not protect us children from the absurd decision. In fact, Owen had a contemptuous, disregarding attitude toward my mother when she stated she was unaware that her children were hungry. Someone in the court should have contacted the CAS. But who is going to make the Barrie CAS take us children out of the house, the CAS doesn’t have to if they don’t feel like it.
The CAS’s and the family courts are powerful, secret societies which should be accountable to the taxpaying public for their actions and decisions. In Barrie Family Court, there were unfit parents, a numb-skull lawyer who did not want to have too much to do with his clients, and a lamebrain, negligent judge. Alcoholic judges should not be presiding over children.
It was a sad case of justice denied. My brothers and I were hungry waiting for the court appearance and hungry for years after. The Family Court did not inform the welfare department and the CAS that there were hungry children waiting for a court appearance.
Family and divorce problems do not belong under the jurisdiction of the legal profession when hungry children are involved. As soon as I said that I spent 3 days living on preserves of strawberries and raspberries, someone in this farce and fraud of a family court should have removed us children from the house.
My father needed psychological counseling and alcoholic treatment, and not a jail term. With my father in jail for six months, how is my mother supposed to get by for six months? This period of incarceration had nothing to do with getting my brothers and I fed.
The brain dead court reporter did not report the child abuse to the CAS. When David Richards left jail in April 1963 guess what Hamilton, Owen, the CAS, the Barrie Police and the Barrie Social Services Department did? These individuals and the organizations did nothing. The best solution against family violence and wife-beating is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
There was no police protection standing by, no CAS protection and no Family Court protection standing by. No one in that court ever thought that a witness might need checking on and protection against reprisals. My father blamed me for putting him in jail and not the judge or lawyer who failed to appeal the decision.
His hatred and vindictiveness was directed at me, not the judge. Do you know what I did? I kicked the living hell out of my father 315 times during the next 14 months. I told him every time he came home drunk and disorderly and started barking and hollering and waking me up in the middle of the night to drive me crazy with his shouting and arguing, I would come down the stairs the moment I woke and beat him.
This is what I did for the next 14 months, when I was 16 and 17 years old. He didn’t know how to listen. I would punch him in the face until he fell to the kitchen floor and then kick his face and rib-cages in. To earn a junior matriculation, it was “hard rock slugging”, on an empty stomach.
When these beatings were finished, mentally and physically exhausted I would leave him lying on the kitchen floor, then try to get some sleep, so I could to go school at 9:00 AM. These beatings were administered after midnight when the hotels were closed. There are two things you don’t do; You don’t turn your back on it and you don’t let it up for the kitchen floor; Because he will bite chunk out of your chest, you just kick it.
It helps to stop from going insane and gives him something to talk about at the hotel later in the day. The closest I came to killing him was cracking some ribs. Francine Hughes, Mary Winkler and Jane Stafford had more “guts” than I ever had. If I could have my way, I would have put a noose around his neck and hoist him up on a telephone pole in the front of the Barrie CAS building.
It would have been no problem killing him. I could have smashed him on the head with a crow bar, a pipe wrench, a claw hammer, a baseball bat, a steel pipe, a ball peen hammer, a shovel, a sledgehammer, a tire iron, a concrete block, a rolling pin. There were a wide variety of kitchen and hunting knives in the house.
Beside the base of the basement steps in the house, there is a 90 degree concrete corner. It would have been easy to throw him down the stairs into the concrete corner while he was in a drunken stupor.
I could have poured some fuel oil on him and set a match to the oil and burned the house down and perhaps the fire department might do something about child abuse and neglect, because the Barrie CAS, the social workers, the Barrie Police and the Family Court were not interested.
The reason for not killing him was because I did not want to have a criminal record for the rest of my life. I would never get a passport. If I would have killed my father it would have been a case of battered child syndrome. Judges did not have too much use for kids in those days, and if they are anything like Hamilton, not too much common sense.
So that is another reason for not killing him; I did not want to entrust my life to a judge. All the family court had to do was get us children fed, which they failed to do. So some family courts can become “kangaroo courts”, because of the feudalistic divine right of family court judges.
We children were not the victims of institutional patriarchy, we were victims of court stupidity. The court transcripts cannot be found, which prevents due process of charging the Family Court with felony child abuse and child endangerment.
The secrecy of the family court covers up the negligence, the obstruction of justice, the altering of evidence, the corruption, the laziness, the incompetence and the lack of due diligence of the family court, the CAS workers and the social workers and covers up the lack of qualifications of unregistered social workers and uncertified CAS workers.
This secrecy and lack of public accountability prevents a legislative audit of how the tax payer dollars are used and prevents a public evaluation on the integrity of the family court to ensure that the decisions are based on the evidence and on the law, not on a bribe and not on negligence.
One night in 1957, when I was with my twin brothers, my father threatened to shoot us all, he was quite naturally drunk. The following day I took the bolts out of the .22 rifle and the .32 Special rifle and all the ammunition in the house and threw them in the creek four blocks away.
Concluding part of this story to be published on Monday December 19th, 2016………………
Board of Directors (Honorary)
Texhoma Domestic Violence Victims Institute
Board of Directors
Men of Justice www.mojac.info