And just how did Izfar goof up?
1) Children who are afraid, who are being subjected to visitation with a violent parent, will say what they need to say in order to (hopefully) placate that person, and minimize the violence. The fact that they (may have) said they wanted to spend time with their father means absolutely nothing. Izfar didn't know that? Why? Has he studied domestic violence at all? Obviously not.
2) Izfar really believed that the children would be safe if they had never (allegedly) been abused before? That's ridiculous. Men who batter their partners are at very high risk for battering their children, even if they haven't done so--yet. The research is very clear on this. Again, has Izfar ever bothered to do his homework?
3) The most dangerous time for women and children is when they leave an abuser. But of course, Izfar also failed to recognize this. Or didn't care.
4) Why was the testimony of the mother ignored? The testimony of her friends? Oh right. Only Daddy's smooth sociopathic assurances were listened to here, and the only statements granted credibility. What does that tell you about sexism in the courts? Only that it's hardly anti-daddy these days, is it? Those days--if they ever existed--are long gone.
5) Can we finally retire the lie that giving abusers joint custody is safe for children? All it's doing is caving into the demands of domestic terrorists. And we know what caving into the demands of terrorists does outside a domestic context, don't we? It only emboldens them. When are the lawyers going to stop the stupidity of thinking that domestic terrorists are any different?
As my buddy Liz says, "If men litigating custody were children's toys or crib slats, they would have been banned from the market as dangerous products." Amen, sister.
Hat tip to Annie.
Attorney of 3 slain children: They loved their father
by Courtney Zubowski / 11 News
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 9:35 PM
Updated today at 9:34 AM
HOUSTON—An attorney appointed to represent three slain children in a custody hearing said he saw no clues their father might want to harm them.
Detectives say Mohammed Goher, 47, killed his three children Sunday while they slept at his home during a court-appointed visit.
It happened in the 13000 block of Homestead in northeast Harris County.
After Goher’s two daughters, ages 14 and 7, and a 12-year-old son were killed, authorities said Goher shot himself in the mouth in an apparent suicide attempt. He was in fair condition Monday at Ben Taub Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.
"Absolutely bolt out of the blue," said attorney Syed Izfar. "I don’t know what happened, something must have transpired last week because prior to that everything seemed just fine."
According to Izfar, all parties had agreed that the parents would get joint custody. They would live with their mother during the week and stay with their father every other weekend.
"They wanted to stay with him. They wanted to stay with the mother. As a matter of fact, the children wanted their mother and father to reconcile," said Izfar.
According to Izfar, the children loved their father and never feared him.
But two women who know the children’s mother shared a much different story.
"He held guns to their heads, her and the children," said Tayseir Mahmoud. "He held knives, he threatened their life, everywhere she went he would threaten the people she would stay with."
Mahmoud spoke on behalf of Norma Goher outside a battered women’s shelter in Spring, where Goher has been living for the last six months.
She read a letter Monday from the children’s mother.
"Nobody listened to me when I warned them about how dangerous he is," wrote Norma Goher. "I have documents about everything. All the abuse and I showed everyone but no one believed me and they still made me send my kids to him every weekend."
Goher has a protective order against her husband, but the attorney representing the children said he wasn’t aware of their father ever abusing his children.
"Normally, parents don’t lose visitation rights just because they are abusive to each other," he said. "If there was any question that the children were unsafe we would have gotten CPS involved."
Christina Diaz, a friend of Norma Goher, said the signs have been evident for years.
"They were all afraid for their lives," she said.