Thursday, December 23, 2010

Supervised visitation center closes from lack of dedicated funding (Columbia County, Oregon)

This drives me freaking crazy, that a "women's resource center" would be wasting precious fundraising dollars on such a stupid scheme. And now that the supervised visitation center is closing for lack of funding, they all act helpless. As if murders by abusive dads will automatically go up because there is nothing they can do, poor darlings. It doesn't occur to any of these nitwits that these abuser dads don't DESERVE visitation. Period. End of problem.

The problems with the whole supervised visitation center concept are legion by now. By now, it should be more than apparent that this was one of those "bright new ideas" that should be consigned to the dustpan of history. Do you really think that a father--like the father of the murdered 10-year-old boy whose name was given to this center--should be "visiting" with his kids at all? If there is enough evidence to suggest that unsupervised visitation is dangerous, then why are we granting these criminals or would-be criminals supervised visitation?

Even back in 2002, there was mounting evidence that these supervised visitation centers were financial boondoggles that were failing both the interests of abused children and the safety of domestic violence victims. See one report here:

‘Shane’s Place’ closes from lack of dedicated funds
By Darryl Swan
The South County Spotlight, Dec 22, 2010, Updated 12.9 hours ago

Despite Columbia County Women’s Resource Center fundraising successes this holiday season, the board for the domestic abuse prevention agency earlier this month canceled a program that provided a supervised location where parents who have a history of abuse could safely visit their children.

The WRC in November 2009 started “Shane’s Place,” a name given after Shane Davis, the 10-year-old St. Helens boy who was killed in a murder-suicide by his father.

Davis’ case exposed a shortcoming in Columbia County regarding how separated parents who have a history of domestic abuse, either as the perpetrator or victim, share custody with a child.
Typically it is up to the parent with custody to establish a location where the other parent, restrained under court order, could meet with his or her children. In most cases a relative’s house is used. When conflicts arise, such as when no relative is available, there has been little alternative and the court-allowed visitations and exchanges have taken place without supervision.

Over the last year, Shane’s Place has served 60 people from 17 families, most from St. Helens. It was the only service of its type in Columbia County.

The absence of a dedicated funding source due largely to the flagging economy and a referral system that relied on participation from Columbia County Circuit Court judges proved too cumbersome to keep Shane’s Place going, said WRC Director Rachael Barry-Dame.

“To find a dedicated funding this time was not really possible,” Barry-Dame said. “At this time we really need to be strategic with our resources.”

WRC relies heavily upon state grants for the majority of its services, though other funding sources are needed for supplies and some administration costs.

Shannon Davis, Shane’s mother, said she was disappointed upon learning the program had been cancelled.

“The only thing I can think of is that it’s sad,” Shannon said. “It’s heartbreaking to me to think that kids are going to be put back in harm’s way again.”

Barry-Dame said this has been a positive year for fundraising, and that other programs, such as job training through Norma’s Place Thrift Store, are showing success. She also said several donors have contributed enough supplies — about $900 worth — to cover the immediate needs identified by the women and children sheltered at the center.

For more information about the Women’s Resource Center or to learn how to contribute, visit