Thursday, August 25, 2011

Experts: Abusive men who hurt or kill children seek control (Dallas, Texas)

It's about control. It's about violence. It's about revenge. It's about hurting the mother by threatening, harming, or killing her children.

How do we stop these fathers before they get to this point? How about jailing them for domestic violence against their wives and girlfriends before they continue to reel off in this direction? If they're in jail, they can't kidnap or slaughter the kids too easily, can they?

One other thing. Can we finally lay to rest the total lie that a man can be a "good father" and still beat their mother?,0,7786316.story

Experts: Abusive men who hurt or kill children seek control
Charles Bassett

10:03 p.m. CDT, August 24, 2011
Dallas, Texas—

It was a crime that shocked everyone. A father abducts his five and three year old sons and then drowns them.

"It's a shame, an absolute shame of what that guy did", said Dallas resident Elvin Jones.

The next day, a Forth Worth man upset with his girlfriend abducts her four year old daughter. She's found a few hours later alive and well.

"I'm just glad that they caught him and that he can't do no body else like that no matter who it is", said the child’s grandmother Annette Sanders.

Both of the men arrested in these cases had abusive relationships with the mothers that included assaults and in both cases the women had broken up with the men.

Kelly Slaven-Terstreip is a counselor at Genesis Women's Shelter. She says these cases are about men losing power and control of the women so they use the children as pawns.

"Children are the most important thing to mothers we know and they are the quickest way to get back at her if there is an ongoing domestic violence situation", she said.

"When he's got to that point he's desperate to hurt her in a way and he's not caring about the consequences anymore which makes him especially dangerous because he has nothing left to lose”, she said.

You may recall the Battaglia case in 2001 when a Dallas father who was also abusive had his two daughters call their mother and then shot the girls to death while the mother was on the phone.

Attorney Patrick McLain handles domestic violence cases. He says it's still rare for a father to kill his own children.

"Typically the man will either commit violence against the wife or the girlfriend or against someone who is a love interest for the wife or the girlfriend", he said.

But if the man harms the children, he says it's more likely the man is no longer mentally stable.

"Very seldom is a person in a rational state of mind and he simply clearly thought out a cold calculating crime. Typically they have some sort of serious mental disease or defect", he said.