There is no more serious family issue than domestic violence. However, my intuition from early in this fight has told me that a key question in the fight against Japanese Parental Abduction is the way that charges of domestic violence are abused by petitioners to the family court there. I wanted to understand this issue. I still have a way to go before this begins to make sense to me, if in fact it can make any sense at all.
Part of the problem is a sticky web of ideological talk about any issue that involves troubled male/ female relationships or marriages. Women have rightly clamored for and at least formally have gotten the protection of the law, and still need more. But the wheel doesn’t stop there. Along the way, the forms this takes, the use of courts for orders of protection and righteous testimonies in custody battles, are now commonly abused to the detriment of their reliability and usefulness to women in Japan who truly need them. Now we see nasty alliances which we don’t want to be forced into in order to protect paternal rights, and arguments that are counter-productive to our aim of the restoration of equal parenting rights and an end to the sanctioned abduction of children. We mustn’t allow anti-feminists and demagogues to take back significant gains, or to overwhelm the discussion of real threats of violence and the profound problem of Parental Alienation. So what can be done to counter what is now a generalized acceptance in Japan of false accusations of domestic violence? We need feminists and pro-feminists to respond powerfully, which of course they often do, by reminding us of the need for legal protections against spousal and partner violence (which used to not exist at all), and to remain active in those situations where the protections are abused for nefarious purposes. The wheel keeps turning on this problem, and around we go. To Japan.
What could happen to domestic violence protection? It is being used as a political football. What gets lost on this merry-go-round is the reality of “private” violence, itself..
All parents, men and women, need the issue of Parental Alienation to be well-treated and understood because it’s at the core of what’s gone wrong in many families, particularly my own. My wife, Machico Terauchi, developed a to me obviously trumped-up line on domestic abuse over several years, while enacting a withering, paranoiac sort of spousal abuse on me. Now there are law firms such as Ohnuki Kensuke’s “Satsuki Law Office” that guide and counsel this as a strategy to be prepared for custody hearings. I couldn’t have known until afterwards that this is what Machiko was doing. And now, I know that this form of manipulation and deception has become endemic.
These are things that I could barely talk to anyone about during the last several years, because it was far too painful. Machico would not infrequently actually start screaming, “Yaah! Domestic Violence! Somebody help!” in our home; and this would happen because I disagreed with her about something, like whether Rui, a four-year-old, should watch a lot of video and TV and Youtube and iPhone apps every morning, afternoon, and every night before bed when I wanted to read him to sleep with poems and stories; or because I was upset by her repeatedly thwarting me and preventing Rui and me from spending a precious weekend day together. Machico could not discuss a parenting issue with me without going into long, repetitive verbal blaming tirades, or bizarre apoplectic fits that would involve her in red-faced, vein-popping streams of epithet, shouting and accusing, repeating in circular fashion again and again a shifting series of old complaints and exhausted obsessions. Believe me, this was always terrible, but it got much worse in the last one to two years. Earlier, I tried to accommodate her, maintain composure, and stay together for my boy’s sake. I urged her to consider doing the same. I entered couples therapy with her for that purpose – so we could learn to manage sour emotions together, and to care for our son. But Machico’s refusal to cooperate led to exhaustion with this setting in; and toward the end Machico’s litanies would finally be met by some form of putting fingers in my ears or walking away. If I tried to engage verbally with her or confront her over it, the aforementioned wild anger came, frequently accompanied by kicks, and finger nail scratches on my arms and cheeks.
I’m sorry if this sounds insensitive. But nobody shouts, “Yah! Domestic Violence!” if they are authentically frightened as a result of the danger of being hurt. A frightened person might indeed scream … Shouts of passionate anxious fear are heart-curdling, and no one can deny being moved. But this was like living with a robot that suddenly got its “yah domestic violence” button pushed. I don’t have any capacity for intimidation or violence. I laid no hand on her, aside from those few times I had to deflect her kicks and punches, or pull her sharp fingernails out of my bleeding forearms. This happened frequently during certain periods, and it was more than enough for me.
Now I know well that she had been coached by her Japanese lawyer to see the invention of domestic abuse accusations against me as her refuge. Kensuke Ohunki of Satsuki Law is the beast most notorious for this hideous form of abuse of good parents in favor of those twisted by untreated depression and trauma’s long-term after-effects. He has been suspended or disbarred at least three times for bringing false evidence to court. But now, he is Machico’s lawyer, and through the Internet, advertises his strategies for deceiving the courts and inventing a DV allegation that can pass muster and strengthen a child abduction case.
Read this profile of the marriage and children’s issues surrounding parental alienation and you’ll get a quick if unpleasant but direct insight into the deterioration of Rui’s home under Machico, and the recurring dynamics of “alienating” and “targeted” parents. Print out the article, and share it with students, teachers, parents and anyone else who would benefit from better understanding of this devastating issue. The article is spot on!