No data whatsoever are presented to support the film’s central assertion that 75% of fathers who seek custody of their children over the mother’s objections are batterers. The references cited by the film’s supporters in most cases are a round-robin of assertions, in which the same pool of authors repeatedly cites each other’s opinions, without supporting data.
“Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories” will be harmful to children if it succeeds in its apparent aim of casting doubt on the fitness of fathers who seek to share in the care and upbringing of their children after divorce. A painstaking review of 18 publications that those connected with the film have most frequently cited in support of their assertions finds a hodgepodge of unsupported and lurid accusations against divorced fathers as a class. If similar unsupported accusations were made against minority ethnic or religious groups, many would consider them inappropriate in a democratic and pluralistic society.
According to Professor Murray Straus, “The evidence from many studies, including Federal statistics on child abuse, shows that mothers physically abuse children at a slightly higher rate than fathers, precisely the reverse of the film’s claim that ‘children are in most danger from their fathers.’”
The American Psychological Association has publicly repudiated some of the claims by the film and its supporters about the organization's views on “Parental Alienation Syndrome.” While the film asserts that the APA opposes PAS, PAS is in fact controversial within the APA, which has on several occasions produced materials supporting the validity of the Syndrome. We know of no instance where the APA has denied the existence of parental alienation.
Professor Murray Straus, a noted and widely published domestic violence researcher, has charged in writing that two of his research studies have been misrepresented in the Viewer’s Guide that accompanies the film.
The document alleged to have been written by the American Judges Association was actually written by a different organization, the American Judges Foundation, and only one judge participated in the authorship. The other authors were Lenore Walker, a well-known domestic violence activist, and a woman described as a marketing consultant from Manasquan, New Jersey. Like the other publications, this one contains assertions, not data.
A separate investigation revealed that Sadia Loeliger, portrayed in the film as a heroic protective mother, was found by a California Juvenile Court to have committed multiple acts of child abuse, for which both her daughters were adjudged to be dependents of the Juvenile Court.