Branding: A Family Affair?


Police officer, photographer, and poet Raindog (his blog is an excellent daily read) sent me this article that I think exemplifies how kids are viewed in too many domestic disturbances that police are called to mediate:

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Trial is under way for a Sequim man who is accused of permanently scarring his three children by branding them like ranch cattle.

Mark Seamands is on trial for two counts of assault, accused of branding his 13- and 15-year-old sons.

Seamands' ex-wife told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News that she was horrified 18 months ago when she saw that Seamands had branded their sons and their daughter with the mark "SK," for Seamands' Kids.

"My youngest boy, it's on his chest. My middle boy, it's on his arm and my daughter -- it's on the back of her leg," said Alison Davis, the children's mother.

"I don't know if you have seen an animal being branded, but I have. They squeal; they yell; they scream. It's nothing pretty," Davis said...

The two boys are expected to testify and are expected to defend their father...

It's an idea their mother and prosecutors reject.

"I think it's child abuse in every way shape and form," Alison Davis said.
The video at the link includes information that this couple had been embattled in a heated divorce.

What is the message here?

That children in too many domestic disputes are viewed as simply property. Property in this case that was labeled as such: branded "S.K." for Seamands' kids.

Sons and daughters are viewed as merely pawns in a game of "gotcha" with a significant other.

Something like: "I want them so you can't have them."

For the officer, it is sad and frustrating to see these real life dramas play out on a nightly basis.

For the kids, it is life-altering.

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Additional details on this story and the local news video is worth watching and can be found here.

Note: the image is from Wikipedia and is not the brand used in this story.

27 comments:

James (SeattleDad) said...

Through away the key. What a waste this man is. He should be branded himself, and locked away for a long long time.

Momma Fargo said...

So frustrating. Maybe Bubba can brand dad's behind in the pen.

Herding Cats said...

I seriously hope this man does not get custody of his children. He's a narcissist and an abuser.

CMA said...

love your blog, thanks for sharing!
and thanks for the sweet comments

-cma
COSMICaroline.blogspot.com

Clara said...

Omg, this man deserves life in prison, where he will be branded too. They do those stuff there, I think.
This man is just not a father, this is a monster!

ocmist said...

Seeing what the children go through in today's society with all the sicknesses of the human mind is just so sad and sickening to me! I saw a lot of kids that were suffering because of selfish parents that were thinking only of themselves during the 18 years I worked in the school system.

I wasn't impressed with the CPS around this area either... those that were supposed to help, way to often ignored the problem! I don't want to get going on this... I just came over to say thanks for visiting Corgi Country! Grammy

Shannon said...

This is absolutely horrifying. I say we brand his baby maker as a warning to future love interests.

gladwellmusau said...

Goodness me...what a sad reality! Makes my heart ache for these kids...and many out there who have no voice.

I hope someone will get wiser and change the law on this one.

Blessings,

Gladwell

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Wow! That's crazy!!! Why take it out on the kids? This irritates me, why do these people have kids when there's a million couples out there that CAN'T have kids! That's a whole other issue though...anyways, check out my blog today for my 'ode to you!

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
The part about the branding is horrible. Just horrible.

Equally horrible to me is that the boys will defend their father. That speaks to a long, cult-like indoctrination inside the family. Where right and wrong belong to one person and is not taught as something that applies to all.

This is terrible.
Ann T.

LisaF said...

Horrified seems much too weak a word to describe this situation. In what civilized, parallel universe is it ever okay to burn the skin of a child? We can only hope this sadist is stripped of his parenting rights and branded with the label, child abuser. Aside from the physical scarring, the emotional scarring is sure to be with the kids forever. Maybe there should be a competency test before someone can become a parent. Right now, any idiot can procreate.

Sorry, I get a little wound up when a child's safety and welfare is threatened.

obladi oblada said...

Disgusting. I LOVE Momma Fargo's comment though!

carma said...

seriously demented. Interesting that the son's are taking his side....When I read the title I almost thought it was going to be about "branding yourself." which is all the buzz on twitter. This idiot should have stuck to that more innocuous type of branding. He needs an "L" for los-a

LadyFi said...

OMG - branding a kid?! My heart bleeds for them.

Elena said...

I am speechless...

Luisa Doraz said...

This should not be happening in today's world. Hope you enjoy your day with your cool family. :)

SuziCate said...

I'm sorry, I couldn't read past the first sentence of the article. Please tell me no one really branded their children...I can not even begin to imagine such horror!

theycallmejane said...

What I don't get is how the sons are going to defend their father's actions. Crazy!

Candice said...

Perhaps they should brand "ASS" right on his forehead!!

Kimi said...

Branding your kids? Really? What's next? Branding the DNA? That's the first I've ever heard of such a thing. Some people just aren't meant to be parents. The sad thing is those kids will be reminded of what they went through every time they see the engravings. Sad, just sad. And about the kids defending their Dad, I'm sure it's not easy to go AGAINST the father, needless to say any parent. I can't judge a man's sentence but this deserves "special" punishment. Thanks for sharing as always.

Alex said...

This is a horrible tragedy. I cannot imagine one can "brand" his own children like animals!

This guy is very very sick and should be locked away and get professional counseling.

He's not worthy to be a father.

Regine said...

I am speechless. Who in the right mind would even THINK of doing something so sick and so cruel? And the kids want to defend what he did? Ooof. I think they ALL need counselling. He definitely should not be granted custody - he should be IN custody. Permanently. Absolutely appalling.

Selma said...

That is horrific. I can't fathom anyone doing such a thing. It is sickening.

Holly said...

Sick, sad, and frustrating. I wonder what possesses people.

jodeeluna said...

Another unbelievable post. WOW! Where do you find these stories?

Thank you for adding my blog to your blog roll. I feel honored and will continue to be one of your faithful readers.

How could I not, you post the most interesting content.

Anastasia said...

This makes me incredibly angry and sad.

I have a stepdaughter. And although she hasn't been branded her mother is more then happy to look at her as property and hold her over my husbands head. It is infuriating!

Jayne said...

Absolutely horrendous. What is *wrong* with some people?