Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.
From the beginning, Children and women were the property of men. Throughout history of child custody, the pendulum has never really swayed in the mothers direction as it has in the fathers, let alone what the children want. In the book by Colin James written in 2004, "Winners and Losers: The Father Factor in Australian Custody Law" a detailed history of Child Custody demonstrates the harsh conditions that mothers have endured in the last century raising children under the control of the father, if she were not replaced by another women. The contributions of motherhood have been badly devalued if not devoid of any consideration at all. Her plight enduring violence and records of murder suicides that date back to the turn of the century reveal who is indeed devoid of rights.
Lately, there has been a lot of backlash from some of the original campaigners about changing the shared parenting laws. Some of these people have been accused of abuse and violence themselves openly admitting as if it were they who were victim to the greatest tragedy that ever lived, beyond violence, murder and horrific cases of child abuse. They have so far been quite successful at keeping up such a visage. After all, the family court does restrict publication of cases where violence and abuse is alleged. How convenient...
We have heard the constant pleas, rants and rages of, "fatherless". Distracting away from the violence epidemic that leaves children permanently motherless. The posters that is mostly heard by the women who know all to well that the only way out from the violence that they endure can be a body bag if they do not do something now. They are burdened solely to provide evidence to prove that they need this protection, that this protection may well save theirs and their children s lives.
Imagine finally getting the courage and resources to leave with hope that there will be help on the other end. During the Howard/Bush era, after the shared parenting laws, mothers began to learn just what our countries leaders meant when they approved campaigns and funding for women services: A band aid solution for a gaping wound. A wound that is clearly not healing, but infecting the masses with a new form of golden-staff: Abusers Rights. I make no mistake at re-naming the mens or fathers rights movements as I know truly what this group is all about.
For nearly two years our group has been watching them closely. Sometimes it might be peering in from the room next to the mens meetings or it might be watching an email list that refers to victims of domestic violence as, "the seething bitch brigade". Other times it might be reviewing their unquestioned articles or hearing complaints from professionals of their conduct. The conduct of the abusers rights groups has been something all too often overlooked until that person experiences a certain level of engagement. There is a pattern of behaviors that victims of violence know alll too well. For those who have been lucky not have endured the horrible experience of intimate terrorism or child abuse, can only see from the outside as the cracks begin to show. The cracks are the fact that this group who call themselves fathers rights, brainwash men into their indoctrination of abuse and control are lobbying and will not stop until no women and child is free from their clutches.
Whilst Carol Nadars piece delicately spirals into diminishing abused mothers and children s experience of the Family Court by highlighting one case where a women was able to prove that she needed protection. The evidence required in the family court is often more than what is required in a homicide case. The injuries must be so obvious and indisputable that the court would be highly vulnerable to a case of negligence, given the proof that has been presented before them.
We support the work of many other groups that have united to prevent child abuse and family violence in the family court system, but stand alone when we disagree on the current judicial stance. It is not enough that this review is conducted by a single researcher, it is in fact pitiful considering that less people died before a royal commission was conducted in the Victorian Bush fires. It is not enough to simply "dance around the issues" for the sake of appearing politically attractive in front of others. Its not a popularity contest when you have children and women dying because of court orders and a group of very angry men who want even more silent and violent laws.
Lateline was far more honest in providing more of a scope of the issues. For far too long abusers lobby groups and popularity contestants have dominated the spotlight, leaving the rest to endure this in silence and oppression. It took an angry man to hurt his child in front of one hundred witnesses for the plight of children and their mothers to be heard.
What did the mothers and children do to deserve the shared parenting laws?
Without the violence, the whole situation is absurd to say the least. Children having no place to call home. We as a society look down upon families who move too much as "unstable" and selfish towards their children s needs. In the real world, families move on an average of four years and have to consider the break away of routine from the community, school and activities that they participate in such as sports and dancing. Children who have separated parents and children who have their parents together are severely divided in the schoolyards and playgrounds as one group is privileged to stay in a regular routine and keep up with their activities.
Young people are shocked and outraged by the orders that imprison their lives into rigid court regimes whilst their friends are able to attend social events and keep in the loop without hinder. Parents have a hard enough time negotiating with independence and teaching responsibility on top of having to explain why they must follow a court order that was made by a bunch of angry bitter men. Imagine being seventeen and being told that you must go to your fathers or never see mum again. The youth workers, teachers, counselors and doctors are unfortunately the ones having to pick up the pieces of an unfortunate system. Most don't really know what to do, even though they are suppose to. What does one do when they see the scars of a violent past and a once bright future getting darker by the minute as Family Court has become a negative realm of their lives? With the bullying type behavior arising out of the mens rights groups, most have unfortunately kept silent about their experiences. One women I had spoke to had not talked about her experience for 10 years - to anyone. Intimidated by the courts, the ex and even her own lawyer - it is no wonder it took so long. Breaking the silence is not easy when there are manipulators, political strategists and the abusers lobby with their bag of tricks. There are always tricks, but never the real love it takes to protect your child from the harm that society dishes out on their carnivorous platter.
For all you psychopaths out there - Humanity is not a survival of the fittest, but rather an interaction that occurs on many levels depending on how one wants to perceive it. Many of the dying cultures eaten away by western civilization, have survived for hundreds of years worshiping the most humble rather than the one who seeks the top for cheap thrills. They lived for many years in harmony and peace. Our major problem is how we worship the most powerful, the one who seems strong brave and "Knows what to do". Some without question bow down and simply agree with the leadership, whilst others worship the other power hungry jerk just because he is good at lying about how he will "fix things and make life easier". I once met a social worker who told me she scored very high in the psychopath range. Instead of using for harm, she attempted to resolve it by ensuring that she had engaged in risk taking activities and would use her "manipulative" skills to influence people to get their lives together and get away from drugs. The gratification of helping others(In a liberating manner) was more than power over others could offer. Perhaps the score was wrong or perhaps it was the fact that she was also a mother who may have developed empathy through becoming a mother that made the difference.
In the "Art of happiness" written by a psychiatrist based upon the meetings with the Dalai llama, he wrote about how compassion for others had prevented mental illness, increased a biological immunity chemical and increased life longevity in general was such a vital human factor. Also the complete opposite of those who seek the path to continue power over others. The ones who do make it to the top as described in the book, are left with nothing but paranoia for those who they harmed to achieve this status.
Most non-violent fathers do not attend these courts and fathers that are barred from seeing their children are in two categories:
1. They annoyed the court(wrong on the courts behalf to react this way - see judgements).
2. They were so obviously violent that no one could conceal the long road of devastation left in their wake.