Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Family Violence is still on the menu on Australian Family Court

Despite recent changes implementing family violence laws in the Family Court, Family Violence is still thriving.  Whilst the past year I have barely spent online, I have talked to hundreds of mothers affected by this mostly with recent cases where the judgments favor the perpetrator above the child and all victims involved.  Victims still barely have a voice.

Despite all the well crafted speeches from the court in public space, private-sphere is a different story.  Alike all forms of abuse occurring in private, so does human rights violations against the most vulnerable and least likely to afford the fine things in life that the courts actors enjoy at their expense(and sometimes the cost of a life): children and women.

The court relies all too heavily upon the notion that it makes its decisions based upon the rights of the convention of the child.  This is used to protect child's privacy, "best interests" and right to know the other parent.  I make no error in my judgement when I write that these interests are only upheld when the courts interests are upheld first and if they are compatible, the child's rights are not violated.

When family violence(not limited to domestic violence) is historical to the family, these interests usually clash with the courts.  This is because most victims are robbed of resources that the perpetrator has at his disposal.  The gender divide is just touching the surface when examining the root of the issue. Its why these laws do not work.  We could lobby again and change the laws to ensure that every child's voice is heard, but the reality is that the court navigates around these laws creatively and completely at each judges whim.  The political culture of the courts is ingrained in neoconservative values, over-toned by patriarchy with the old fashioned, "children and women should be seen and not heard".  One only needs to read the views of the judgments to find their own perfect flavor of disgust.  For many years, activists have continuely recommended the court become more open and tested with community values, but the best recommendation I have heard is a royal commission.  The court needs to be investigated, not merely touched superficially by a 2d tabloid view, but a thorough investigation where every aspect is examined.  Where the money trail is followed all the way to the end and every name of every child homicide is checked against the court records with or without the courts approval.  It is something that is no longer a request, idea or merely a discussion point:  Its an expectation.  Without it, the court remains liable to the deaths of all victims affected.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"We're not into case fixing...I can assure you that we have absolutely no knowledge, so there. Where was I..."

Jane*, a mother of three had corresponded over the years as other mothers have providing a horrific account of her story.  Leaving a violent paranoid schitzophrenic after the violence spilled out upon the children should have ended when she left.  "All I ever asked for was supervised contact, but they kept claiming that I was trying to get no contact at all", Jane provided the author correspondence confirming this was the case.
A man who had been evidentially violent and homicidal was allowed unsupervised access to the children and provided with their home address where he openly stalked and harrassed her at her home.
Despite contact with various legal advisers, officials and child protection, she was diverted back to the court that failed to protect the children.  Of course, there are many cases like these that are still being endured in silence, but what stands out is how a psychiatrists report claiming that he is suddenly cured of paranoid schitzophrenia, just in time for the court case.  The most interesting recommendation from the psychiatrist whom had not met the child at all was, "for the wellbeing of the father".  Despite an affidavit by the father raising concerns about the childs writing interpreted as a "secret code" to the mothers phone number, he is considered well enough to care fulltime on half the medication he was on previously.
"One has to wonder..whatever motivated them to act, was not in consideration of the child".
If there was any other motivator above political or idealogical, it has to be money and in *Janes case, money it was.  Googling her judges name one day, she found a document from the vicbar.  "I heard rumors that the entire bar was corrupt, but I simply put it down to a rumor".

Camoflaged in plain language, without its commentators conclusion, the reference to the judge could have been easily undone.  Its the fact that he defined his reference further to interpretation, denying unconvincingly that Federal Magistrate Norah Hartnett is "Not into case fixing", he needed to assure that they had no knowledge of a well defined description on how "case fixing" works.  "It explains why the judge told me one day that she read everything she needed to read(referring to his affidavit), she didn't need to read anything else".
*Jane is a pseudonym

Monday, December 26, 2011

If you think feminism is bad, you should check out patriachy...

Feminism in all its simplicity, is about womens rights. Some have skewed the argument and made stupid claims about what they believe it is. Lazy women who dont want to work(or do anything at all), often use the feminists of the past as something to blame for all their problems. Women who have spent their entire life consumed by men are often brainwashed into whatever political ideals he has, all in the name of gaining his affections(please see: "He's Not That Into You" for further reading). Men subjected to intervention orders, most often because there was a need for it to be in place, have created their own mythological tale on what they believe feminism to be. Some are psychopaths who have in their worklife, bullied their way to the top of the corperate ladder, used to going home to their perfect victim. They have a masterful tale on what they believe feminism is. In fact, these types are so driven and obsessed at changing the structures itself to purport these fanciful notions on what feminism is in their sadistic mind. Compulsive liars, that comes with the title, would have you believe that any women that stands against a mans right to beat her senseless and have her body removed without a whisper is a god given right. Such types would probably go to lengths to even create a religion out of it...whoops, they already have.
In reality, they would never say to you straight out, "I want the right to rape, beat, murder and do what I please to women". There are too many humanists out there that would be outraged. So tact is the game of these losers whom seek sadism as a source of pleasure at the cost of womens human rights. The perhaps, less educated tend to ask why not address all human beings at once in protecting rights for that not to happen to them. Racism and slavery towards african americans continued well beyond the signing of the declaration of human rights. In order to deal with the issue that targets a particular group of people, the group needs to be acknowledged. One needs to think what might have happened had everyone simply referred to generalising the issue on slavery and racism and if anything at all might have been resolved. There were various tricks and tactics to condone violence, slavery and other horrific aspects towards these people and no different to the experience of attacks towards women today. Whilst laws significently clarify that such acts are illegal, often perpetrators of racism attacked subversively. eg. Klu Klux Klan and white power(comparable to black shirts or Fathers for justice groups. Their lobbying is skewed and attracts media attention to provoke hatred and incite the same type of violence towards women. One tactic, is to abscond with the children or use court orders to inhibit her freedom of movement and dictate her daily routine as so she will give in and return to him. Some have been known to use the children by attacking them over the phone, so that the mother will comply in distress to the childs screams.
Further subversive lobby groups, have managed to formulate laws to impinge on the evidence gathering and prevent victims from being able to speak of these crimes. Throughout history, there have always been tyrants, but lesser acknowledged are the ones who repeatedly attack those in the home and justify it as a "right". For as long as women and children are targeted, there is a need to protect them, monitor the laws that are harming them and ensure that they can thrive in the international community as any other fellow human being. That is the heart of feminism and deep down everyone knows that women and children deserve it. They both deserve to be respected and not harmed emotionally, socially, physically and systematically. They deserve to live above the poverty line with dignity and freedom as any other person enjoys. Naturally children are acknowledged here, simply because mothers; the least voiced amongst feminists are always thinking of them and wanting to see their rights realised too.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Patriarchal Parasites

Once were seen as glorious esteemed men with dozens of skeletons in the closets that noone would ever find out about in a time where everyone was an accomplice. When she questioned his power in the slightest, everyone was ready to help. From the man down the road willing to lend a shovel to dig her grave, to the priest ready to introduce him to a new wife. Now, that helpful community is dwindling, thanks to the men that not only loved the women in their lives, but also respect them as fellow human beings. What is left, remains the worst of the worst. From the blackshirts that terrorised women in Melbourne to the mens rights groups lobbying under the guise of "fathers rights". They claimed to have been treated unfairly in the family court system, due to being fathers, yet over 3000 court judgements over a decade tell the dedicated reader otherwise. The largest reason these groups were so successful was a flaw in time. The fact that they had so much time, whilst those defending the barrage of lies did not. Blogging and networking for mothers, professionals and child abuse survivors are always done in between things, with efficiency or during one of those episodes of PSTD where the possibility of sleep is not an option. So where did the time come from? Why was there so much time? What jobs did these men sacrifice to initiate and fund these organizations? The answer is that none of these men were working. If they were, they left their jobs to avoid paying child support and if they were working, they became part of a large network full of men leeching off cash in hand work. I am sure that any taxman whom was determined to catch these guys out would have already through the same connections they have in these groups. Then there are the retired bitter still attached to the past ideology where a mans dream is to aquire the house, car women and the kids. The problem is that the last two are not identified by these types as human beings. They are not tools, nor vehicles of use as these men would have them or try to mould them to be. The tactics fail and these types have gone to extraordinary lengths to destroy all structures that would recognise them otherwise than mere pieces of property. Even the second women set up against the first is another vehicle. She is of course treated much better than the first in order to accomplish the distant goal, but in the end she is also another subject dated in the product line set to be released as another piece of the set after she has carried out her duty to destroy the first. I have met some of these women and they are often lack education, have issues with their mother and extremely insecure. Appearence wise, these women are considered "lucky" to recieve any affections from men. Thus, they are craving it even before he meets her. As calculated as the parasitic wasp whom chooses its target, releases a chemical that subjects it to a zombie - like state whilst it lays eggs into the cockroach that will mean its eventual death. Patriachy in our times, has little allies. It cannot compete with the trendsetting consumerisitic giants that find independent women sexy or the economy that requires both genders to work. It cannot change the grotesque history known to all of us where women were the canaries in the goldmine of every war, slaves for the rich and burned at the stake in medievil times. Women are remembered throughout history for being the least recognised in the human worth ladder. Now in times of great uncertainty as climate change starts to rear its ugly head and threaten humanity altogether, it is no question that patriachy did this. It is now a fact that it is not only an untenable and unworkable regime, but a great threat to human life. Patriachal structures never gave, they simply took. Whether it be our shared resources for life or the women and children unable to flee as he took out his rifle in the peak of the financial crisis. Which leaves us back to the initial statement: Patriachs are nothing but parisites. Time for a vaccination.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Derryn Hinch: Doing Time For Their Crime

Outspoken, veteran journalist Derryn Hinch is facing a jail term for a crime that should never exist. He named two child sex offenders.
Derryn Hinch is no saint and I am sure over that fifty year period there are some things that even he himself regrets saying or maybe feels differently with age. One thing, he and many other brave journalists will never regret is exercising freedom of speech, especially if it means saving a future victim of child abuse. The wide coverage of articles on Derryn Hinch's case is mostly appeasing to the status quo. As though we need to protect perpetrators more than we do for children. There is something deeply disturbing about our judicial system, if a sex offender can be jailed for less than a year in Australia, but naming them can cause up to four years of imprisonment for exercising freedom of speech.

There have been numerous reports on the failure of the system in protecting children in and out of care. Where children are saved from abuse only to end up into another abusive situation, simply because child protection did not screen the parents properly. It was only a few years ago that some states in Australia introduced a system where people working with children are screened properly for prior offences. Those abused before its introduction would have had to endure this in silence. Laws in both child protection and Family Court are designed so that children's cases like these, even after deaths are restrained from speaking out to the media.

There is a good reason to be protective of children and how the impact of the media can be destructive, but I would argue that an act of abuse by another does not damage the child's reputation. Its the stigma and shame others chose to place upon victims that is damaging. Where the media is selective in portraying one angle of what the victim conveys that degrades them is what poses a difficult question on children and the media. It does not mean children should not have access to the media at all, but there should be strict guidelines on how they are portrayed and their rights to remove it if they wish. The media is and will always be a double edged sword. We need the media for transparency, especially where vulnerable members of our society are abused under the veil of secrecy. We need to protect children from sex offenders as we know that they are likely to do it again.

Its not a normal crime, treating it so, only provides more loopholes these perpetrators can jump through. But the least we need right now is to know who these perpetrators are so that we can protect our children. In many other countries, parents are at least given that right. The right to know and prevent these abuses from occurring again. The right to be outraged when one is placed near a school or a daycare centre. The right to protect our children, our future is one that is universally agreed:

The fact not only is a man dying of liver cancer going to jail, but the fact that he is going to jail for doing something that is legal in many other countries and considered by most as a favour to the Australian community. The media has successfully smeared this act as though he is wrong for doing so. Yet it is bizarre that such a question is not being actively challenged.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NewsMaker - Men's Groups Attack Victims Protections

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The ongoing challenge for advocates against violence towards women and children at every step has been from men's groups with the recurring rhetoric that women and children make false claims, that they somehow do not deserve these protections. Within the past year, there has been numerous reports validating the necessity of protecting victims post separation.

In particular, Dr Michael Flood has written extensively on the issue about these groups. He states
, 'In large part due to publicity efforts by fathers' rights groups, an uncritical assumption that children's contact with both parents is necessary now pervades the courts and the media. In Australia, the Family Court's new principle of the "right to contact" is overriding its principle of the right to "safety from violence." In short, family law increasingly is being guided by two mistaken beliefs: that contact with both parents is in children's best interests in every case, and that a violent father is better than no father at all."

The influence of community attitudes survey revealed that the wider community believed women routinely make false allegations in custody cases, yet we have seen some horrific deaths as a result. A great deal of research has gone into studies on allegations in custody cases and a majority of these studies point to false allegations being a very small factor. It is far more rational to err on the side of protecting victims of family violence, than to err on the side of the perpetrator. The reason why this has become both a child protection and women's issue is because these two groups are the ones most adversely affected across the board in many empirical studies. Its an issue that can no longer be ignored.

One has to ask why these groups are fighting basic protections that is written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Like Climate change deniers, these groups continue to distort the pervasive issue of violence against women and children by using selective figures that support their rhetoric. Yet, Violence against women has been recognised globally affecting women across classes, cultures and races. Its rare to find research that supports otherwise and usually research supporting that is often linked to organisations advocating for these groups.

Family violence is a problem in our community that no government should condone and without the implementation of these laws. Forcing children to endure these situation by court order is not only condoning the violence, but becoming every perpetrators accomplice. For every victim enduring these circumstances, the experience is horrific.
When government engages in this form of systematic abuse, it is violating every victims human rights in many ways.

If all of the homicide victims of family violence were in one location, the figures would be beyond 9/11 and it would supersede as the greatest act of terrorism ever recorded. Family violence is also a silent genocide against women and children that is not raised as an issue enough, that is why it is crucial that these laws are not derailed by groups with a selfish agenda.

About Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate
The shared parenting debate examines issues affecting Australians within the family law system.

Melanie Smith
Ph: 0469622409

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Avoiding jury duty, violent crime, and dodgy NSW Courts.

This is a well constructed collection of injustices in courts including murders, rape and child abuse. It is not for the feint hearted, but it does pose a question:

What are we doing about our courts altogether?

Sometimes, its the criminal courts or the initial investigation that leads to later failure in the Family Courts. Because of the widely misconstrued sentiment that a child should be with the father no matter what, we have situations where police may avoid investigation or legal aid might be hesitant at providing funding or Judges might be more sympathetic despite evidence simply because the perpetrator abuses the name, "father". As much as there are mothers that also abuse this title, I draw attention to this simply because male perpetrators in statistics are much higher but because family violence has become part of the norm in Australia, little attention is paid to it. The criminal justice system certainly does have a lot to answer for and not just restricted to NSW, but everywhere. There must be more accountability and transparency to avoid practices where coercion, corruption and injustice occurs.