Thursday, April 29, 2010

Safety: They're not asking for much

Some mothers work and some mothers spend many unpaid hours caring for their children.  With the growing amount of mothers continuing in the workforce, it is obvious that child support or welfare payments were not the incentive.  A majority of the working mother population use day care and after school care with the comfort knowing that the carers have been screened for a criminal background.  We expect in a first world country that our children receive the highest amount of care and in most cases they do.  Some of the experts caring for our children have been trained into enhancing the learning of our children, so that the time they spent away from their family is also progressive.    

Those who choose to stay at home often provide our schools with many hours of unpaid work, whether it is assisting with the canteen duty, reading to young children or participating in school working bees.  These are efforts that could not have been accomplished without the help of these women.  Whether paid or unpaid, most mothers are continually working often unnoticed and undervalued.  It is therefore in our time a complete outrage to claim that mothers only care for their children because of government incentives.  It is ridiculous to state that mothers lie in the family court for financial incentives.  In most stats, single parent families live below the poverty line and receive little or no child support.  Adding insult to injury, some are left with STD(Sexually Transmitted Debts) to pay with almost impossible financial odds against them.  

Just keeping the old family car running can be a journey.   Going single as a mother is financial suicide and if we were all stockbrokers, perhaps we would be jumping of buildings too.  We care more about our children enough not to do that which is more than can be said for those suicidal fathers, who claim that access to children will somehow cure them,  In fact children are more unsafe with suicidal fathers than they are with mothers as they are more likely to take the children with them.  When a mother decides to leave a relationship, it is usually for a very good reason.  A majority of the so called, "high conflict" divorces in the family court are in fact cases involving family violence.  "High conflict" is a term often used to trivialise the abuse that has occurred in the courts.  Only 6% of mothers and children are graced with the opportunity to walk away.  The rest are slugged with orders that don't protect them or their children from family violence.  Most cases are not investigated and remain unsolved.  The general legal advice is not to investigate as it can be viewed as "medical abuse".  Of course, when mothers enter the family court, they expect like they do with all other organisations associated with children that they will have the children's interests at the highest priority.  It is after all, expected from mothers and society demands that from us.  Our transport systems are built to include technology that increases the safety of their passengers.  Bouncers are required to monitor nightclubs to increase the safety of their patrons.  These measures are introduced because it is an area that violence is likely to occur.  We know that women are at the most risk at the end of a relationship.  There are few moments that go by in Australia where we do not hear of a homicide after separation.  More occur unreported and not publicly available are the homicides after family court proceedings.  What we do know is that the consequences of not introducing safety measures are fatal.  The right to the protection of person is a human right and a basic one at that.  The benefit of providing safety outweighs the costs as family violence already costs the Australian community 8 billion dollars.  Providing blanket protections without addressing this problem will only exacerbate the original sum. It is crucial that not only the Family Law act is reviewed, but judges are in a better position to really consider the safety of children and women experiencing violence as the top priority and most of all, should never ever be too much to ask for.  

Posted via email from australiansharedparentingdebate's posterous

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