Sunday, November 28, 2010

10 Reasons The Family Court is Not Just About Conflict

1. Family Violence is often referred as "High Conflict", "Entrenched Conflict" to mask the severity of the situation.
Mentioned in the latest report on Family Violence in Family Courts, high conflict has often been a tool to diminish support for victims within the media and inside the courts andwritten judgments.
For Instance, a judge referred to death threats, property damage and stalking towards the mother as, "High Conflict":
In assessing the probative value I have considered my finding that the father had slashed the tyre of Mr U’s car in the company of another person. Around the same time and in the circumstances of high conflict (the father attending at the mother’s place of work and the father threatening the mother at an intersection including the clear threat of cutting her throat) indicates that there is a tendency or coincidence such that the slashing of the tyres, scratching of the car and putting nails into the tyres of the mother’s car are so similar as to believe that some, if not all, of those events are related to the father’s ongoing stalking and terrorising the mother. I make this finding ignoring my subsequent findings in relation to the words asserted by Mr J in January 2009.

2. Family Violence is the core business of the Family Court
Originally a popular statement amongst legal professionals as a tool to brush off concerns as just allegations, has become the new spotlight on an old phrase. It use to be used to view all concerns as just court tactics in obtaining custody of children. Now, it is often used to highlight how courts have been profiting from extending the horror for victims of family violence. Originally re interpreted by an anonymous group of women writers, it has become a major point for reform.

3. Gender equality has not been reached within the international community, thus all conflicts are not born equal.
Whilst the advancement of women in public and political life has improved over time, most laws are developed within a male dominated setting. In theShared Parenting responsibility statistics, the family court decided that 31% of mothers were mentally ill and only 3% of fathers were mentally ill and not fit to see the children. Whereas, in the general population on statistics around that time, 22% of females and 20% of males were mentally ill. What a lot of people fail to note is that the family court is a slice of the general population and thus should provide results consistent to general population data. This is because, there is bias in diagnosis by court selected psychologists and psychiatrists. Parent Alienation, is a fictitious syndrome that has been used in court rooms in the US for many years and traveled to Australia in the 1980's. This syndrome is often used to divert the spotlight from the alleged perpetrator to the protective parent and diminish their concerns to something spiraling from mental illness. Once established in a Family Court report, its often very difficult to debunk because of its popularity amongst the pseudo - psy- legal community.

4. There is no separation of church and state in Family Law matters.
Family types that clash with religious groups in Australia are often single mothers, same sex couples and new age religious based families. The Family Council identified these groups as "opposing" groups when conducting a think-tank on lobbying for shared parenting. Their values, naturally excluded consideration of young people, women, same sex couples and even basic human rights. The motivation behind the laws were to reverse the right for women to; work, to abort, to leave domestic violence, to shield the children from abuse. Whilst the site is a radical example and one would assume no person with a rational mind would support this organisation, many of these values were reflected within laws surrounding their targets. This organisation whilst small, is still funded and active.

5. You cannot negotiate with a psycho.
Could you ever imagine a scenario where mediation would work with Ted Bundy and his only surviving victim? Or perhaps mediation between Ivan Milat and Paul Onions? There is a good reason why there is no mediation between them: You cannot negotiate with a psycho. The very thought of that is some kind of sick joke, yet at resolution dispute centers, they do this everyday.
In fact, Relationships Australia boasts that their mediators are specially trained in negotiating with psychos.
The victim of course has only two choices:
  1. Negotiate with a psycho
  2. Relive the whole experience under scrutiny in the Family Court.
This is why so many family violence cases ended in consent orders. Consent orders were such a wonderful blanket when the victim was murdered, that spokespeople had the opportunity to explain away that no-one is responsible except for the victim who "consented".

6. Family Court cases are in secret
Anyone who wants to take their case to the media, even when the only surviving child has died, must get the courts permission. Controversially, the most common excuse for the secrecy is to protect the children's names. The secrecy law however, does not reflect that and the practices are more consistent to "the best interests of the court".

This prevents public accountability and understanding of some of the issues that affect victims that go through the family court.

7. False allegations of Child Abuse are rare.
Even children know that child abuse is a serious matter and telling the truth about these things is really important. Despite this, on a community attitudes survey, it was found that half of the community believed that women make up stories of rape, violence and child abuse to gain custody of children. In one of the largest family court samples, findings not only debunked the myth that false allegations dominated family court proceedings, but also the myth that mothers were the main culprits. As little as 12%, were false allegations and most of them were fathers.

8. Its a human rights issue too.
Try to contact Amnesty International and they will tell you that they do not deal with family court cases. Try to contact the Australian Human Rights Commission and they will tell you that its out of jurisdiction. That does not mean its not a human rights issue. Many aspects of family court cases apply to human rights. In rare cases, the Australian Human Rights Commission have intervened, but not as often as they should. This is because the human rights violations are ambiguous in the family law realm. There are too many violations to list them all here, but one can peruse the declaration here. Below is the UN's report on Australia in the context of womens human rights:

9. Sometimes its a matter of life or death
Some victims thought they could survive by avoiding his anger and complying with the orders. Unfortunately, its deeper than that. Homicides relating to family violence is usually because the perpetrator sees the children and their mother as chattel rather than human beings. Just like an angry mechanic might damage a car for not doing what he wants, the perpetrator will find ways to punish them or adopt the, "If I can't have them, no-one will" attitude".

In a way, Family Violence is a silent genocide especially in the context that courts entrap victims from being able to escape the perpetrator and seek proper safety. They are forced to endure the trauma and some even learn that it was safer for the children to return to the relationship, because at least she could be there for them.

Without Family Courts forcing victims to remain in the residence that the perpetrator is aware of and bring the children to him unsupervised, I have no doubt that statistics in general for the years to come would be dramatically reduced. I have no doubt that the death rate would also be reduced significantly. There are so many murders relating to the family court, some reported and others where families endure the loss alone, unacknowledged for the severe violation that the courts orders caused.

10. Its about the children
As much as laws regarding children have been manipulated to serve the agendas of the courts revenue, the agenda of MRAs and the agenda of churches, it is still clearly reflecting the needs of children with the urgency that these situations outside of these courts warrant. Clearly, a man who beats a child's mother does not earn the title "father" in any way, shape or form. Some self proclaimed "experts" believe that they have the ability to play Russian roulette with children's lives by anticipating with little empirical foundation that somehow the father would not be violent to the child too. I have far more respect for the expert that honestly states, "I don't know" when they reach an area that is out of their league, than the one who is desperately career driven that they will make statements to please at all costs. These costs right now are lives and time is ticking away.


  1. Brilliant.

    It is the very same in Ireland.

    So many victims of DV led into the secret courts believing they will get justice, when the truth is it is all about JUST US, making money and keeping women under control.
    I was told I was too powerful for a woman in Catholic Ireland the family court was there to put me back in my box, force me and children to obey the man of the house or go homeless, thus giving them the legal point to take the children from me.
    Sadly, DV victims are rarely told this before going to court.

    DV victims are like lambs to the slaughter.

  2. Exactly..I could not have outlined it better myself,keep up the good work!!!

  3. This is a 2011 Update. I hope you are still posting, and maintain a link to my blog, although that blog (USA) has become more about the financing in the courts and organizations that run them, than about these topics. However, yes, the Family Courts exists as a place for abusers to run to avoid normal protections for the defendants, such as tort law, or criminal law. (NB: I and my children survived, but a very heavy cost, and to those associated with us for years in the courts).

    I'm commenting on this phrase, which I agree with -- but it's incomplete, and completing it would go a long ways towards perhaps arming innocents in the courts (meaning, if there's been abuse) to protect themselves, realizing that even proof of violence or abuse may result in losing custody to a batterer and being charged a high weekly fee to see one's own kids (and possibly paying the batterer/molester child support as well):

    RE paragraph 1:
    _ _ _
    "Family Violence is often referred as "High Conflict", "Entrenched Conflict" to mask the severity of the situation. & later
    _ _ _
    "For Instance, a judge referred to death threats, property damage and stalking towards the mother as, "High Conflict":
    _ _ _

    This judge is likely a member of, or has been influenced by the international association (with Australian members) called "AFCC": Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, origin, Los Angeles County Courthouse (shortly after this courthouse was built).

    A look at materials and "history" page shows an intent ot transform language and a real disrespect for the language of criminal law -- in fact in SF there is a local attorney and "Parent Coordinator" who has written disparagingly of our Constitution and believes it should be scrapped and re-written, and speaks approvingly of Canadian experiments with Sharia Law. Need I say this is a male attorney; look up "Prometheus" and read the articles.

    The AFCC is a lobbying group which makes up language, and with it, market niches for themselves. They are originally responsible for lobbying for the family court law (Conciliation Law) in the US to start with. See for more, and updates on their current (expansionary) efforts.

    Also, a group of parents from Scranton, Pennsylvania, led by a not-to-be-intimidated local man, Joe Pilchesky, on noticing how many people got ordered to parenting classes, questioned whether double-billing might exist, and also questioned the propriety of a GAL practices -- simply sent a "RTK" (Right To Know) request about this person, obtained some vouchers, and filed a lawsuit, seeing as the person was using county space, county staff, insisted on being paid in cash, and had no written contract with the county (Local gov't area: City, County, State...) -- nor could anyone show there had been an advertised competitive bid for the position.

    More on that at (which is closing down, or changing format in exactly one month (1/1/12), or at my blog. If one is to understand the courts, one must understand the nonprofits that run right alongside them, and who is paying for what; it's a clear pattern and not too hard to pick up with a little study.

    Thank you for the good writing, and the colorful background nice design.

  4. "and maintain a link to my blog";
    I meant "and maintain my link to this blog."

    Scranton, PA parents: The FBI descended on the courthouse and ran off with the evidence, after they probed the finances; perhaps to prosecute, perhaps to make sure the public didn't uncover more. This forum had 18 million hits since 2007, survived an attempt to shut it down, I & others are working with them to keep this reporting habit up.

    blogtalkradio (Abuse Freedom United platform) Tuess 9pm (EST= East Coast USA) a show called "64/34 Effect" teaches how to compile & check for evidence of any financial fraud in specific cases, and how to present it.

    Don't just protest injustice -- document any criminal behavior; "Kick Ass & Take Names" -- get evidence. Family Judges know they are immune overall, and under wide discretion -- but not when it comes to taking bribes or kickbacks.

    "4. There is no separation of church and state in Family Law matters."

    USA too only, what's worse, in Year 2000 a 2nd George Bush became President, and his first two acts on "election" (contested) was to issue 2 Executive Orders (vs. allowing Congress to vote), establishing an "Office of Faith-Based and Communitiy Initiatives' (or similar title). We no longer have even a pretense of separation of church and state, and the result has been a system to make a complete "end run" around our critical 1st Amendment -- Congress shall make no law..establishing a religion. Congress didn't -- GWBush did! Kansas, as I speak, is trying to eliminate no-fault divorce and various states copy the practice.

    I track funding (USA) through a database called (and elsewhere) and then look up who's getting the money. Many of these groups are front organizations -- they don't stay incorporated for long. Even more have already (within a few years of this Jan 2001 transformation of our Constitution) been caught in defrauding their local governments, squandering the grants money -- and then vacating the premises! Using the internet, the nonprofits organize, conference, and shift "cronies" among the various local or state-wide "Faith-based" groups, such that if one is caught violating state law, or terms of contract, there is always another Bush-related, "Faith-based" entity willing to pick up the crook. This has spread like wildfire, and is an intentional (I have it in some of their own words) top-down forced takeover of legislative due processes in the USA. We (particularly women) have lost any semblance of Bill of Rights..

    The Family Court Venue, itself a hybrid, did a lot towards softening up the way towards this. In reality, it's a mix between shariah (which I know plenty of Christian Caucasian, and African-American, men that'd LOVE to simply ditch women's right to vote and emulate this, write it into law) and social science (i.e., somehow many atheists in the courts are equally enamored of saying a woman without a man is a child headed for a life of crime, even if the woman got that way by leaving a father who was an active criminal).
    * * *
    Women need to know the financing in their cases. It may involve AFCC or CRC kickbacks. All Australians (except any TAKING bribes) should agree it's time to clear justice of any governmental systems of bribes, regardless of their feelings about women as human beings, or social science theories about who to scapegoat next.

  5. (reply to Lady Portia//Lambs to the Slaughter) -- mothers are led like lambs to the slaughter, in some cases, because we innocently expect that certain groups helping us do not also have mortgages, rent, and staff to pay - and are not trained as women (generally speaking) to be lest trusting -- and to (or how to) check out the tax returns or financial statements of the groups they are seeking help from.

    I was. I had a civil restraining order filed, when it should've been criminal. I didn't enter marriage knowing criminal law!! (who does?). And though working for years in businesses, and even helping run some of them, meaning, I knew their finances, I did not think conceptually about the status of "NONPROFIT" in our country. The status means that in exchange for nonprofit status (which can be revoked if the group doesn't play by its funder's rules), they provide warm bodies to justify the tax-exempt donations for (the funders). Which could also be the government.

    I learned -- this year only -- that 9 years ago, when I sought a renewal of a protective order, the very group I was with had (somewhere in there) switched policies from helping mothers, to helping noncustodial fathers (which is where a lot of federal grants money is). This is apparently why once a domestic violence case (which might result in a separation or "kickout" or happen afterwards) hits the family law venue, the nonprofits simply drop the woman -- they do not help her in this court, and do not warn her what's up ahead. That's unconscionable!

    In essence, they are using her need and danger to fund their organization, then tossing her and the kids to the wolves, and wiping their mouths afterwards. It's an assembly line!

    In San Francisco, one group -- which got started with a grant initially, and even helped pass the "Violence Against Women Act" -- is taking $36 million per year in funding, and runs a "fatherhood institute" to prevent domestic violence! While women right in their back yard are still being killed, abused, and go homeless, this group changed its name, moved into prestigious new HQ and is claiming it's "pioneering new strategies to prevent violence against women" (or whatever its 990 says). I think MANY groups which are claiming to help stop violence simply aren't. This is why we need to find a different way to address it, because deprivation of right to work, access to credit when one has been working faithfully, and any society which is unwilling to treat married women or mothers as full-status humans while they are IN relationships, should pay to support them when they flee for their lives with children, rather than exploit the situation for program funding.

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