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

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