Fatherlessness on a grand scale – an open letter to Julia Gillard on the 2011 Family Violence bill

December 1, 2011

gillardI would just like to thank Fathers4Equality for all the information and support your group has made available to me over the years, especially during the times when I felt completely dissolutioned and abandoned by the family law system in this country.

 Despite the hardships along the way, and for the one year when I was denied contact with my son because of false allegations of child sexual abuse, I now am happy to say that I have a very happy, co-operative and child-focussed shared parenting arrangement with my ex-wife, and have done so now for a number of years.

I however have recently been reading the news that the Gillard Labor government is set to replace the 2006 Shared Parenting laws with a set of malicious, archaic and bizarre set of laws that will presume all separated fathers as being violent and abusive, and from what I have read the legal test will now be subjective,  meaning that even provable facts will no longer be a defence for fathers.

 I write the following with a strong sense of despair, not for myself, because I now have an unshakable arrangement that both my ex and I, and especially our son, wants to continue.

 My despair however is for the next generation of Australian children who will lose contact with their fathers’ because this out-of-touch government has chosen to replace Shared Parenting laws that encouraged mediation and co-operation, with laws that will encourage acrimony and false allegations.

 Gillard government removing any penalties for false allegations, with its redefinition of abuse to include events that have never occurred or not likely to occur, where even a side-ways look will now be defined as domestic violence, and with the drastic slashing of funding to Family Relationship Centres

I am actually dumb-founded that the proposed new family laws have ZERO protection for children who have been subject to parental alienation, and ZERO protection for fathers who have been the victims of false allegations. One has to ask what type of family laws they are expected to be when they don’t protect children and fathers, as well as mothers?

 I am quite saddened because I personally experienced the overwhelming discrimination faced by fathers in family law as it was, and things will now only get significantly worse with these new laws.

As I said with my case, I have a very co-operative relationship with my ex, and this has been the case since our court case was finalised. However, I too was subject to the most sinister allegations of child sexual abuse by my ex, and I am still at a loss to understand why she made those allegations to begin with. Over a chat recently, she told me that she regretted that episode, and she made reference to being ‘pushed’ by the independent children’s lawyer to make the allegations she made.

 None of this makes sense to me, as I still cannot fathom how someone can make such sinister allegations that they knew as un-thruths, or should reasonably have known, but what I have learned over the years is that false allegations are by no means the exception in family law, and I have since read possibly hundreds of cases of  eerily similar stories to mine.

 In any case, the allegations against me were roundly condemned by almost all the experts called in Court, from DoCs, doctors, psychologists, the family counsellor and others, to a point where my ex was condemned by the Judge for not being completely truthful in her testimony, or otherwise having developed irrational beliefs. The Judge lamented that our child was needlessly paraded from one doctor to another, in an effort to find someone who agreed with my ex’s allegations.

 I say ‘almost all the experts condemned the allegations’, because the one exception was the independent children’s lawyer, a most malicious women whom I will never forget for her breath-taking personal comments to me prior to the start of our hearing, and for her relentless demands in Court that I not be allowed to see the child again unsupervised.

 This woman was however forced to admit in Court, only after being repeatedly challenged by the Judge, that there was absolutely no evidence that any child abuse ever happened, but she kept on defending her demands by arguing that there was “no evidence that child abuse did not occur.” (In fact there was abundant evidence that nothing occurred….but I will not digress)

 I recall like it was yesterday the first thing this malicious woman said to me as I introduced myself to her on the morning of the hearing: “I will not support any over-night contact with you because it will reduce the mother’s child support”, she said.

 When I responded by saying: “What has that got to do with the family law act?”, she said, “Everything, as far as I am concerned!”

 …and sadly, the malicious anti-male zealots in privileged positions, like the Independent Children’s Lawyer in my case, Miss Jane Weber of the NSW Legal Aid Commission..

 To cut a long and painful episode short, I have put all this behind us now and my son has excelled in everything from school to sports since then, with both my meaningful support and likewise from his mother.

 Our shared-parenting arrangement is rock-solid, and my son is a great testament to how two people who have everything in common when it comes to their child, will make it work given the right laws being in place.

 However, with these laws changing, I see an end to stories like mine, because the influence of these malicious persons, who seem to be present in one capacity or another in almost ever family law case, will eventually win out, forcing an outcome which may be ideologically in keeping with their hate-inspired gender views, but completely inconsistent with the charter of their profession, which should be to protect the best interests of the child.

 Because of the likes of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Attorney General Robert McLelland, and every member of Parliament who have so far supported passage of the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2011, family law will no longer encourage co-operation between separated parents. It will once again be about winner-takes-all, and this will bring out the worst in most parents, at the expense of our children.

 With the Gillard government removing any penalties for false allegations, with its redefinition of abuse to include events that have never occurred or not likely to occur, where even a side-ways look will now be considered domestic violence, and with the drastic slashing of funding to Family Relationship Centres, it is clear that being a decent and loving father is no longer good enough in this country, because the presumption that stands is that separated fathers are violent, and no amount of evidence will dispute this.

 …and sadly, the malicious anti-male zealots in privileged positions, like the Independent Children’s Lawyer in my case, Miss Jane Weber of the NSW Legal Aid Commission, will now be able to systemically abuse the unprotected victims of the family law system, without the necessary checks and balances that have been so desperately needed in the most exploited area of law in this country.

 If fatherlessness on a grand scale is the goal of this legislation Miss Gillard, then it sure has the makings of success, but no doubt we will one day look back at another stolen generation and ask ourselves, “how did we let it happen again?”

Email from Fathers4Equity

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