Great post from Melanie at the Australian Shared Parenting Law Debate blog. Australians recognize that the murder of Zahra Baker in North Carolina--"allegedly" at the hands of her custodial father and/or step--is not some mysterious "tragedy" unfathomable to mere mortals. Rather, it's the perfectly predictable outcome of "fathers rights friendly" family law policies that have been institutionalized in Australia, and increasingly elsewhere. Recent news articles have clarified that the custodial father of this girl--who at minimum has been accused of assault in an "unrelated" case--stripped the mother of custody under the excuse of post-partum depression (which is especially common for new mothers under tremendous stress--like a custody battle or verbal or psychological abuse or any stripe). He then cut off further contact, and was even allowed to leave the country because he met a new woman in the U.S. on the Internet. Meanwhile, Australian moms who tried to leave the country with their children--even for their own safety--are subjected to the Hague Convention and "kidnapping" charges.
We have postings here at Dastardly on the Darcey Freeman case, another Australian little girl who was murdered by her violent father (thrown off a bridge) when the Australian courts refused to block visitation with him.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Zahra, the Libs and the family law changes: A Tale That Should Never Have Happened
Zahra, is unfortunately one of many children who died at the hands of decision that the family court made. From the late eighties when Ken Bryne introduced Gardner's concept of parent alienation deeming victims of violence and protective parents as "unfriendly parents" until now, so many women and children died at the hands of judges. Judges who were warned by experts in family violence of such grave consequences if they continued to ignore victims. Anyone with common sense would look no further than the collection of analysis on familicides to know that by ignoring victims of family violence is playing with lives.
In Australia, two generations of victims have grown up through the system where there are now parents facing the same system that abused them as a child, now plaguing their children. The system that had always had the power to protect, but failed to do so for the sake of a cheap and quick service. Thats right, the lives of Australian women and children have been hijacked in favor of a cheap and quick service that caters primarily for men. Bright futures that could have been the one who cured cancer, solved our environmental crisis or made some other wonderful contribution to our community was lost in favor of a "cheap and quick" service. We don't know what Zahra Baker, Darcey Freeman or those whom in death remain nameless could have done for Australia and the wider global community. Whether the parent is a mother or a father abusing, there are signs and symptoms that the family court have ignored, despite so many that have spelled it out.
A task that victims and survivors alike should never have had to do in Australia was to lobby for a protection that should never have been robbed from them. A basic human right:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Arguably, mens rights groups claimed that such acts were a "right", but not when they are disproportionate to children's and womens rights. These "rights" deprived both children and mothers of basic human rights. The situation was so appalling that it got a mention in a UN report against Australia.
The Family Law Amendment 2010 proposal is not only spot on, but it is vital not just in the value of life, but the value of Australia's future. The reason why Australia thrives is because so many of these women work hard to raise these children despite all odds and some of these children have made great contributions to the Australian community and the rest of the world.
Much anger, action and outrage has been raised about the deaths that occurred in 9/11, but if all of the deaths of women and children from family violence had occurred in one location - it would be the greatest act of terrorism in history. The question is why it is not as important, why action was not taken sooner and why women and children are continuing to endure abuse at the order of the family court or perhaps, "Her Majesties Pleasure".
The Australian Liberal Party, a rogue right wing cell that lost all meaning of "liberal"(except in global trade concepts), is beyond the phrase, "Out of touch" when they vow publicly to "fight" basic protection measures desperately needed for women and children. No matter how nicely put it, we all know now that its happening. It cannot be denied. there are too many that have been affected by these laws, too many that have been affected by child abuse and violence. Everyone knows and cares about at least someone that has gone through it and the campaigns simply spell it out.
As much as the liberals might have wet dreams about a totalitarian society like 1984, its just not going to happen. The mindset behind control was never an intelligent choice in the first place, it was nothing more than reviving the retro-thug from the dark ages. The art of surviving great challenges and pursuing noble endeavors is the only true intelligence and one that cannot be tested by academia, but of action and results within a collective sense of integrity.
If you wish to add your name to a historical change for the better, you can sign the petition here:
Posted by Melanie at 10:35 PM