Monday, August 4, 2014

One in five mothers worry about safety of children when in the custody of their fathers (Melbourne, Australia)

The triumph of fathers rights. Violent dads get custody, the authorities do nothing about the mothers' concerns.

Estranged partners worry about children’s safety with other guardian

Herald Sun August 04, 2014 9:32PM

The survey shows four in 10 parents who reported violence and safety concerns to authorities said “nothing happened” as a result.

ONE in five mothers and 14 per cent of fathers have ongoing concerns about their children’s safety in the custody of the other parent, a study of more than 6000 Australian adults shows.

The Survey of Recently Separated Parents 2014, funded by the federal Attorney-General’s Department, shows four in 10 parents who reported violence and safety concerns to authorities said “nothing happened” as a result.

The nationally representative study was presented by the Australian Institute of Family Studies at its conference in Melbourne last week.

The Herald Sun can report:

ALMOST one in five children are given equal time with both parents after separation, despite experiencing physical violence;

LESS than one-third of parents said the family law system effectively dealt with their family violence issues;

ONLY 53 per cent of parents who experienced family violence before or during separation reported it to police or other services;

MORE than 60 per cent of mothers — but only 28 per cent of fathers — attempt to limit contact with the other parent due to safety concerns;

FIVE per cent of men say women threatened harm to children, and 8.5 per cent of women said this about men.

Dr Rae Kaspiew, one of the report’s authors, said there were “significant concerns among separated parents generally who are affected by violence and safety issues about the extent to which the family law system is equipped to help them”.

“However, it’s important to appreciate that most parents find the system positive.”

The survey was conducted before Family Law amendments in 2012 that aim to put the protection of children before the rights of parents to have access.

But experts say nothing has changed.

Charles Pragnell, chairman of the National Child Protection Alliance, said the Family Court was “ordering children into the custody of parents who were abusive and who had a history of violence”.

Monash University lecturer Thea Brown, author of the book Child Abuse and Family Law, said that although “it is most likely to be the father that is violent, suspicion falls on the mother for inventing the allegations”.

“Whatever the mother does, they are often seen as the troublemaker,” Dr Brown said.

She said 53 per cent of the allegations mothers make are substantiated, compared with only one-third of allegations made by fathers against mums.

Barry Williams, founder of the Lone Fathers Association, said the Family Court “can’t do anything about perjury or lying by mothers”. “The system is working against dads, many of whom are still fighting to see their kids,” he said.”