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The Forum > Article Comments > Parents behaving badly > Comments

Parents behaving badly : Comments

By Barbara Biggs, published 8/3/2010

Chief Justice Diana Bryant has showed leadership in stepping up to the plate to protect children where the government has so far failed to do so.

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What is needed in these cases is a holistic, co-ordinated common sense approach with child's needs uppermost.

I sense a lot of "pro-mother" bias in the article which disturbs me. During 12 years in public health my experience was that child neglect and abuse was more commonly committed by mothers in single parent situations and/or Mum's new BF. Quite often in cases of 'stepfather' abuse Mum was acquiescent at best and active participant at worst.

Another observation: Where abuse of the female partner occurred, children were less likely to suffer similar abuse but if old enough to realise what was happening, were traumatised by the mothers suffering. This type of male was usually highly manipulative and likely to be chiefly concerned in using the children to control and/or punish the mother.

Similarly I have seen highly manipulative vindictive mothers doing likewise through spurious accusations of various forms of 'abuse' including instances where physical harm was committed and then blamed on the father.

Both types of parent obviously have serious psychological disorders and should be sterilised immediately to prevent future innocents suffering and clean up the gene pool in general.

However back to the issue: Anyone required to make huge far-reaching decisions about a child's welfare - whether a case of custody between separated parents or returning a child to a situation from which they have been removed, should have as much relevant information as possible to assist in making the right choice. If that means access to previously "Confidential" information then so be it.

Re: "... fatherís rights groups have threatened to mobilise their members against the Labor Party if the laws are changed to better protect children."
I call 'red herring'! If these groups (I'm aware of only one)have such huge membership that they could seriously affect election outcomes or exert undue influence, it would only prove what I suspect has been the case for quite a long time - that Fathers have been getting the rougher end of the pineapple when it comes to retaining contact and involvement in their childrens lives post-divorce/separation.

Possible?
Posted by divine_msn, Monday, 8 March 2010 11:55:39 AM
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Biggs has chosen her words very carefully here. She states that there is a problem and that governments need to do more, but is careful not to make any specific suggestions that could be analysed or aportion blame directly to members of either gender.

If all that fathers and their supporters achieve is to make these people think carefully about what they say then we can feel that we are getting somewhere.
Posted by benk, Monday, 8 March 2010 12:25:26 PM
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Fathers' rights groups appeared after child support legislation and DNA technologies combined to force men to have financial responsibliity for the children they fathered. Fathers can reduce child support by having half or more of a child. That's where fathers rights groups have come from. Fathers in countries without child support systems aren't campaigning for family law reform - they can walk away and get a new family without consequences.
The fathers' rights political clout clearly trumps that of children - they don't vote. The fathers' rights groups have money and control at stake and they will fight to the death. There is more than one group. They have many faces. Children will continue to be the front line in family law and they will continue to be killed and injured by dangerous parents while the law looks blindly on.
Posted by mog, Monday, 8 March 2010 12:33:33 PM
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Yes Benk, the author did choose her words carefully. I think she wrote an unbiased report of the issues at hand, and is obviously on the side of the children in these cases, without taking the side of either women or men.

Barbara Biggs <"Those in entrenched conflict separations with cases pending, either before the courts or in mediation, will be grateful for her latest recommendation that information from mediation sessions be provided to the Courts for consideration."

This will be hugely helpful to judges when deciding on custody conflicts. In my experience people can only be civil for a short amount of time, or for only one or two mediation sessions, when it is in their nature to be aggressive, controlling or manipulative as a rule.

Hopefully, the mediation staff will be trained well enough to check out the true nature of both of the parents coming before them regarding child custody conflicts after separation.

Many parents will eventually shoot themselves in the foot by suggesting nasty things about their partner, children or related issues.
Many of these sorts of people just can't help themselves.

The data and reports from these mediation sessions will be invaluable to judges who are to rule on child custody disputes, who previously had to rely on hearsay and perhaps listened more to the most compelling personality of the parents rather than getting to the truth.
Posted by suzeonline, Monday, 8 March 2010 12:51:48 PM
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"Life sentence for mother who gassed two kids in her car
Christine Flatley From: AAP February 24, 2010 1:39PM

A WOMAN who gassed her children to death in the family car as an act of revenge towards her ex-husband has been jailed for life.
The 43-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, was found guilty after trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane last week of murdering her six-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter at their home at Sandstone Point, near Bribie Island.

The charge of murder carries an automatic life sentence in Queensland, which was handed down to the woman on Wednesday.

She was also found guilty of the attempted murder of her 16-year-old son, for which she received a concurrent sentence of 15 years.

During the trial the court was told the mother decided to kill herself and the children after being issued with a Family Court order stating they would spend Christmas Day with their dad."

Barbara Biggs refers to a murder (that of Darcy Freeman) committed by the father during custodial/access dispute. Crazy mothers do terrible things too but seem to end up with the kids regardless.

There needs to be much less of a leaning towards the SEX of the main custodial parent than towards the SUITABILITY of same. This needs to be of paramount consideration. Same goes for the pre-occupation with keeping kids with unsuitable (loopy/criminal/incompetent/abusive)biological parents/relatives and the notion of 'culture'.
Posted by divine_msn, Monday, 8 March 2010 1:26:26 PM
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It would seem that the same issues and conflicts arise when custody disputes are between the birth mother and the social mother.

Personally I do not think that socalled fathers rights activists have as much power as Babara gives them credit for.

It is true that either gender can and sometimes do behave very badly.
Posted by JamesH, Monday, 8 March 2010 2:03:33 PM
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