By Kevin Glancy
A snapshot: A system of abuse in desperate need of an overhaul
Domestic violence policy as it is applied by state governments is not working. If it was, it would not be a constant topic of discussion and an obvious community concern.
There’s a number of reasons why the system has failed and there’s no doubt that unless it receives a major overhaul it will continue to be a source of discontent. It’s a system which actually provokes more domestic violence rather than less and – it fails to assist in protecting women who are genuinely under threat.
The reality is that for many years certain women in the media have had the loudest voice and have greatly influenced the way domestic violence policy is administered through the political process. So why are there still problems? Why are these same women and some men, including White Ribbon, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, Human Rights Commission, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls – Stott Despoja, female ‘television panelists’, and others still complaining that the system is not working or that more needs to be done to protect women? The ball has been in their court for a very long time so why are there still problems?
There is no doubt that more could be done but what is it that they really want? There is much rhetoric but no solutions. There’s an array of possible causes offered such as female inequality, the way women are treated at work etc. but they are irrelevant. These explanations are all about women and they all miss the point. The reason the system is failing is because it is very much, all about women.
In declaring a gender war using the system to deny men their basic human right to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise, these women of influence with the support of politicians have in fact done themselves a disservice. The application of a DV system that deprives men of such a basic human right is a highly provocative response – they have added fuel to the fire. They have also influenced the growth of a system that encourages courts to grant orders based on fabricated allegations. Both outcomes serve to provoke domestic violence rather than reduce it. The DV system doesn’t necessarily help women other than provide them with a facility to inflict hurt on the opposite gender.
Made more contentious by the ease that women, particularly mothers can access an AVO. Their actions have disguised the real perpetrators leaving women who are genuinely under threat – vulnerable and unprotected.
If the system wasn’t so biased against men the authorities would have a far better chance of protecting women or anyone else for the matter, because right now the real victims are lost in the sea of vexatious claims. It leaves authorities who have limited resources with no idea who they are until it’s far too late and tragedy has struck.
You can’t protect the rights of one gender by abusing the rights of another. For the most part women with loud voices and their supporters have driven domestic violence agenda to that divisive destination. Reinforced by commentary that serves to vilify and stereotype males to suggest that they are all violent. Those responsible are generally organisations funded by taxpayers and they have a vested financial interest in maintaining the status quo. Their only solution is for stiffer penalties when that is not the reason why the system is broken or why it desperately needs a major overhaul.
Whether it’s the Human Rights Commission, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner or White Ribbon – collectively they have never conceded that it’s possible that a woman could either provoke or perpetrate an act of domestic violence.
Theirs is an unrealistic, blinkered view constantly rammed home through the media with distorted, emotive statistics such as; ’one in every three women is a victim of domestic violence’. Of course it’s a nasty piece of male vilification and absolute nonsense, when ABS 2012 stats reveal that it’s actually one in six. Due to their propaganda and misinformation they have effectively high jacked the system. It’s all based on the ridiculous notion that women never lie, are never violent and never manipulate a situation to suit their agenda. As naïve as that view is, it is never the less the prevailing political and judicial view and until there is recognition that some women do all those things, women will never be safe.
Where is their commentary about the horrific murders of eight children allegedly at the hands of a mother in Cairns? The most serious act of domestic violence ever recorded in Australia’s history. No father has ever come close to inflicting such horror on his children and there are many other cases currently in process involving females murdering and abusing children. There are three new murder cases already mentioned involving women killing or trying to kill their husbands in just the last six weeks.
Women’s violence is nothing new. A NSW report – The Fatal Assault of Children and Young People published in 2002, which looked into the deaths of 60 children who died in violent circumstances between January 1996 and July 1999, found that mothers were responsible in the majority of cases; that more children died as a result of mother violence/neglect than as a result of the biological father’s violence/neglect.The report shows mothers are over 4 times more likely to kill their children than biological fathers. Yet it is the father who is instantly denied access to his children when an untested allegation of domestic violence is aired.
A fabricated AVO is extreme provocation in itself, particularly when a father is found guilty without a trial and is instantly denied access to his children based only on a written allegation of domestic violence. If you want to do someone an injury, particularly a father, then the system effectively encourages you to use the children as the weapon.
There’s nothing more damaging than an unjustified AVO. It’s reasonably easy to obtain; will bring a father to his knees; ruin his and the children’s lives and you can do it with the court’s blessing.
Putting female dishonesty aside, we know some men are violent yes, more so than women – but how about the women? There are a number of statistics that support the fact that women are becoming more violent. I won’t feature them here other than an ABS 2012/13 statistic. It highlights an annual increase in domestic violence perpetrated by women that is trending upwards at a rate of 12% every year. When you combine that with another ABS statistic which reveals that one in very three victims of domestic violence is a male – a figure which is probably a lot higher because men rarely report such victimhood, then it’s clear that domestic violence policy is not only gender biased, its direction is way off target.
The aim should be to stamp out violence against anyone regardless of gender.
So why is the system so biased? More often than not those women of influence I refer to occupy the left side of the political spectrum. The politics are relevant because government applies policies and as far as domestic violence goes and much like Family Law that had its origin with Labor and Justice Lionel Murphy, domestic violence policy has been driven by left wing ideals.
In fairness to them these are highly contentious and emotional areas of policy and it is difficult to create a level playing field to keep parental feelings in check. We assume there are no bad intentions but left wing ‘engineers’ must take some responsibility for creating a hostile environment surrounding the administration of Family Law and domestic violence policy. The domestic violence ‘industry’ must also acknowledge their role in continuing to promote the myth that only men are violent.
Make no mistake. The administration of domestic violence policy is not only highly provocative, its application process is also irrational. If you behave irrationally it’s more than likely that you will provoke an irrational response.
A murderer or terrorist has legal rights – an alleged DV offender has none
Australia relies on an adversarial legal process. We rely on it because it’s designed to minimise ‘legal’ mistakes. Yet unlike every other crime in Australia including murder and terrorism, the system of justice we normally rely on is willfully cast aside when an allegation of domestic violence is made.
When a man faces an allegation of domestic violence he is essentially presumed guilty. There is no investigation, no trial and the respondent isn’t even in court when the charge is heard. Often the first thing a father knows about such an allegation is when he discovers that he cannot see his children because of an AVO.
This cruel and callous sentence fails to recognise the love that a father has for his children and is often based on a written statement without any supporting evidence. There are no police attendance records, medical reports or photos of injuries. Many applications are fabricated and many of those are granted. Women responsible are given the benefit of the doubt and they are not held to account for their dishonesty – for their perjury.
You will meet countless fathers and I would suggest there are thousands of them who have been subjected to an AVO the instant their marriage has ended. They do not have a violent bone in their body. Applying for an AVO has become routine. Mothers are advised by women’s support groups and solicitors to take out an AVO because it’s the best way to gain custody of the children with the added bonus – it’s a great way to hurt your ex.
Domestic violence policy has become a means to an end and that end is revenge.
It gets worse for the father. Some weeks later he may get the opportunity to challenge the order in a local court. Already desperately missing his children, often fathers are advised by the Duty Solicitor that if they don’t challenge the order they will get to see their children. Of course they are still unable to see their children and now they have in effect a criminal record. In NSW even if they prove their innocence they are still listed for life as a domestic violence offender. It’s probably the case in most states. It’s a stigma that can affect their employment and hangs over their heads to be used against them the next time a woman lies about them.
Months later and still unable to see their children they arrive in the Family Court. That Court maintains the presumption of guilt. They don’t always refer to the AVO instead suggesting that because of the period of absence ‘we have to take things slowly’. We assume that such reasoning also applies to soldiers, sailors, mining personnel and all other parents who spend months away from their children.
So based on that highly suspect logic and an absence not of his making, a father will be allowed to see his children for a mere two hours a week but only under the supervision of a third party and usually in a MacDonald’s restaurant or somewhere neutral – under the real or imaginary scornful eyes of other patrons. He will have to pay the ‘supervisor’ for that privilege each time. To inflict further humiliation, the Court may order that he attend anger management (around $500) and psychological assessment (around $4000).
So there’s also a financial burden, a further penalty he must carry. Bear in mind that at this stage his guilt has not been proven. His punishment is based on some words written on a piece of paper.
AVO’s have become the weapon of choice to humiliate a man and the courts are an accomplice in that endeavor. Is it any wonder why a man just might get angry enough to strike back? To behave in an irrational manner in response to an irrational gender biased system; denied justice and more often than not – based on a lie delivered by a woman.
What would a woman do if she was on the receiving end of such injustice, particularly when a wall has been put between her and her children when it’s not warranted? Bear in mind some mothers do end up in this situation. It’s rare but it does happen – put there by malicious fathers who have got their application in first.
Sadly while all this is going on women, who are experiencing the cycle of abuse through the actions of violent men, remain hidden from view.
This is what women are doing to themselves with the aid of politicians from both sides of the political spectrum. The system is sinking under the weight of its own administrated abuse.
A new plan is desperately needed if we’re serious about reducing domestic violence.
For those who refuse to acknowledge that women can be as violent as males
Just 6 weeks into 2015 and here’s a few examples of female perpetrated domestic violence sourced from just one newspaper. (Daily Telegraph)
January 01, 2015
A 58-year-old woman was on Tuesday charged with a total of four counts of attempted murder involving two boys, aged nine and 11.
She also faces two additional attempted murder charges stemming from other incidents. Police allege she tried to kill one of the boys on two separate occasions.
The woman has also been charged with one count of interfering with a corpse in relation to the death of a seven-month-old infant from the same family in September. She is still assisting police with their investigations into the alleged homicide of the infant, as well as the baby’s three-year-old sibling in July 2013.
February 02, 2015
Wife attempted to set husband’s car on fire while he was asleep inside
A WOMAN has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly dousing her husband’s car in fuel and attempting to set it on fire. He was asleep on Henry Lawson Drive in Georges River National Park.Senior Corrective Services employee Sharon Joan Yarnton has been charged with the attempted murder of her husband. Another woman has also been charged as an accomplice.
February 5, 2015
Elderly SA woman to stand trial for murder
A 75-year-old woman Lucia Colella, accused of murdering her husband with knives and an axe at their Alberton home has been ordered to stand trial in Adelaide.
There are also other cases of female perpetrated non- domestic violence not listed here that have occurred over the last 6 weeks.
January 02, 2015 – What some mothers will do for custody: A 16-YEAR-OLD girl has become an ice addict after she was encouraged to smoke the drug by her mother to “get back” at the teenager’s father, it has been revealed in court. The girl’s tragic spiral into drug addiction, violence and prostitution became what a judge has described as a “life and death” matter as her father fought to regain custody from the Department of Family and Community Services.Justice Richard White criticised the department for not adequately helping the girl’s father.