Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Minister for the Status of Women misled the Parliament

The Minister would do well to take a course in basic statistics. Persons who go through custody proceedings in the Family Court of Australia or in the Federal Magistrates Court are "the sharp end of the stick", and are not at all representative of the gen

Posted off email advisory from Greg
Greg Andresen said

Dear colleagues,

The Australian House of Representatives had the Second Reading of the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 last Thursday. The Bill seeks to wind back the shared parenting reforms made in 2006 under the Howard Government under the guise of protecting women and children from family violence. For those interested in reading the debate, the Hansard transcript is now available at HANSARD reports. It is heartening to hear the Federal Opposition speak out sensibly against the proposed Bill.

I have heard (as yet unconfirmed) news that the Bill passed the lower house of Parliament today.

In her speech last Thursday, the Minister for the Status of Women misled the parliament with the following claims:

"The rate of domestic and family violence in this country is an epidemic, but it is an epidemic that is not frequently discussed either in this House or in our neighbourhoods and communities. Let us take a moment to look at the facts. Those who suffer from family violence are predominantly women and children. The evidence for this is irrefutable. Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that one in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15."

The same research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that one in two Australian men has experienced physical violence since the age of 15. These are not statistics for domestic and family violence but statistics for ALL violence.
 
"Research conducted in Victoria just a couple of years ago revealed that intimate-partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness amongst women in that state who are aged between 15 and 44."

This is true, however, this study only looked at women, so we have no idea what the comparative figures are for men. This statistic is also misleading because the study found that injuries from intimate partner violence made up just 0.7% of the disease burden in women aged 15 to 44; deaths (femicide and suicide) made up 2.3% and 12.9% respectively; substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol and drug use) 10.2%; sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer 2.2%; and poor mental health (depression, anxiety and eating disorders) 71.8%7. I.e. the vast majority of the contribution to the burden of disease in young Victorian women from intimate partner violence is from illness (poor mental health), not from injury, death or disability. This statistic could easily mislead the public into believing that the leading cause of harm to young women is intimate partner violence (via death, disability and injury), when in actual fact violence doesn't make the top ten causes of death, disability or injury for young women.

"Let us be clear that all violence must be acted upon, and for this reason we must bring it out of the shadows. We must ensure that we face what is a deeply disturbing reality. It is important to take this opportunity to dispel the myths and put some facts on the record. While it is true that men are more likely to be victims of violence, this violence occurs predominantly at the hands of a stranger and in public places, such as the street or the pub, not at the hands of a family member, not at the hands of a partner, not at the hands of those they trust the most and not in their own home. In fact, violence against women and children is, tragically, too often hidden within the family."

It is true that Australian men are more likely than women to experience violence at the hands of strangers and in public places, such as the street or the pub. However, this does NOT mean that men are less likely than women to experience violence at the hands of persons known to them, or in the home. Recent figures from the ABS Personal Safety Survey 2005 show that:

( a ) There was no statistically significant gender difference between the victimisation rates for males and females for physical assault by known perpetrators in the last 12 months
( b ) There was no statistically significant gender difference between the victimisation rates for males and females for physical assault by family members (includes father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, other relative/in-law and ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend) in the last 12 months
( c ) There was no statistically significant gender difference between the victimisation rates for males and females for physical assault in the home in the most recent incident in the last 12 months.

"This leads me to the final myth that I would like to dispel today. There has been some opposition to this bill from individuals and groups who say that separated mothers routinely make false accusations of family violence and child abuse. They say that vindictive parents commonly pressure their children to make false claims for the purposes of revenge or to gain tactical advantage in child custody disputes. It is concerning that these groups are gaining increasing prominence and respectability in this country, that we are hearing their arguments repeated across the nation and indeed in the parliament and that they are distorting domestic family violence figures, spreading misinformation and propagating the view that family violence and child abuse claims are fabricated during custody proceedings. But what is more concerning is that this spurious view seems to have gotten some traction in our community. Surveys undertaken a few years ago by VicHealth found that 46 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that "women going through custody battles often make up claims of domestic violence to improve their case". Forty-six per cent of respondents agreed with this."

It is likely that the reason 46 per cent of respondents agreed with this statement is that they had personal knowledge of a friend or family member who had experienced this, not that they had been swayed by "spurious arguments".

"I would like to be very clear about this. This reasoning has been entirely debunked by research in Australia and overseas."

No such research was cited by the Minister.

"A report in 2007 by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the family violence allegation rates in custody proceedings in the Family Court of Australia or in the Federal Magistrates Court are similar to the reported rates of spousal violence profiles in the general divorcing population. In short, claims that abuse allegations are manufactured are bogus and unsupported by any respectable form of evidence."

The Minister would do well to take a course in basic statistics. Persons who go through custody proceedings in the Family Court of Australia or in the Federal Magistrates Court are "the sharp end of the stick", and are not at all representative of the general divorcing population. Therefore any correlation or not in family violence allegation rates amongst court populations and reported rates in the general divorcing population is meaningless.

"Violence and abuse claims are not being made up to support some perceived advantage in Family Court cases."

The Minister would do well to attend any DIDSS meeting, or talk to any family lawyer (or 46% or the general population!) to get a very different perspective.

"In fact, Australian research tells us that the concerns about child and family violence are real, especially during divorce proceedings. Women and children are at their most vulnerable to family violence when parents are separating, and we have seen some pretty high-profile examples of this in recent weeks."

Yes, this is true. Child and family violence are real, especially during divorce proceedings. However, there is no reason to throw away due process in an attempt to protect people from child and family violence. It is possible to protect people from violence AND from false allegations of violence. The minister appears to only care about the former.

Kind regards,

Greg

Greg Andresen
Research & Media Liaison
Men's Health Australia
Website  http://www.menshealthaustralia.net
Tel  0403 813 925
Post  P.O. Box 1292, Bondi Junction NSW 1355, Australia


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
As usual, Mr Andresen has sensible and constructive comments, in great contrast to the dribble that the Minister inflicted on the Parliament and the Nation.

The one thing that he didn't mention is the vast broadening of the definition of "violence" that has taken place under Labor State Governments, to the point that any behaviour at all that a female would-be "victim" takes exception to may be defined as "violence".

This has come about because of the enormous influence of organised radical feminist women's groups within the Labor Party and in all parties of the Left in Western society.

These groups have hijacked the leftist position to the point that no injustice can be addressed unless it is cast as some kind of maltreatment of women. Hence we have the latest mental health funding being spent on "infant mental health" (let's face it, that means money for Mum), while nearly 2000 men between 15 and 40 kill themselves each year, often because of a sense of hopelessness created by their treatment at the hands of Government Agencies and the iniquitous Family Law industry. I suspect that there were probably a couple of men in the last few days who found the Minister's dishonest distortions enough to provide the catalyst for their own decision to end their life.

The Minister can feel a warm glow of achievement for the Sisterhood…
I am "fair dinkum" disgusted. Our Nation passes the "Hate-Men" law presuming fathers to be criminals unfit to parent their own children. How shameful. The only Nation in the world to repeal share parenting - and Brandis glosses over it as uncontroversial

CraigO you are right. The Family Violence Bill is the Australian version of the Violence Against Women Act in the USA, (VAWA - The WMD of divorce) and enacted for the same reasons, namely, ideological Feminist Pork (add some Green here), and likely with the same consequences, 40% of American children fatherless, millions of fathers criminalized and/or incarcerated, billions spent on welfare, and the unravelling of the social fabric in one of the most destructive cultural shifts in human history.
"Feminist Pork - the Hate-Men Law" at
Time to Defund Feminist Pork - the Hate-Men Law -- October 2005 Phyllis Schlafly Report
 
Dr Steven Baskerville in his article VIOLENCE AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION at Professor Stephen Baskerville Ph.D. -- Violence Against the Constitution details how this discriminatory legislation is unlawful.

The US Supreme Court found parts of the VAWA unconstitutional. Perhaps Brandis is not the incompetent he appears with his reference to MRRvGRR but hints at a High Court challenge as the way to stop this disgrace. Can some sort of injunction be filed against the constitutionality of the Family Violence Bill? This would at least it draw public attention to the fact that the Bill is highly controversial to perhaps delay or stop it in the Senate. How's your constitution? Email me.

"The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is possibly the most totalitarian measure ever passed by the Congress. Every jurisdiction has criminal statutes punishing violent assault. So why do we need a law punishing assaults specifically "against women"? Why must it be a federal law, for which no constitutional authority exists? And why is $4 billion in taxpayers money required to outlaw something that is already against the law? The answer, as usual, is power  power for those who promise to protect us against yet another new danger.

It is politically hazardous for politicians to question any measure marketed for women and children. But no evidence indicates any problem of violence specifically against women. A virtually unanimous body of research has demonstrated that domestic violence is perpetrated by both sexes in roughly equal measures. So what is the real agenda behind this bill?"
srldad101 said
… and Brandis glosses over it as uncontroversial
Just be careful we are talking about the same Bill. There are TWO Bills in process. The Bill I think Brandis refers to as "uncontroversial" is the FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT (VALIDATION OF CERTAIN PARENTING ORDERS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2010 This Bill was created to correct an anomaly after the MRR v GR High Court case. It fixed an issue that could have led to ALL orders that were made in the Family Law jurisdiction to have been invalid where either by consent or by judgement parties had NOT considered "Reasonable Practicality" in setting up a regime.

Those people with contested parenting orders will be able to commence fresh family law proceedings where the court did not consider the reasonable practicality of the order, without having to demonstrate a material change in the circumstances. Note there is no time limit on this We may in fact see fathers back where they had lost time and it WAS reasonably practical to have that time.
srldad101 said
…So what is the real agenda behind this bill?"
Only time will tell but one thing is certain the Police will bear the brunt of a raft of additional ADVO applications as no proof or standard of evidence is required, most certainly fathers will see many more allegations made in separating family cases because there are no longer going to any "Mandatory" penalties applied and most worrying is the new section 18 Paragraph 60CC(3)( c )

( c ) the extent to which each of the childs parents has taken, or failed to take, the opportunity:
(i) to participate in making decisions about major long-term issues in relation to the child; and
(ii) to spend time with the child; and
(iii) to communicate with the child;
(ca) the extent to which each of the childs parents has fulfilled, or failed to fulfil, the parents obligations to maintain the child;

and Paragraph 60CC(3)(k)
Repeal the paragraph, substitute:
(k) any family violence order that applies to the child or a member of the childs family;

I have written extensively about this particular section as it replaces a section that is straight forward, written in plain language and was agreed to by both parties previously.

(Current Provision) Paragraph 60CC (3) (c )
( c ) the willingness and ability of each of the childs parents to facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent; (It seems very plain and clear to me)

This is a fundamental principle of the 2006 reforms and the re drafting of this can only be described as inadequate at best.

Despite acknowledging that the courts have not been acting improperly Professor Parkinson supports the repeal of 60CC and s117 because some feminists want it that way and they have provided anecdotal evidence. Family law should not be based on questionable anecdotal accounts. Interestingly this rationale was not applied when fathers groups demanded a presumption of a starting point of equal time.

We agree that the working of this provision will be extremely difficult as ( c ) the extent to which each of the childs parents has taken, or failed to take, the opportunity: and (ca) the extent to which each of the childs parents has fulfilled, or failed to fulfil, the parents obligations to maintain the child;

Finally, by virtue of s68f(2)(j) of the former Family Law Act the court had to consider the attitude to the child, and to the responsibilities of parenthood demonstrated by each of the child's parents . This meant that under s68f(2)(j) as is the case with s60CC(2) the courts could consider evidence on the the willingness and ability of each of the child's parents to facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent. Yet this did not stop parents from raising child safety concerns.

As to the question of community understanding the most apparent feature of the proposal to repeal s60CC(2) and S117AB is the message it sends in advance to divorcing parents. A power-play for exclusive child residence, either for purposes of intimidation or to force subservience in divorce negotiation, is likely to be tolerated by the court In summary, the rationale for the repeal of s60C(2) is unsustainable and is based on mean spirited ideology.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Chisholm in his submission to the Senate, regards the removal of the friendly parent provision (S 60CC(3)©), says that he did not recommend this

My own preference was a little different, namely to retain the idea of facilitating the childs relationship with the other parent in the context of greatly simplifying the whole set of provisions about determining childrens best interests. There could be a risk that this amendment will mean that this factor might be given slightly diminished weight in cases where parents should be encouraging the childrens relationship with the other parent

So where did this repeal come from?

Regards family violence orders
In my view it is inappropriate to refer to family violence orders at all as a factor relevant to determining the best interests of children. I would therefore omit paragraph (k) altogether.

Regards the new definition of family violence
Chisholm admits it is flawed. He argues to eliminate the problem of over-inclusion by adding the intention behind the behaviour

Regards "wider issues"
"… I would urge that child development experts be included in the drafting; and, of course, I would assist if invited to do so."
i.e. Let Chisholm and McIntosh rewrite the Family Law Act - like hell.

Fathers stereotyped as fugitive and irresponsible

New Section 18 Paragraph 60CC(3)( c )

( c ) the extent to which each of the childs parents has taken, or failed to take, the opportunity:
 (i) to participate in making decisions about major long-term issues in relation to the child; and
 (ii) to spend time with the child; and
 (iii) to communicate with the child;
 (ca) the extent to which each of the childs parents has fulfilled, or failed to fulfil, the parents obligations to maintain the child;

The new section 18 Paragraph 60CC(3)( c ) is retrospective, backwards looking at the marriage and the parenting roles, whereas the previous section was forward looking, aspirational and cast an eye over the willingness of parents to foster the child's relationship with the other parent. Clearly under the new provisions, if dad was out working and mum was at home with the kids, the father will be deemed to be absent, uninvolved, uncaring, detached, not doing the parenting. Father absence from the home will be all the judge needs to find against fathers. It creates a controversy and contest as to who was the better parent, rather than accepting the truth that the best parent is both parents and every child has a mother and a father.  At any time in the intact family, the deal both parents agree works best in their circumstances is often a division of labour which requires one to work outside the home. What's wrong with that? the sacrifice that parent makes to be away from home earning a wage to sustain the family should not be turned against that parent as a weapon and reason to doubt his fitness to parent and depth of relationships. The truth is that many working fathers arrive home every night and relate to their children daily. Post separation the deal is off; parents live separate lives and re-negotiate their working schedules. An opportunity for a father to spend more time now with his children than was possible previously is an opportunity to be embraced in the best interests of the child and to enable a meaningful relationship to flourish.

The new section in the Bill is an old radical feminist rant that in the 2002-2006 reforms was dismissed for being a cynical power grab, adversarial and unhelpful to future parenting responsibilities.
We can expect the number of orphaned children to increase as mother's claim property rights over 'her' children, no longer his children or their children jointly.

This is such a cynical, possessive and evil provision that if passed, will need to be repealed as soon as possible to limit the impending harm to children and parents (read fathers) segregated from their children for the feminist crime of being "absent dads".

Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton said…

"What is called matriarchy is simply moral anarchy, in which the mother alone remains fixed because all the fathers are fugitive and irresponsible.."

which is exactly how fathers will be treated should the new provision become law.

It was disappointing to see the intellectual weakness of the gang of 3 Independents who voted in Federal Parliament in favour of such a flawed and destructive Bill.

And true to form all Laborites fell in line like clicking soldiers in a single voting block in their radical feminist war on fathers and the natural family.

Federal Director  -  Shared Parenting Council of Australia
Director SPCA said
The new section 18 Paragraph 60CC(3)( c ) is retrospective, backwards looking at the marriage and the parenting roles, whereas the previous section was forward looking, aspirational and cast an eye over the willingness of parents to foster the child's relationship with the other parent.
Could not have put it better. Apparently, Labor considers the aspirations of fathers to care for their children to be at best an attempt to "control", hence inherently "violent". Of course, Mum's similar aspirations are are nothing less than a sanctified drive to nurture in the face of intolerable oppression (dad's wish to see his kids).

Fathers are the new "Jews" for the Feminist Socialist Party - true Untermenschen to the Uberdamen who are creating the New Order. The main difference this time around is that the children of the New Jews are being held hostage to ensure compliance. I'm surprised there hasn't been a flurry of funding for groups researching parthenogenesis; no doubt that's still in the planning stage. Once perfected, the Final Solution can be commenced. Sieg Hymen!!
Site Admin ORR said
Goodness me does this comply with the site rules. I think it just slips in
Director SPCA said
The new section in the Bill is an old radical feminist rant that in the 2002-2006 reforms was dismissed for being a cynical power grab, adversarial and unhelpful to future parenting responsibilities.
We can expect the number of orphaned children to increase as mother's claim property rights over 'her' children, no longer his children or their children jointly.
And of course, if the intent of the Bill is taken to its logical conclusion, if Mum dies or loses interest in the kids then Dad can expect to have to fight Nanna, or Auntie Sue or even DOCS since they will be able to show that the children know them better than Dad, who has been kept away. I reckon a great number of men will simply walk away, which is the basic purpose of the Bill after all.

I've already made the decision to abandon Australia as soon as my children are finished school. It's clear this country does not want men and I've decided the feeling is mutual. I might move to SE Asia and start a business manufacturing dildoes for export to the Australian Feminist Republic. It can't fail.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Please show your support to the Nationals MP for Dawson, Mr George Christensen, for his brilliant and courageous speech in Parliament against this malicious and hateful piece of legislation that is more about protecting profit for the multi-billion dollar divorce-family violence industry and female votes than protecting children.

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
Nationals MP George Christensen SLAMS malicious Family Violence bill

"Don't forget the way parliament works people…the numbers will try to tear this man down and assassinate his character. The more we support him the greater his armour in the fight. I've sent my support via the email link inside the article and urge all to do so. We have a man in the spotlight who has stepped for us when we need him!
 
Mr Christensen touched on subjects that are usually ignored for fear of retribution. Suicide, Feminism, and temporary insanity. He has absolutely exposed this amendment for what it is, feminist misandry ideology hidden behind the facade of child protection."
I was feeling a bit dyspeptic this morning ORR, but I don't think I overstepped the bounds. I was trying for a sense of irony as much as anything, but I do think the comparison is apt. All that's missing is concentration camps. Oh, hang on…
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets