I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, September 14, 2009

In OZ ~ Mums lead abuse shame

This will get the anonymummies in OZ in a snit and a knot. They spout they, as maternalists, (i.e. victim feminists with children) are the right parent for children but the OZ data is consistent with most every where else in western democracies. Single moms alone or in partnership with their boyfriends/new male partners are the worst abusers and killers of children. These maternalists rail against male abusers but they operate hate sites and slime their critics. Last time I checked that was abuse. Go figure at the hypocrisy and double standards. MJM Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne) 13 September 2009, Page 35 By Laurie Nowell Child abuse is rising dramatically in Australia, according to the first in-depth study to be released on the issue in a decade. Data shows cases of abuse against children rose more than 50 per cent between 2006 and 2008. In the 37 per cent of cases in which a parent was the perpetrator, mothers were responsible for 73 per cent of abuse cases while fathers were the cause of 27 per cent. The data, the first of its kind to emerge since 1996 and obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws, was compiled by the Western Australia Department of Child Protection. The figures present a disturbing snapshot of soaring child abuse and its perpetrators. Experts say the data can accurately be applied across Australia. Applications under FoI for similar data from all other states were refused. The statistics come as the Federal Government has signalled it may roll back the "shared parenting" amendments to the Family Law Act, brought in under the Howard government to give fathers greater access to their children in custody battles. The data shows fathers are most responsible for sex abuse against children - accounting for more than 85 per cent of cases. But mothers carry out more than 65 per cent of cases of emotional and psychological abuse and about 53 per cent of physical abuse. They are also responsible for about 93 per cent of cases of neglect. There were 1,505 cases of abuse of children in WA in 2007-08 - 427 of them were carried out by mothers and 155 by fathers. In other cases in which the gender of the perpetrator was determined, 463 cases were carried out by women and 353 by men. A comparison with 2005-06 data shows the number of total cases of abuse had risen more than 50 per cent from 960. In 2005-06, mothers carried out 312 acts of abuse and fathers 165. University of Western Sydney lecturer Micheal Woods said the findings "undermined the myth that fathers were the major risk factor for their children's wellbeing". "While there are some abusive fathers, there are in fact a larger proportion of violent and abusive mothers," Mr Woods said.

Couch Entitlement Surprise—men do just as much work as women do.

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty. Click image to expand.Everyone from economists and sociologists to Oprah knows that women work more than men. Their longer combined hours, at the home and at the office, stop men from taking afternoon naps on the couch and cause fights that end with men spending nights on the couch. And yet according to new study, those longer hours are a myth, because it's just not true that women carry a heavier load.

Three economists, Michael Burda of Humboldt University in Berlin, Daniel Hamermesh of the University of Texas, and Philippe Weil of the Free University of Brussels have analyzed data from surveys in 25 countries that ask people how they spend their time. Some of the countries are rich, like the United States and Germany, some are poor, like Benin and Madagascar, and some are in the middle, like Hungary, Mexico, and Slovenia. The people surveyed were asked to fill in diaries indicating how they spend each segment of their day.

The 24 hours we all have each day can be divided into four broad activities: "market work" that is, work for pay, typically outside the house; "homework," including housework and child care; "tertiary time," including sleep, eating, and other biological necessities that people can do only for themselves; and the time left over, which is leisure. Leisure is not essential to survival, but we like it.Throughout the world, men spend more time on market work, while women spend more time on homework. In the United States and other rich countries, men average 5.2 hours of market work a day and 2.7 hours of homework each day, while women average 3.4 hours of market work and 4.5 hours of homework per day. Adding these up, men work an average of 7.9 hours per day, while women work an average of—drum roll, please—7.9 hours per day. This is the first major finding of the new study. Whatever you may have heard on The View, when these economists accounted for market work and homework, men and women spent about the same amount of time each day working. The averages sound low because they include weekends and are based on a sample of adults that included stay-at-home parents as well as working ones, and other adults.

In Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands, men actually work more than women, although the differences are small. In Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom, women work slightly more, though less than 5 percent. Among rich countries, the largest differences emerge in Italy, where women work eight hours while men work only 6.5, and in France, where women work 7.2 hours and men 6.6.

A couple of caveats to all this newfound equality. First, many knowledgeable people believe that women work more. In a survey by the authors of this study, 54 percent of economists and 62 percent of economics students thought that women work more than men, as did more than 70 percent of sociologists. And while the gender equal-work phenomenon has been noted before, "it has been swamped by claims in widely circulated sociological studies … that women's total work significantly exceeds men's," as the authors put it. Although men in many rich countries do not work less than women, they do enjoy about 20 to 30 minutes more leisure per day (over an hour more in Italy) because they spend less time on sleep and other biological necessities. Men spend almost all of this additional leisure time watching television.

While men and women spend about the same time working in rich countries, women dowork more than men in poor countries. And the gap widens as countries get poorer. While in the United States, which has a per capita GNP of roughly $33,000, there is no difference between the amount of male and female work, in Benin, Madagascar, and South Africa, which have a per capita income of less than $10,000, women work one to two hours more per day than men.

So, what explains the difference in the time that men and women spend working in richer vs. poorer countries? It's not a matter of women leveraging their greater earnings in places where they can earn more than men. Alas, there are no such places, and women do not reap greater market rewards in the countries where women work the most relative to men.

The authors of the new study instead think that a social norm explains men and women in rich countries pitch in to the same degree. For both men and women, number of hours of combined market work and homework varies among different regions in the United States. But the male-female work gap remains small everywhere in the country, and in this the authors see evidence of a general equality norm. For example, while people in the South work an average of 7.7 hours per day in and out of the home, and people in the East work eight hours (a daily difference of 20 minutes), the difference between the amount of time that men and women work, again in and out of the home, is only two minutes in the East and 10 minutes in the South. Similar patterns hold when you divide the data by level of education. The most educated quarter of the American population works a combined 8.7 hours, while the lowest educated quarter works 6.3 hours—a difference of more than two hours per day. But when you compare men and women in each education bracket, the difference in their total work is no more than 20 minutes.

Many women with demanding careers tell me that it is women working full-time in the market, not women overall, who work more than comparable men. This study cannot settle that question because it does not report work time separately for people with and without market jobs. But if women with careers work more than men, while women overall work the same amount as men, then women without market jobs must work less than men. Men can use that argument to hit the couch in the afternoon. Or to end up there at night.


Dads get help in this family program

Peel: Program received grant for support into 2010

Article Last Updated; Monday, September 14, 2009
Camaraderie mixes with angst as five men sit around a rectangular table, discussing their subject of mutual distress.

One of the men has rambled on for several minutes, first telling his good news about recent job advances, then launching into a somewhat troubling review of his recent dealings with his estranged wife. Abruptly he realizes he's hogging the spotlight. He stops his tirade and smiles.

Audio by John Peel

Interview with Kate Jones

Download MP3

For more info

For more on the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood initiative, call Advocacy for La Plata at 375-1433.

For information about fatherhood, visit the Colorado Dads Web site atwww.coloradodads.com.

"Thank you," Richard Dilworth tells the group. "I feel better. ... This place has been a godsend."

This is the weekly meeting of the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood initiative, a unique program with a goal of keeping fathers involved in their kids' lives, no matter what their relationship with the mother becomes.

Social workers often witness a vicious cycle in custody cases: The father can't make a child-support payment and believes, or is told - erroneously - that he no longer can see his child. Once he loses touch with the child, he loses incentive to make payments.

"So many guys don't even know they have rights," says Kate Jones, who coordinates the program. "They assume since the mom gave birth to the child, she has all the rights."

The initiative is run by Advocacy for La Plata, a Women's Resource Center program headquartered above United Blood Services in Bodo Industrial Park. If sometimes these men feel like the blood is being squeezed out of them, at this meeting they know they're not alone. Not all estranged fathers, after all, are deadbeat dads.

"That's the big myth," Jones says. "There are (deadbeat dads). Just like there's deadbeat moms."

Almost all the fathers are voluntary participants, says Eve Presler, program director for Advocacy for La Plata. That's important because of the dads' buy-in. They're more likely to trust program workers and remain committed than if a court has ordered them to show up, she says.

It's a chance to get together with like-minded guys, Jones says, and they're also lured by the free pizza and pop.

Along with group facilitator Jason Spoo, a graduate of the program, the four men share their victories and frustrations and advice. The subjects vary, but one theme is consistent: None of the four is getting the desired access to their children.

Morgan Abbey, for example, last saw his son 33 days ago. The boy now is in Nebraska, and Abbey is in the process of trying to get visitation rights.

Jim Drumstas' two children spent part of the summer in Southwest Colorado, but they've gone back to Maine with their mother. Lawyers are involved, but from Drumstas' perspective, progress is slow and uncertain.

The 16-week-long sessions include instruction in various aspects of fatherhood. They learn about child behaviors, nutrition and relationship skills.

The Promoting Responsible Fatherhood initiative is not just the group meetings. Caseworkers deal individually with the fathers, helping them find jobs, going to court with them as advocates. Since its inception 2½ years ago, the initiative has served 150 fathers, about 96 percent of whom do not have custody.

Presler is excited that a recent $50,000 state grant will fund the program through at least September 2010. She's a big believer in fathers' rights. She's worked to decorate the walls with pictures of fathers and their kids; doctors' offices, she says, are notorious for having pictures only of mothers with kids.

In the meeting room, there's a poster on the wall titled, "Every Girl Every Boy." It's a list of myth-busters concerning men and women. One of the lines says:"For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable."

There's some macho-ness in the room, for sure, and they manage to joke about their serious issues, but the feelings are real. These men are sad, mad and stressed out. They need help, and they know it.

"They're very proud of what they've overcome," Kate Jones says. "These are the guys who want to be the best dads. And they typically end up being the best dads."

johnp@durangoherald.comJohn Peel writes a weekly human-interest column.


Fathers 4 Justice Batman dad 'would repeat M25 stunt'

By Clare Alexander September 11, 2009

A FATHERS 4 Justice dad from Farnborough who was jailed after climbing an M25 gantry in a protest over access to his daughter has said prison was no deterrent.family court

Geoffrey Hibbert, who dressed up as Batman for the stunt at junction 14 near Stanwell on August 15 last year, said he would do it again if he had to.

He was released from Wormwood Scrubs prison on September 3 after serving almost half of his six-month sentence.

The 49-year-old father, from Clayton Road, was sentenced in July after being convicted by jurors of one count of causing a public nuisance and a second of endangering motorists.

Mr Hibbert clambered to the top of the gantry, causing police to close off 12 lanes of the motorway while he protested against his treatment at the hands of the family courts.

He said: “Wormwood Scrubs was all right. It was not a deterrent.”

Mr Hibbert added he had 100% support from the other inmates.

“I was a cleaner in there. I was cleaning the landing outside the cells every day. I enjoyed it. It kept me active and I met a lot of new people, like loads of fathers who are going through the same scenario as me.”

Mr Hibbert described how he felt when the judge announced his sentence.

“I thought they were making a scapegoat of me and thought it was political,” he said.

Worth it

The desperate father said he had not seen his daughter since August 2007 and added that enduring prison was a price worth paying.

While he has no intention of protesting again, he said: “I would be prepared to do it again if I had to, yes. All children have the right to see both parents.

“The family courts are biased against mothers and fathers.

“There are women out there in the same situation as me. The judge should sit in a room with the children [and the parents].”

Mr Hibbert said he dressed up as a comic book hero for his daughter.

“She likes Batman and Spiderman so it was a choice between the two. I did it for her. I did it for all the children in this world.”

He said he chose that particular place to climb the motorway so he could raise awareness in front of as many people as possible.

Mr Hibbert dismissed claims made during the trial that people could have been hurt, insisting he had been in complete control.

“The gantry is bigger than it looks,” he said.

A friend drove him to the motorway, and he said: "I felt nervous on the journey to the M25 but I did it for the children and they are worth everything.

“I had lots of support from the drivers. They were taking photographs shouting to me.”

Global support

Browsers logging on to the Get Hampshire website have expressed their sympathy for Mr Hibbert.

Support for his cause has continued since and people across the globe have heard about his antics.

“Everyone who’s seen me has shaken my hand. When I was inside I had letters from Canada, Poland and Australia,” Mr Hibbert said.

“I feel proud. There’s even things on YouTube about me. People are going through so much trouble with children and it’s wrong.

“The courts need to listen to what the children have to say.

“My daughter is the most special thing in the world.”


Most recent user comments 7 of 7

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Geoff, it was worth it. Children are always worth it.
Its Douglas 14/09/2009 at 07:39
I was in court the day Geoff was sentenced to show my support for his courageous action to bring to light the terrible situation he found himself in. I did a similar stunt only a couple of weeks earlier - also to mark a year since I had seen my 3 girls. It is very hard for anyone to understand the feeling of being deprived of playing a part in your child's upbringing by an uncaring judge with no grasp of reality and who certainly does NOT have your children's best interests at heart. Most studies clearly show that a child's best interests are served by having contact with both parents unless there is some reason affecting their safety. There is no such danger to my children, yet when my bitter and vengeful wife decided to stop me from seeing my girls, it took 3 months to get to court to apply for a contact order. Having patiently waited, I expected justice that day, but instead was left completely stunned and with a feeling of total helplessness. District Judge Goddard - himself a father (his children even know mine) told me "Mr Line this is going to be distressing for you, but you must remember that any contact is meaningful contact. (Whatever that means) - I am going to allow you to write to your children once a month and send them small gifts at appropriate times". he then turned on my wife and told her that she was to ensure that she encouraged the girls to respond to my letters, to which she replied "Yes of course I will". It will come as no shock to many that I have not had a single reply. I have no idea whether the girls even get to see my letters and it is now over 2 years since I have seen them. I have done nothing to deserve this and there are 1000's of parents out there like Geoff who have and are suffering the same injustices. Judge Greenwood while sentencing Geoff took no account whatsoever of the pain and costs that he had been through in the previous year and even intimated that there was nothing wrong with the Family Courts. The man had no compassion whatsoever and clearly had no concept of the desperation you feel when you are denied your right to be a parent to your children by the state. The damage dinosaur judges like this are doing to our society behind closed doors is criminal. Martin Luther King once said ""Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" I am not going to be silent on this matter until our Family Courts undergo major reform and I urge the 1000's of other parents who are victims of our flawed system to stand up and shout. Perhaps then we might get somewhere. Well done Geoff
HeartBrokenDad, Trowbridge 12/09/2009 at 01:24
Thank you for the sacrifice Geoff. Don is absolutly right. Bad parents, moms or dads, don't stick around to take a firm stand against court injustice. Marginalizing one parent tells a child one half their genetic heritage is unimportant. That is child abuse. Judges are social engineers creating negative outcomes for children in many countries, including here in Canada.
Mike Murphy, Sault Ste. Marie, ON Canada 11/09/2009 at 19:17
Geoff Hibbert is a hero and a role model for direct action protests to raise public awareness of discrimination against fathers. Keep up the good work Geoff. Try not to get arrested next time, they will put you in jail for good to silence you.
Denis Pakkala 11/09/2009 at 17:26
GEOFF HIBBERT IS AN INTERNATIONAL HERO!!! Good, fit, willing fathers like Geoff Hibbert are the ones that climb freeway gantry's. monuments and cranes for their children. Instead of imprisoning these fathers we should be building statues in their honor! I agree with Geoff that prison is a small price to pay for our children and would not think twice about giving up my own personal freedom for my children's right to share in my life. Remember, bad dads go away, we never hear from them, good, fit, willing dads take a stand and demand a change to the corruption known as family law. THANK YOU GEOFF HIBBERT, YOU ARE A HERO!!! Donald Tenn Fathers 4 Justice United States of America
Donald Tenn 11/09/2009 at 14:56
WELL DONE GEOFF !! BATMAN M25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i4YG1icRp0 The world needs more dads like you ! The government robots tried to make an example and it hasn’t worked, I’ am grateful to you and so I’m sure are many others, you have major global support. The government need to stop cowering behind a cloak and change the law !! 360,000+ children have lost contact with their father in there 10 yrs Best hope is a big change Well done Geoff ! Let the direct action continue Jason newfathers4justice Sussex http://www.newfathers4justice.info/
newfathers4justice 11/09/2009 at 12:54