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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Fri 24th December 2004

Santa comes to Family Court

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 5:06 pm

Santa Clause visited the Waitakere Family Court on Christmas Eve to deliver a present for the Judges and court staff. In some European traditions, children who are very badly behaved are said to get a lump of coal instead of presents – this Family Court received a whole bag!

Santa Clause

Afterwards, Santa joined Union of Fathers protesters across the road from the court. He said that he was very upset that so many children would not see their fathers this Christmas because of the court’s unjust rulings. “I have met up with the Ghost of Christmas Future, and he tells me the future for the NZ Family Court is not looking good”, he told MENZ Issues. (more…)

Thu 23rd December 2004

Police want help to stem violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 11:50 am

Police have issued a domestic violence checklist to help people assess whether potential victims will be hurt — or even killed — over the Christmas period.

The rest of the 12 points not mentioned in yesterday’s post:

  • There has been recent separation, issue of a court order or divorce, or responding in a dangerous manner.
  • The victim believes the suspect could injure or kill her.
  • The offender has strangled or attempted to strangle the victim.
  • There is a history of family violence and it is getting more severe or increasing in frequency.
  • The offender has easy access to the victim’s children or other family members.
  • There have been incidents of animal abuse.
  • History of violent behaviour against non-family members.

Christchurch’s refuges are seeing the typical busy Christmas run, with many women making the decision to leave their partners.

Battered Women’s Trust co-ordinator Sue Hastings said there was more sadness when a crisis occurred during the holiday season, with women feeling badly about the prospect of being in a refuge over Christmas.

“For many of our clients, loneliness, re-housing and isolation are often their greatest challenges and this time of year can be increasingly lonely for many.”

Hastings said in one recent instance, a woman had been victimised when a landlord would not let a flat to her, fearing retribution and trouble from her former partner.

“This discriminatory action ensures the family stays in refuge over the holidays.”

Hastings said families and businesses had donated food and toys to the refugeleading up to Christmas.

The Battered Women’s Trust crisis phoneline is 364 8900 and operates 24 hours a day, including Christmas.

Wed 22nd December 2004

Police warn of increase in Xmas domestic violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 2:57 pm

Potential for family violence increases over the festive season, police warned today.

While the number of murders in New Zealand has been falling since the late 1980s, family violence homicides have not followed this trend. National Violence Reduction manager Inspector Rob Veale said over half of all murders countrywide in 2001 were family or domestic violence related.
He urged people who had concerns over Christmas to speak to local police about it.

Police have introduced a 12-point check list to help police assess if family violence victims are likely to be seriously harmed or even killed.

The list includes whether:

  • The offender has threatened to commit suicide or to kill the victim, children or other family members.
  • There is a history of alcohol or drug problems.
  • The suspect is stalking or obsessed with the victim.
  • Children are in the home when violence has occurred, or have been hurt or threatened.
  • The offender has access to weapons and has a history of violent behaviour against family members.

High ranking man’s name suppressed in sex case

Filed under: Law & Courts — domviol @ 1:43 pm

High ranking man’s name suppressed in sex case
19 December 2004


The Sunday Star-Times is fighting to unmask a high-ranking foreigner accused of a sex crime but whose identity is being protected by the courts.

The paper is prohibited from revealing anything more about him, including where he lives and details of the alleged crime.

Sweeping suppression orders stop us from publishing the man’s name, his nationality, who he works for and the nature of his work. Nor can we describe what he is alleged to have done to the victim, a young woman.

The man has gone to the second highest court in the country, the Court of Appeal, in an effort to prevent certain evidence being used against him in any future trial at the district court.

Sat 18th December 2004

What’s Margaret Wilson got in common with Bill Clinton?

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 12:36 pm

By using her expiring Attorney-General powers to promote unsuitable candidates, Speaker-designate Margaret Wilson raises memories of President Bill Clinton’s last days, when he effectively pardoned a batch of crooked supporters, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

Mr Franks was commenting on the appointment of Ms Jan Walker as a District and Family Court Judge.

“I am extremely reluctant to comment on a particular judicial appointment but if this one goes without criticism I would be complicit in encouraging Labour’s next Attorney-General to politicise the judiciary with impunity.

“Most would-be judges take care in the years before appointment to show their capacity to be non-partisan. In appearances before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, Ms Walker did exactly the opposite. She made a point of citing her political connections, and branding in political terms and dismissing without reflection, views she disagreed with. I was left with an impression that she lacked a capacity to understand different points of view.

“I am told by people without axes to grind that her rigid ideological insensitivity was a key reason for losing Timaru as a Labour Party candidate. These are not the right attributes for a judge..

Fri 17th December 2004

Men turn to net for sex solutions

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 11:29 am

Men afflicted with erectile dysfunction and too scared to discuss it with their doctor are turning to the internet for answers to hard questions.

Pieter Watson, Men’s Clinic general manager, said their website is getting huge amounts of traffic.

Men are not prepared to sit back and suffer any longer, he said, and are finally being more open about things in this area.

He said last August the site had 1199 visits, up from 886 for the same time last year.

“We find the guys who get round to making an appointment have already done a lot of research before they come in and see our doctors.

“They like to be well informed before they discuss their sensitive issues with the specialists and also to be able to use the right terminology”.

‘The whole thing turned into hysteria’

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 11:21 am

British teachers accused of abusing pupils should be given anonymity while claims are investigated, the Tories say.

One former Lancashire headmaster, who now works for the campaign group Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers, explains how such protection would have helped him when he was arrested in 1998.

I was interviewing some parents when my secretary came into my study and said the chairman of the board of governors wanted to see me.

He handed me a letter and in it, it said I had been accused of indecent assault against a pupil in 1972.

This was on the Friday, I was to meet the board of governors on the Monday – they suspended me and felt they had to inform the parents.

Then it got into the local press, then the national press and then it was on the radio.

I didn’t know the details of what I was accused of, or who the person was, for a further 10 days, by which time my name was bandied all over the place because of the allegations.

The police carried on investigating, in effect they went through pupils at the school for the previous 30 years and came up with very little. The whole thing turned into hysteria very quickly.

I didn’t go to court until January 2000, by which time there had been a major investigation and they had arrested and charged other [members of staff].

Most of them never reached court, but their names were bandied around.

I went to court, was convicted and spent six weeks in prison – my appeal was the fastest that anyone knows of.

The trial was poor, to put it mildly, and my conviction was quashed – and that’s how I got into FACT, because I was so outraged.

When children make allegations, once there are believed without any question at all, they find it very difficult to say: “Actually, it wasn’t like that”. Once the lie, or exaggeration, is told it’s very difficult to step back.

I do miss teaching very much. I would love to have finished my career properly, but that was denied and I went out under a cloud. That was very difficult to accept.

Wed 15th December 2004

Mobile phones: The home invader

Filed under: General — domviol @ 9:18 pm

Mobile phones can be a useful safety device for children, but also make them vulnerable.

by Chris Barton

Whoever thought it was a good idea to equip mobile phones with cameras probably didn’t anticipate people taking photographs of their genitals and transmitting the images to websites for all to see.

But having places on the internet where people could send and publish – “post” – instant images taken with camera phones, was always part of the plan. They’re known as “moblogs” and most are innocuous – homes for electronic albums of family, pets, holidays, gatherings, and the like. Plus the weird craze of the moment in “drive-by shootings” – photos of buildings, roadsides, scenery or anything else one drives by.

But there are also a few moblogs where people have used the technology for less wholesome things – like the aforementioned instant DIY porn. Sick exhibitionists? Undoubtedly. But such sites also represent the avant-garde of mobile phone use – creativity gone mad when it comes to what one can do with a fledgling technology. Why? Because they can.

Surprising, new uses for mobiles are cropping up all time. Like the gang member in an Auckland District Court seen last week using a camera phone to photograph members of the jury. The judge was not impressed and immediately had the jury taken to a secret location.

The behaviour also has court officials and Government ministers wondering whether the incident represents a new tactic for causing mistrials – and whether mobile phones should be banned in court. Besides the spectre of pornographic postings and juror intimidation, other mobile phone behaviours may give parents pause for thought if they’re considering buying their daughter or son the latest in mobile gadgetry this Christmas.

Stop violence against women – It’s in our hands!

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 1:06 pm

Amnesty International welcomes an Inaugural Human Rights Parliamentary Dinner in the Grand Hall of the Parliament Buildings on Tuesday 14 December which will highlight the issue of violence against women.

From the battlefield to the bedroom, women are at risk. Violence threatens women in multiple forms during conflict. Amnesty International’s latest report Lives blown apart lays out the global picture revealing a systematic pattern of abuse repeating itself in conflicts all over the world from Colombia, Iraq, Sudan, Chechnya, Nepal to Afghanistan and in 30 other ongoing conflicts.

Mr. Ced Simpson, Executive Director of Amnesty International New Zealand said: “But domestic violence is not something that happens over there. It happens here. It is not something that happens to other people, it happens to us, our friends and our families. In New Zealand, one woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every five weeks. 50 % of all homicides of New Zealand women are committed by the woman’s partner or ex-partner.”

Figures show that 23,782 women and children accessed refuge services in 2003. Women’s Refuge – the umbrella organization of 50 Women’s Refuges around Aotearoa/ New Zealand and the only provider of services to battered women and children, receives 25% of their funds from Government but the remaining 75% of their funding they must raise from the community.

“Violence against women impoverishes society economically, politically and culturally. The direct economic costs of violence against women are enormous, in terms of lost working time, lost earnings and medical expenditure. The indirect costs of limiting the active role that women can take in the development of their community are unquantifiable.” said Ced Simpson.

Tue 14th December 2004

Redressing The Balance: The Men’s Manifesto

Filed under: General — domviol @ 8:59 pm

Tuesday, 14 December 2004, 9:56 am
Press Release: Men’s Coalition

Redressing The Balance: The Men’s Manifesto

The social landscape of New Zealand will be need to be changed dramatically if men are to have a “fair go” in New Zealand society, according to James Nicolle, Coordinator of the Men’s Coalition.

Mr. Nicolle was commenting on the release today of the Executive Summary of the MENZTABLE REPORT; a manifesto for men’s rights.

“Men in New Zealand are increasingly marginalised and persecuted by powerful trends in the socio-political agenda”, he said.

”Men have reached this conclusion because of the raw deal we are getting in the Family Court, the Child Support system, social development, health and education.”

“Our political and social systems have progressively devalued the place of men in New Zealand today.”

“It is time for Men to reassert what is valuable to us and reclaim our right to be men,” he said.

The MENZTABLE REPORT has come from a meeting of representatives of men’s organisations held at Taupo in July.

The product of this meeting, the Men’s Coalition of New Zealand, is coordinating the preparation and release of the Report.

Mr. Nicolle said the body of the Report would be released in sections during 2005 to highlight men’s concerns throughout the election year.

“We see this as a seminal document which provides the vision and agenda of real men seeking to redress the balance and even out the scales.” Concluded Nicolle.

Sun 12th December 2004

Hot laptops could cook men’s fertility

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 9:34 pm

LONDON: Teenagers and young men should keep their laptops off their laps because they could damage fertility, an expert says.

Laptops, which reach high internal operating temperatures, can heat up the scrotum which could affect the quality and quantity of men’s sperm.

“The increase in scrotal temperature is significant enough to cause changes in sperm parameters,” said Dr Yefim Sheynkin, an associate professor of urology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, on Thursday.

“It is very difficult to predict how long the computer can be used safely,” he told Reuters. “It may not be at all, if the testicular temperature goes up high within a very short period of time.”

Adolescents and young men who use laptops several times a day over many years face the greatest risk. Sheynkin fears that if laptop use is not curtailed, in 15-20 years when they want to start a family the men could face problems.

“Long-term use may have a detrimental effect on their reproductive health,” he said.

Sheynkin and his team studied the impact of using a laptop on 29 healthy volunteers between the age of 21-35 by measuring scrotal temperature before and after they used a computer on their lap.

The research is reported in the journal Human Reproduction.

Fri 10th December 2004

All Black admits assault after dragging pregnant wife home

Filed under: Domestic Violence — domviol @ 1:07 pm

09 December 2004

An All Black who tried dragging his pregnant wife back to their home at night has won the right to keep his name secret – provided he keeps out of trouble until his next court appearance.

Yesterday, the player appeared in the Waitakere Family Violence Court – a special pilot court being trialled in west Auckland – and pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife.

It is understood that the only other person to get permanent name suppression in the Waitakere court in recent years for a similar sort of case had been another man who had played for the All Blacks.

Judge Philip Recordon said the player had assaulted his wife, who was five months pregnant at the time, on the night of October 23.

It happened after “some issues” at the couple’s west Auckland home, when the player’s wife walked off lightly dressed intending to go to her mother’s house.

To stop her from walking, the player grabbed her and tried pushing her back to the house.

There was a struggle and he then tried dragging her home.

Judge Recordon said if the couple completed a counselling course, he would discharge the man without conviction.

He remanded him on bail to reappear in February.

A lawyer for the Sunday Star-Times newspaper, Robert Stewart, argued in court for the suppression order to be lifted.

Mr Stewart argued that there was no special circumstances in the case to warrant the suppression.

But Judge Recordon said interim name suppression would continue and was likely to be permanent.

He said that the offending was at the lower end of the scale.

The main consideration was the player’s wife and child.

“I am not so concerned about (the player) but his wife and children…to this couple the non publication order is not going to affect anyone outside this family.”

But in court, police prosecutor Sergeant Peter Syddall expressed concerns about any suppression order.

In seven years, he had not heard of any other case where name suppression had been given after a guilty plea was entered except for another man who was a former All Black.

“I am worried about the message that the court may be sending,” he said.

Judge Recordon said the man, who has no former convictions, could be seen as a current All Black and was “a rugby player of prominence”.

He hoped the man continued with his voluntary work in schools and rugby clubs.

“You maybe in time can use this experience as some sort of message to people you speak with.”

At-risk youth suicide rate halved

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 9:34 am

Children involved with Child, Youth and Family (CYF) are 15 times more likely to commit suicide than other New Zealand children, according to studies.

Between 1994 and 1999 almost half of the 129 children under the age of 17 who killed themselves were in contact with CYF. But the new programme changed all that.

Towards Well-Being, launched in 2002 with the Wellington School of Medicine, has reduced the number of suicides among CYF youths from 15 in the two years before the programme started, to just six in the two years since it began.

And while the number of admissions to hospital for “deliberate self-harm” has increased by 25 per cent for non-CYF young people since 2002, it has stayed the same among CYF young people.

CYF chief social worker Craig Smith said the results are encouraging.

Real women don’t need a femocrat

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:24 am

In a letter to her daughter, published in Cosmopolitan in 1978, feminist Betty Friedan said: “I hope there will come a day when you, daughter [of] mine … can truly afford to say ‘I’m not a feminist. I’m a person’ – and a day not too far away … when I can stop fighting for women and get on to other matters that interest me now.”

Many young women might say that day has arrived…

There is a new feminism afoot for many young women. One that does not depend upon the paraphernalia of a passe feminism. One that says let’s be truly adventurous and abolish separate bodies devoted to women because they only perpetuate an otherness about women and the issues that affect them. That women are mainstream hardly needs saying.

Not everything labelled as progressive is, or remains, a sign of progress. Indeed, so-called progressive movements founded on fine notions of freedom and choice have a nasty tendency to transmute into the dictatorial and doctrinaire. Feminism, or at least the version that feminists such as Summers cling to, is case in point. They talk about liberating women but continue to deride or ignore women who choose to stay at home and care for children. Some choices, it seems, are not as valid as others.

Feminism’s choice deficit has always been its greatest flaw. Perpetuating that flaw via government-sponsored offices is hardly progress. New Zealand’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs plays the role of Big Sister, overseeing something called gender implications statements, required for all papers submitted to the Social Development Committee of Helen Clark’s Labour cabinet. The gender analysis undertaken in these Orwellian statements is all about entrenching a feminist ideology, not objective policy making based upon impartial research of women’s needs and wants.

Holiday pressures raise violence risk

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:19 am

As investigations continue into three separate homicides, anti-violence groups are warning people to be more careful around the holiday period.

The National Network for Stopping Violence Services says the holiday period is a difficult time and people should ask for help if they need it.

Network manager Brian Gardner says there are steps which can be taken to reduce the risks of domestic violence.

He says people should think about budgeting and preparing for situations where there are family pressures and alcohol.

Mr Gardner says the next three months are a dangerous time for some couples as holiday pressures are sometimes like throwing a log on the fire.

Witness threat cases ‘common’

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:17 am

Christchurch police Detective Inspector Malcolm Johnston, an officer for 25 years, said yesterday witness intimidation happened in most violent-crime cases, and while the Noble/Samson situation was extreme, intimidation was not unusual.

“It is very, very (common) and I know other staff have experienced similar levels. Intimidation can be as little as chocolates and flowers and a promise to never do it again, and that is why there is a low conviction rate for serious domestic violence.”

Johnston said comments from “ill-informed” lawyers that the low conviction rate for violent offences in Christchurch, including domestic violence, was the result of lax police investigation were not correct.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a huge commitment to these investigations and it is my experience that the low conviction rate for domestic violence rests entirely on intimidation and threats.”

Christmas card and a copper to counter domestic violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:13 am

Manukau homes with a history of domestic violence will receive a Christmas card and a visit from police in a bid to prevent abuse during the festive season.

Operation Merry Family Christmas will target up to 125 households throughout Otara, Otahuhu, Mangere, Papatoetoe, Howick and Pakuranga that police have been called to in the past year.

Police say analysis of priority one jobs in Counties Manukau’s east and western areas reveals almost half the workload is attributed to domestic violence.

Western area Senior Sergeant Cornelius Kluessein and Eastern Senior Sergeant Lynne Mathieson say the first phase of the operation will involve a bulk mailout to the identified families.

“The letter will tell them that we care they have been repeat victims. We want them to know we’ll be keeping a close watch to make sure the entire household has a great Christmas without the threat of domestic violence spoiling the season, especially for the kids,” says Mr Kluessein.

Tue 7th December 2004


Filed under: General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 8:50 pm

MEN’S CONVOY 2005 : (Child Support,Family Law……… ) Men don’t like this!

Just a reminder to all New Zealand – Following on from the success of MEN’S CONVOY 2004 we’re on the road again in 2005!

Starting Auckland and Invercargill : Sunday 6 March 2005

Converging on Parliament Buildings Wellington : Friday 11 March 2005

Co-Ordinator North Island – Kerry Bevin (09) 475-5747
Co-Ordinator South Island – Jim Nicolle (04) 586-0880

email : mensconvoy@slingshot.co.nz

Bigger, Better and Bolder than 2004!!!!

Rumored that Batman and Robin will be making an appearance!

Public events being organised at major stop points in route.

2005 is an election year – Join the Convoy and help mobilise the men for real political reform.

Book your dairies now and watch MENZ Issues for more details.

The dingo pack

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 8:56 am

by James Hickey

Aspects of human behaviour, often has parallels within the animal world.

Individual members of a dingo pack when they are hunting down their prey work as a team, taking it in turns to chase the prey until it is finally cornered. Each individual member then takes it in turn nipping at the prey, slowly wearing it down until it is so exhausted it can nolonger defend itself, before one darts in for the kill. Even lions surrender to their kill to superior numbers of scavenging hyenas

“Sugar and spice and all things” well that’s what we’d like to think that little girls are made of. Until recently very little research had been conducted into the bullying techniques of schoolgirls. According to researchers, little girls today are not just horrid, they are the most sophisticated and manipulative bullies of all.

Bullying by schoolgirls was found to be often psychological, sometimes verbal. Verbal behaviors that were identified as bullying included teasing, hassling, name-calling, and criticizing others’ appearances. The girls perceived the following indirect aggressive behaviors as bullying behaviors: spreading rumors, writing nasty notes, telling bad/false stories, saying bad things behind others’ backs, gossiping, shutting others out of the group, and deliberately not inviting others to parties.

Fri 3rd December 2004

Critique of domestic violence paper by Fanslow & Robinson

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 2:08 pm

by Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith

The methodology of the study reported by Fanslow and Robinson (Violence against women in New Zealand: prevalence and health consequences, New Zealand Medical Journal, 2004, 117:1206) is sound. They used a rigorous randomly selected population-based cluster-sampling with interviews in Mandarin or Cantonese (2%) as well as in English. Their sample size was 2855 with an overall 66.9% response rate which is acceptable although not high. Elizabeth Robinson is a well-qualified biostatistician and the statistical analysis appears to be accurate.

My concern with the study is not how it was conducted but what was studied and how the results were reported. This was yet another study that looked only at intimate partner violence against women by male partners. Evidence indicates that men and women physically abuse their partners in similar percentages. [1] The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development longitudinal cohort study found that within partnerships, women actually used more physical violence than men. [2] (more…)

Experts Agree Children Need Both Parents

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 10:01 am

Shared Parenting Council of Australia – Media Release

At last some support for separated fathers who have always known in their hearts that seeing their children once a fortnight was meaningless, both for them and for their children. Last year, at a summit on fatherhood in Oxford, England, two internationally recognised parenting experts, Adrienne Burgess and Graham Russell cited the results of recent US research which showed that children of all ages, even infants and babies, need to see their non-residential fathers as often as possible.

It was frequent and regular contact or access that resulted in positive benefits for the children of separated parents. For very young children, that means being with their fathers often and for short periods. For older children, longer periods of involved interaction.

The most commonly imposed program of father-contact, fortnightly access, was found to be of little use to children, and in some cases, harmful and confusing. In one study, young adults voiced their dissatisfaction with that regime. In fact the research results showed that fortnightly contact does not contribute positively to the wellbeing of young adults. Experts now agree that for contact to enhance the personal development of a child, father and child need to take part, regularly, in a whole range of everyday activities, not just having fun but doing homework, cooking, cleaning, going to bed, getting up in the morning, talking together. Anything less is meaningless and artificial.

Many experts now agree that joint legal custody and substantial parenting time with both parents is the ideal arrangement for separated families.

The Shared Parenting Council of Australia supports the proposals for reform of the family law system contained in the Attorney General’s Discussion Paper. The insertion of a rebuttable presumption of joint parental responsibility in the Family Law Act, and the move towards equal parenting time, will strengthen the obligation of separated parents to put the needs of their children ahead of their own.

The Shared Parenting Council urges the government to make all necessary amendments to sections 60B,61A-D,68F and other relevant sections of the Family Law Act. Of particular importance will be definitions of “entrenched conflict” and “a starting point of 50/50 shared time parenting” as outlined in recommendation #5 of the parliamentary report on joint custody.

The Council believes that the establishment of Family Relationship Centres will do much to assist separated couples plan sensibly for life after divorce and keep them from the harmful effects of the adversarial court process. But proper funding and resources will be needed if these Centres are going to provide the quality services that families rely on early in their separation.

Teacher acquitted of indecent assault charges

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 9:36 am

A packed public gallery erupted in cheers, tears and high-fives as a schoolteacher cleared of sex charges walked from Palmerston North District Court a free man today.

It took the jury – comprising 10 women and two men – 12 hours to reach its verdicts over the charges against Michael Warren Neville, after being sent out by Judge Les Atkins about 3.15pm yesterday.

Neville, 48, – who at one time held a senior position at the Kapiti-area school where the offences were alleged to have occurred – faced four counts of indecent assaults on girls under 12.

The trauma of an eight-day trial and 18 months of stress in the lead up to it had not diminished his love of teaching, Neville said.

“I still love the profession, even where I work.”

The case highlighted an “occupational hazard” faced by male teachers, the primary school teachers union New Zealand Educational Institute said today.

“NZEI Te Riu Roa has supported Mike throughout this case,” national secretary Lynne Bruce said, welcoming the verdict.

“This case shows the potential vulnerability of teachers in the education system,” she said.

“It highlights an occupational hazard, faced in particular by male teachers.”

Wed 1st December 2004

Women’s Refuge says “disgraceful” that man avoids death

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 9:33 pm

Tuvaluan overstayer Senee Niusila has been granted a reprieve, after appearing in court on charges of threatening to kill his wife.

The kidney dialysis patient has been discharged without conviction.

In the Waitakere District Court, Judge Philip Recordon took into account the argument that Niusila may die if he was convicted and deported to Tuvalu, where he would not be able to receive treatment for his kidney condition.

The judge said the fact he had completed a 12-week anger management course also worked in his favour.

Niusila’s lawyer Nicholas Wintour says his client just wants to move on.

Woman’s refuge spokeswoman Sheryl Hann says the decision is disgraceful.

She says it is another example of New Zealand society letting men get away with abuse of women and children.

‘Parenting plans’ to give separated fathers better access to children

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 9:19 am

UK Fathers are to be given better access rights to their children in the event of family break-ups, under new proposals from the Government.

New “parenting plans” for custody arrangements will be drawn up with the help of counsellors. The plans will assume that fathers should have reasonable access. Mothers could be ordered to attend counselling if they refuse to comply.

The proposals, contained in the Government’s Green Paper on parental separation, are being seen as an olive branch to fathers who believe the family courts system is biased against them. Although they do not go as far as assuming a strict 50/50 split in contact, as demanded by groups such as Fathers 4 Justice, the reforms would give fathers far better access rights than at present.

Lord Filkin, the Children and Families minister, said the reforms were designed to keep cases out of the courts and to encourage mothers to allow former partners access.

He told The Independent: “The obvious thing is that the courts are not the place forsorting out these disputes. It is about getting people to shift their behaviour and to accept that both parents play a part in bringing up their children. They may hate each other and think each other is a swine, but this is about the needs of the child, not the rights of the parent.”

The proposals have been welcomed by moderate fathers’ groups who believe the reforms will give them far better rights to access over their children.

Jack O’Sullivan, of the lobby group Fathers Direct, said: “Parenting plans offer a great opportunity for both parents to be properly involved and to have a say in the way their children are brought up.”

Sun 28th November 2004

Male and Female Perpetrated Partner Abuse:

Filed under: Domestic Violence — domviol @ 5:00 pm

Male and Female Perpetrated Partner Abuse: Testing a Diathesis-Stress Model
by Reena Sommer
Table of Contents
Chapter 2 Part 1

Prior to 1970, studies focusing on family violence were virtually nonexistent. The lack of research in this area seemed to imply that violence within the family was “either rare, dysfunctional or a pathology traceable to mental illness or psychopathology” (Gelles, 1979, p.169). Yet, during the past two decades, abuse between intimate partners has become recognized by social scientists as a serious social problem; impacting on all levels of society.

A national U.S. survey on family violence was first conducted in 1975 by Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz (1980). This large scale investigation marked an initial attempt at estimating the prevalence of family violence in American families. In doing so, it has been responsible for raising our awareness about the problem of family violence. Since the publication of its findings, a plethora of literature including empirical and review works in this area has followed, drawing the attention of policy makers, legislators and service providers.

The approach to studying the problems associated with family violence has changed throughout the course of this literature’s development. Early research into family violence assumed that such behaviour could only be the result of a deranged mind. Support for this notion was advanced by society’s belief that the family as an institution, is committed to nonviolence among its members through the maintenance of benevolent and loving relationships. Since that time, sociologically based research has focused on establishing the prevalence, correlates, and social patterns of family violence (Straus et al., 1980). As a result of these studies, we have come to know that abuse within the family is anything but rare.

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