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

Mon 31st October 2005

Pre-school sex-abuse victim admits “I lied”

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 10:37 am

The McMartin pre-school molestation case in California proved to be the blueprint for dozens of other ‘satanic panics’ around the world. Interviewers at the now notorious Children’s Institute International developed considerable expertise at brainwashing small children into making bizarre accusations of ritual sex abuse.

These same techniques were used in NZ to successfully convict Peter Ellis, plus a number of other male pre-school workers around the country who did not attract the same media attention. Children’s Institute International techniques have been promoted in NZ by DSAC Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care, and other feminist groups which work to remove men from contact with children.

In a Los Angeles Times story by Debbie Nathan: McMartin Pre-Schooler: ‘I Lied’ , Kyle Zirpolo, one of the accusing children in the McMartin case apologises and describes how he was coerced into fabricating the evidence used to prosecute the teachers.

We were examined by a doctor. I took my clothes off and lay down on the table. They checked my butt, my penis. There was a room with a lot of toys and stuffed animals and dolls. The dolls were pasty white and had hair where the private parts were. They wanted us to take off their clothes. It was just really weird.

I remember them asking extremely uncomfortable questions about whether Ray touched me and about all the teachers and what they did–and I remember telling them nothing happened to me. I remember them almost giggling and laughing, saying, “Oh, we know these things happened to you. Why don’t you just go ahead and tell us? Use these dolls if you’re scared.”

Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. It was really obvious what they wanted. I know the types of language they used on me: things like I was smart, or I could help the other kids who were scared.

Researchers have since shown that when children are subjected to the interviewing techniques used by Children’s Institute International, most start to make up bizarre stories within a few minutes. A few excerpts from the transcript of Kyle’s interview by two CII staff members show how blatantly they go about framing-up the teacher Ray:

Interviewer 1: We got a mountain of dolls here. Here’s a little girl. Easy to tell she’s a girl. She has a bow, and her vagina’s underneath…. Kids throw ’em, beat ’em up, and everything. You should’ve seen [another child] beating ’em up. Boy we had a good time–

Interviewer 2: Beating up Mr. Ray doll.

Although these psychologically abusive techniques were used on many thousands of children around the world, few interviewers have ever been held to account, and nothing has been done to address the damage done to children used as cannon-fodder in the gender wars. Most agencies will claim: ‘we don’t do it like that any more’, but while they remain in steadfast denial about the extent of their past abuse, we should be very afraid of allowing our children to fall into their clutches.

Likewise, potential jury members should always be extremely sceptical of a prosecution based on solely ‘disclosures’ to interviewers, or where ‘experts’ like Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care have been involved.

Sun 30th October 2005

Domestic abusers should loose jobs

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 12:59 pm

Christchurch Women’s Refuge says employment contracts should have a clause requiring people convicted of domestic violence to be fired from their jobs.

Refuge manager Annette Gillespie said employers needed to get tougher on domestic abusers and send a message that family violence was not acceptable.

“We (Christchurch Women’s Refuge) definitely support employers threatening staff who are convicted of family violence with dismissal,” Gillespie said.

But the national office has a different view, preferring that the men are able to stay employed so they can continue to pay the maximum child support. Their statement suggests that they do not envisage women being the ones fired, and makes it clear that they are not concerned about the welfare of men.

Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare said while her organisation did not yet have a firm position on the issue of whether someone should be fired for family violence-related convictions, such a policy could potentially be harmful to women and children.

“There could be long-term implications for women and children if one of the bread winners lost their job,” she said.

A more positive response to family violence would be for employers to fund courses on how to deal with the issue, she said.

As usual, the answer is increased funding for feminist organisations!

Boys education initiatives in Bay of Plenty

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education — JohnPotter @ 12:37 pm

There are some great things happening in the Bay of Plenty around teaching boys to be good men, according to the Bay of Plenty Times top story Bay leads country in making good men, by Anna Bowden.

Western Bay schools are leading the country with innovative strategies to better the education and attitude of our growing boys.

That’s the view of researcher and social commentator Celia Lashlie, who says Bay schools are strong contributors to a generation being taught the value of being good men.

Tauranga schools are uniting in their holistic approach to give boys access to inter-school mentors, tailored classrooms for boys only, help to foster better relationships with parents and ultimately encourage a better future.

Gate Pa School and Tauranga Intermediate have established specialised teaching for ongoing boys-only classrooms – and this week Te Puke High School revealed it was investigating single-sex classes from as early as next year.

Lashlie was in Tauranga launching her book ‘He’ll be Ok – Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men‘, which has sold the first print run of 7000 copies in under a week.

Sat 29th October 2005

Newman – Fatherless Generation

Filed under: General,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 12:29 pm

Muriel Newman has just posted an article about ‘the fatherless generation‘ on her new NZ Centre for Political Debate website. She notes that despite recent concern over gangs and youth violence, little has been said about the underlying causes of the problem.

Any discussion with police or those who work with troubled youth will quickly identify that the largest proportion of them come from homes where their biological father is absent: children raised in families without a father, where there is inadequate supervision and a lack of socialisation, are far more likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour and crime, than those raised with a dad.

Unfortunately, feminist anti-father policies are something that most politicians are terrified to mention. Even National’s new ‘political-correctness eradicator’ has not yet mentioned anything about the fact that our courts are being misused for this misguided social engineering programme. Muriel has been one of the few consistent voices in Parliament advocating Shared Parenting and the removal of discrimination against fathers.

This is why I am so passionately opposed to public policy and practice that encourages family breakdown and excludes biological fathers. A biological father is a child’s traditional protector. Removing him from the lives of his children leaves them extremely vulnerable to abuse, neglect and failure.

That is not to say that every child being raised without a dad that ends up in trouble, or for that matter that every child raised in a loving two parent household by their biological parents, turn out to be little angels. But, on the balance of probability, children raised without their natural father, will face greater difficulties in life, than children brought up with their dad to love, guide and protect them.

The feminist theory that violence is the product of patriarchy couldn’t be more wrong, and we need women like Muriel to keep pointing this out. It is now clear that most dysfunctional and anti-social youths come from female headed families, and if current policies continue we should expect social breakdown to keep increasing.

Here in New Zealand… driven by a feminist agenda, which seeks to create equality for women by undermining men, society has now reached a sorry state: taxpayers are funding a hundred thousand women and girls to struggle to raise their children on their own, there is an epidemic of tens of thousands of abused children, and there is now an escalation in youth gangs and violence.

Fri 28th October 2005

Health leader urges tougher penalties for domestic violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — domviol @ 11:00 pm

A leading Maori health provider has called for tougher penalties for men who beat their wives and children.

Darrin Haimona, chief executive of Waikato-based Ngati Haua Healthcare, told a domestic violence conference in Auckland yesterday that traditional Maori culture was no excuse for Maori men who were violent.

He attacked comments last week by Waitakere Judge Philip Recordon, who said men charged for the first time with domestic violence offences should be encouraged to plead guilty and go on non-violence courses, rather than being jailed.

“We need to be consistent in messages saying that violence is taken seriously,” Mr Haimona said.

“I’m saying use jail more as a deterrent, while at the same time that is a difficult statement for me to say when I understand that there are more Maori people within prisons.

“I’m supporting much stronger penalties. The penalties need to fit the crime.”

Under current law, assaults bring heavy penalties of up to 14 years in jail, but men who breach protection orders by visiting estranged partners or failing to attend non-violence courses face only fines of up to $5000 or six months in jail – or two years if they have already offended at least twice in the previous three years.

Surveys suggest that domestic violence is prevalent among Maori. In 2001, 49 per cent of Maori women, but only between 23 and 25 per cent of European, Pacific and other women, said they had been hit, threatened or frightened by a partner some time.

Mr Haimona said this was the reverse of pre-European Maori society, where the role of women and children was one of “divinity and sanctity”.

When European missionaries opened schools in the Waikato, many Maori families boycotted them because they punished children with violence.

“However, when we look at the statistics today, not only is it in the schools where violence is being perpetrated against our children, but we as Maori men and women are doing the violence towards our own children.

“That is absolutely contrary to our traditional values.”

Menstruating women were seen as tapu (sacred) and were not allowed in the garden because dealing with food would have lowered their status.

Today that status had degenerated to the point where a menstruating woman was often seen as paru (dirty).

“That is not a traditional value base,” he said. “Male violence against women and children is not a traditional aspect. This is something we learned in the schools.”

He acknowledged that warfare was also a feature of traditional Maori society, but he said people who infringed the sanctity of women and children, even in war, were regulated by utu. Utu meant revenge, but it also meant “restoring balance”.

Mr Haimona said the only system that existed to restore “balance” after a transgression today was the justice system.

“I don’t want to see more Maori people going through the police and justice system.

“However, that is the only tool that we can legally use, because our traditional ways of dealing with it might have been a bit too harsh.”

Tue 25th October 2005

Peter Dunne must be bitterly disappointed

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — JohnPotter @ 3:47 pm

At a meeting between men’s groups and United Future leader Peter Dunne in Birkenhead last year, I listened to him talk about the Families Commission, which he hoped would address some of the concerns we raised about the state-mandated removal of fathers from children’s lives, and the anti-male bias within the courts and the social services.

I asked him what steps United Future had taken to counter the possibility of the commission being subverted by feminist activists, eager to get their hands on new sources of funding.

He replied that they were well aware of this danger, but put their faith in the high calibre and integrity of the people employed to staff the commission.

I know Mr Dunne has a good understanding of how the feminists work, as demonstrated in a March 2004 speech:

political correctness… is dressed up as a form of tolerance of diversity, but in reality is anything but. It is an ill-disguised, highly intolerant attempt to subvert the way we think, the questions we ask and the positions we hold, in order to change the very nature of our society to fall in line with an agenda of a truly undemocratic elite.

It wages war on the family, as the base unit of our or any society; undermining its parameters and chipping away at its building blocks, for no more profound reason than the fact that traditional concepts of family do not fit the perceptions of some of its advocates.”

It should be noted that other politicians did not share Dunne’s optimism about the new Commission. For example, in June 2004 ACT’s Heather Roy said:

“But I predict that the Families Commission will prove to be nothing more than a politically correct talkfest that will help not one single at-risk child or struggling family.”

The news yesterday that the Families Commission was sponsor of the country’s biggest-ever domestic violence conference at Waipuna Lodge over the weekend, shows that Heather Roy’s prediction and my fears have turned out to be correct.

Sat 22nd October 2005

Protest at Stopping Violence Services conference

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 3:34 pm

About 20 people turned out at Waipuna Lodge in Auckland to protest at the Stopping Violence Services 2005 Annual Conference. In an effort to draw attention to the use of Protection Orders as a weapon by some women, the theme of the protest was ‘Revenge is just an allegation away‘.

Several of the fathers I talked to told me their stories of suddenly loosing all contact with their children, even though there was no evidence of abuse presented. Most of them were forced to attend “Living Without Violence” courses, many of which are run by the conference attendees.

As the Union of Fathers bus drove by, one father shouted over the public address system: “If you take our kids away of course we get bloody angry!”

Ben Easton was interviewed at length by a Radio NZ reporter, and the protest was given good coverage on the one o’clock news at least.

Newsreader: In situations of Domestic Violence, blame is too often attached to the man he believes that more complete evidence needs to be collected and presented to the courts about why a violent situation in the home has taken place.

Ben Easton: “This is not to say in any way that any act of domestic violence is promoted by the men out here at all – it’s not. What were saying is that the cause isn’t being looked at and we’re not providing for the damage which is occuring from domestic violence.”

Newsreader: Ben Easton says the damage is done when fathers are unfairly separated from their children.

An unidentified ‘worker’ in family violence was given the last word: “the vast majority of victims are female.”

Listen to streaming audio of the 1.00pm RNZ news here.

Ben Easton

Kerry Bevin

Signs outside SVS conference

Union of Father's Bus

War4Kids Wagon

Thu 20th October 2005

Fathers plan kayak protest at conference

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:50 pm

For the first time, news of a father’s protest has made it into the (NZ Herald ) – before it has even happened!

Headlined Fathers in kayaks protest at family violence event Simon Collins writes:

Fathers plan to protest in kayaks on Auckland’s Panmure Basin on Saturday to protest against a judge who will be speaking at New Zealand’s biggest-ever conference on family violence.

Waitakere Family Court Judge David Mather is due to speak at the conference at the nearby Waipuna Hotel on that day about Waitakere’s experiment with encouraging men charged with family violence to plead guilty and attend anger management courses.

South Auckland father Paul Catton, 43, said he would be there in his kayak to protest against being convicted of assault and breach of a protection order when his ex-wife and son came to his house a year ago.

Feminist concern over protection order drop

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 1:40 pm

With the National Network of Stopping Violence Services Annual Conference under way at Auckland’s Waipuna Lodge, the feminist propaganda machine has kicked into high gear.

The Herald warns that: ‘Faith in protection orders wanes‘. The story by Simon Collins begins with an impressive graph with prominent red arrows pointing upwards under the heading “Male Assaults Female”. There are no reported figures for violence by females to balance this picture.

The second section: “Protection Orders” is not separated by gender, but it shows a dramatic drop in the numbers of Protection Orders both sought and granted since 1999.

The article says that the drop in applications for orders, despite Women’s Refuge efforts to encourage women to seek them, is because they are loosing faith with the justice system:

The services manager of Auckland agency Preventing Violence in the Home, Holly Carrington, said the courts were failing to enforce protection orders when men breached them by contacting their former partners or failing to attend anti-violence programmes.

“Here in Auckland the courts are a major problem in the response to family violence; a major barrier to the safety of victims,” she said.

“Sentencing for family violence offenders is so inconsistent, and much more often than not they are way too lenient. They [offenders] have to practically kill someone to get a prison sentence.”

This is a rather extraordinary claim, and it is given a prominent position in the article. Many reasonable people would be rightly alarmed if this were the case. Unfortunately there is no attempt to check out the facts, or present an alternative viewpoint.

It is indisputable that men’s groups are having an impact, and the domestic violence industry is in damage-control mode, pushing their dishonest spin that it is all about “mens rights”:

A joint submission to MPs by refuges and nine other agencies, quoted in a report last week by the Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development, said the Family Court was “increasingly seen to be overriding the safety of women and children in favour of ‘men’s rights’.”

Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare said there had been enormous pressure on judges from the fathers’ rights movement, reflected in comments by Waitakere Judge Philip Recordon last week that men up for their first offence “at the lower end of the scale” should sometimes be discharged without conviction.

Justice Ministry analyst Elizabeth Bartlett suggests that the “underlying incidence of family violence has remained unchanged” which would surely suggest that all the money being poured into Feminist social-engineering schemes is a total waste. But when you are a government and one of your pet projects, run by your sisters, isn’t working what do you do? Yep, you do it more, with increased resources and funding!

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has commissioned two Waikato University academics, lawyer Ruth Busch and psychologist Neville Robertson, to conduct a year-long study of protection orders, including the barriers preventing women from seeking them.

Wed 19th October 2005

The real “Great Satan”

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — triassic @ 9:02 pm

Us Senate Reauthorizes Feminist Man Hating Bill NewsWithViews.com
by David R. Usher

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (led by Senator Joe Biden of Delaware), amidst a hail of public criticism of the program. A substantial collection of mainstream organizations and scientists oppose VAWA for one basic reason: it funds sexism, not prevention of domestic violence.

VAWA is at best an extremely dubious program. Certainly, we all agree it does help women living in abuse. But we also know that it fails to help or protect men living in abuse. In fact, the program holds male victims of domestic violence responsible for women’s violence, even where the man is a saint.

VAWA: The WMD of divorce

The problems do not stop there. VAWA is the preferred “weapon of mass destruction” used by women’s attorneys in planning and execution of divorces. VAWA is written such that one fax containing a mere statement of fear is all that is necessary to seize full control of family, home, assets, and bank accounts.

Advocates of VAWA point out that courts are overwhelmed and need laws such as VAWA to protect women.

This is the self-fulfilling prophesy of VAWA — judges only have time to hear about 5% of divorce cases. But courts are overwhelmed particularly because spouse abuse allegations are filed in the majority of divorce cases — and judges simply do not have the docket time to hear them. A short hearing, absent of all due process standards required for stripping a citizen of home, property, and family are discarded.

The standard of proof is, in essence, “free-floating fear”. Dr. Stephen Baskerville describes the abject constitutional error of VAWA, in his latest article, “Violence Against the Constitution”, We can no longer allow feminists to steal by overwhelming the court system. Half the husbands in America have been thrown out of their families. No one can possibly believe that most of these guys are violent wife abusers.

From false child abuse, to false spouse abuse allegations.

For the truth, read the full article:
Us Senate Reauthorizes Feminist Man Hating Bill

Tue 18th October 2005

Gender and Domestic Violence – conflict of theory and data

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 11:51 am

A paper published earlier this year in a peer-reviewed scientific journal explores the negative impact radical feminist ideology has had on the treatment of Domestic Violence. The paper details are:

The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1–The conflict of theory and data. Donald G. Dutton, Tonia L. Nicholls Aggression and Violent Behavior 10 (2005) 680—714
Download ‘Part 1–The conflict of theory and data’ [278KB PDF]

The authors begin by noting the heightened official response to Domestic Violence in the early 70s, which resulted in refuges being opened for women victims and court-ordered treatment groups developed for men, a model which has persisted until the present. [References have been removed from the excerpts below, but are available in original paper.]

As a result of this sample selection and of the prevailing ideology of feminism, the notion evolved that spouse assault was exclusively male perpetrated or that female intimate violence, to the extent that it existed at all, was defensive or inconsequential. Subsequent research showing equivalent rates of serious female violence has been greeted with scepticism, especially by the activist-research community. Data surveys similarly met with criticism, especially by feminist researchers who were committed to the view that intimate violence was the by-product of patriarchy and hence, an exclusively male activity. This initial dogma has persevered despite data to the contrary, to be presented below.

This type of error in social judgment is demonstrated in research studies by social psychologists which show “confirmatory bias” (also called “biased assimilation”) and “belief perseverance” occurring when research subjects have a strongly held belief and are exposed to research findings inconsistent with the belief. The subjects reconcile the contradiction and maintain the prior belief by discounting the research methodology. They do not apply the same rigorous standards to research findings, which confirm their beliefs.

After a comprehensive review of the literature and the debates which have raged between the activist and research communities, the paper points out some of the downside of this ideologically-driven approach:

MENZ mentioned in ChCh Press

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — JohnPotter @ 9:51 am

Headed: ‘Man —haters’ on abuse checklist , a story in the Press yesterday written by Kim Thomas notes the fact that we recently linked to an item on another site containing a checklist for spotting women who make false abuse allegations.

Thomas reports:

The Masculinist Evolution New Zealand (Menz) website says false allegations of domestic violence are commonplace. It is a view backed by another lobby group, The Union of Fathers.

Women’s Refuge is deeply angered by Menz’s promotion of the checklist, which it says minimises family violence.

Menz is affiliated with many of New Zealand’s male rights groups and has thousands of names on its database.

(Actually, I told Thomas that our number of subscribers was “less than a thousand”, but I’m not going to bother complaining about that.)

The article continues with Union of Fathers spokesman Darrell Carlin confirming that false allegations in order to deny a father custody rights are common in New Zealand.

The article continues:

Women’s Refuge national trainer Debbie Robinson said she was angered by Menz promoting an article, which undermined efforts to deal with family violence… New Zealand research showed that only 1 to 2 per cent of people with protection orders abused the process.

Even if this ‘research’ had any credibility whatsoever, Robinson’s attitude is astounding. Even her dodgy figures represent hundreds of children loosing their dads because of the Refuge’s ideologically-inspired campaign of social engineering. Just because bad things happen to ‘only’ a small percentage of victims, we can safely ignore them, according to Robinson. I wonder if she would apply the same reasoning to other social problems that affect 2% of the population?

More feminist backlash against Judge Recordon

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 8:50 am

The Radical Feminist attack on Judge Recordon for daring to deviate from the politically-correct line continues.

A Press Release issued by Karen Price, National Women’s Rights Officer at the New Zealand University Students’ Association, insists the Judge’s attitude to domestic violence is outrageous.

Price argues in favour of continuing with the ‘one size fits all’ approach:

“Any minimising or differentiation of domestic violence risks normalising such acts, and reduces the likelihood of survivors speaking out and being taken seriously.”

I can understand why she is confident her prediction is correct – the RadFem strategy of differentiating between male and female violence then minimising the latter has so far proved fantastically successful at stopping male victims from speaking out and being helped.

Regarding the Judge’s reference to 80% of women choosing to stay with abusive partners, Price gives a revealing insight into how women of her ilk see the world:

“This is simply not true, as many women do not have genuine ‘choice’. A more accurate description of this phenomenon could be that 80% of perpetrators of domestic violence manage to retain their victims.”

I wonder how many students these days really support this perverse and twisted reasoning? Do they even pay attention to the values their representatives espouse?

Mon 17th October 2005

My Brain Stays Asleep

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 10:59 am

In an October 22-28 2005 Listener article titled: ‘My Eyes Stay Awake‘, Dennis Welch writes about the “effect on children exposed to domestic violence”. Personally, I can’t help wondering if the article is more about the effect of young, attractive, blond interview subjects on aging male journalists!

To enlighten us, Welch interviews Jane Drumm, Executive Director of the organisation Preventing Violence in the Home, an “Auckland agency formed to help women subject to domestic violence”. The information that Drumm is actually a prominent Women’s Refuge [JP edit: her organistion, previously known as the Domestic Violence Centre (Auckland) is no longer formally part of the National Refuge Collective, but the website is still unambiguaously aligned with Refuge’s radical feminist ideology] activist is inexplicably omitted; in fact the words ‘Women’s Refuge’ do not appear anywhere in the article.

Drumm tells the Listener that out of “concern about the effect on children of violence between their parents”, the organisation set up a child crisis team of social workers who supposedly give “kids the tools to cope with what they have to cope with… and to be safe”. It also presumably opens up huge new opportunities for getting public funding to pay feminist activists.

I’ve copied every mention of violence in the article below – who can spot what is wrong with this picture?

Dad had been drinking. He threw my mum on the floor and got a big knife from the kitchen. He strangled her. He said, “I’m going to kill your mother tonight” I said “No, Dad don’t hurt mum” but he wouldn’t stop. Mum was saying to me “help me” but I didn’t know what to do.

My dad hit my mum. Dad pushed mum onto the fridge. Dad is naughty for hitting mum ’cause it makes Mum say “no, no”

All blood came out of her face. She needed a towel. I cry lots of times.

My eyes stay awake at night. My dad might kill my mum and the night. He hit her bad before. There was lots of blood.

“I want to get in between I am too scared”, said a seven-year-old girl who saw her mother abused. “I am mean not helping her”.

How do you help a three-year-old cope with Dad hitting Mum?

Katy Reeves asked the mother about the danger posed by her violent husband — now living apart from her but still paying threatening visits.

Drum and colleague and Rachel Williamson surveyed the child crisis team over a period of five months and found that nearly half the children spoken to (27 out of 62) had witnessed their father’s or stepfather’s violent abuse of the mother.

The article concludes with a promotion for the National Network of Stopping Violence Services conference “Courageous Practice” to be held at Waipuna Lodge on October 20-22. Why is the Listener colluding with these radical feminist organisations in promoting hatred towards men and the removal of fathers from involvement in children’s lives by spreading this type of disinformation ?

If this article had been written by a wet-behind-the-ears journalism student straight out of school, the lack of balance and uncritical reporting of an extreme ideological agenda might be understandable, even if unacceptable. That it was written by a senior and experienced reporter like Welch should be of grave concern to us all.

Fri 14th October 2005

Academics against reducing suicide gender differences

Filed under: General,Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 1:02 pm

Rift erupts over male suicide policy The Press

A serious rift has appeared among suicide experts over policies targeting male suicides.

The debate erupted yesterday as the Males and Suicides Symposium 2005 organised by Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (Spinz) opened in Christchurch. Spinz is a non-government, New Zealand-wide information service, in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.

Suicide researchers based at the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences have challenged claims by Spinz director Merryn Statham, calling them “misleading”.

In a statement supported by six other academics, Associate Professor Annette Beautrais said yesterday Statham had pointed to the disproportionate rate of suicide in males and proposed male suicide was a major area to be addressed.

However, a clear decline in the male to female suicide ratio had occurred in recent years, she said. In 1994, four males took their own lives for every one female. By 2002 the ratio had declined to 3.2 males for every one female suicide.

“Under these circumstances the extent to which further policies to reduce gender differences are needed is debatable.”

Thu 13th October 2005

Refuge support for Judge Recordon

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 9:40 am

Refuge supports not jailing wife-beaters NZ Herald

Glenda Ryan, manager of Henderson’s Viviana refuge, said local refuges supported a Waitakere pilot scheme which encourages men charged with domestic violence to plead guilty and attend anger management courses and drug and alcohol counselling.

The pilot makes men charged with domestic violence less likely to be jailed in Waitakere than in most other parts of the country apart from Manukau, where a similar pilot started in February.

Judge Philip Recordon, one of three Waitakere judges who hear domestic violence cases, told a conference in Wellington that men who beat their partners should not be jailed if their behaviour could be changed in other ways.

“The more you can do to change his behaviour the better – what’s the point of locking them up if you can avoid it?” he was reported to have asked. The text of his speech has not been released. He is reported to have said that judges should consider discharging first-time offenders without conviction in a minority of domestic violence cases “at the lower end of the scale”.

Ms Ryan said many women who were beaten by their partners wanted the violence to stop, but still wanted the relationship to continue and were not willing to send them to jail.

“In the old system a lot of the men would plead not guilty and go to a defended hearing. On the day their partner would refuse to give evidence and they would walk free,” she said.

“When there is a chance to offer help and services to those families, women are prepared to stick with their complaints on the basis that their partners will be sent to things like anger management and drug and alcohol counselling and any other personal counselling that they might need.”

JohnP comments: Although the Herald finds support for Judge Recordon from a refuge is “unexpected”, it is perhaps not so surprising when you understand that the Henderson Refuge is not aligned with the National Collective of Women’s Refuges, precisely because it dares to support grass-roots community values and initiatives rather than the radical feminist hard line.

This story raises important questions of equity – how long will men who aren’t lucky enough to live in Waitarere or Manukau be forced to tolerate the simplistic ‘one size fits all’ Domestic Violence intervention model (ie: Duluth), based on the ideological agenda of man-hating 20th century lesbians?

Justice Ministry should be prosecuted for bungle

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 8:33 am

Justice Ministry should be prosecuted for Family Court bungle
Press Release: New Zealand National Party

Nelson MP Nick Smith wants the Ministry of Justice prosecuted for publishing on its website sensitive Family Court information in which a family and children could easily be identified.

“This is a serious breach that undermines the confidence of tens of thousands of families who use the court,” says Dr Smith.

“The Solicitor-General last year saw fit to prosecute TV3, Radio New Zealand and myself for revealing far less information about a case.

“The family concerned are outraged that very personal information about their relationship and finances was put up on a public website when they could easily be identified. The website uses their initials, ages, the town they lived in, and the specific small business they ran together. The family was alerted by someone who immediately identified them from the government website.”

Wed 12th October 2005

Another Judge breaks ranks on Domestic Violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 1:55 pm

Jail no solution for wife bashers Dominion Post

The first thing that struck me about this article was the odd headline – the use of the word “basher” is clearly intended to inspire hatred towards the men referred to in the story, even though it directly contradicts the reported facts. Headlines are an editorial decision – one wonders why the Dom. Post has so much investment in ‘spinning’ this.

The story by Anna Saunders begins by paraphrasing the judge concerned:

AS: Jailing men who beat their partners is not always the best option and some should be let off without conviction, a judge says.

Now I bet the word “beat” was not what was actually said. This type of systematic language distortion is characteristic of Radical Feminist propaganda about Domestic Violence – how it works in a court situation is described by lawyer Terry Carson in his article ‘Fiction In The Family Court’.

By the time the article starts reporting the actual facts, we have been given two clear signals that what follows is not considered politically correct.

AS: Judge Philip Recordon, who works at Waitakere’s pilot Family Violence Court, told a restorative justice conference this week that a hardline approach to domestic violence “flies in the face of reality” and fresh ideas were needed.

Next, before expanding the judge’s comment or putting it in any kind of context, a spot of character denigration:

AS: He angered women’s groups and some media earlier this year when he granted an All Black permanent name suppression after he pleaded guilty to beating his pregnant wife. The player was discharged without conviction. Critics said the decision sent the message that family violence was not being taken seriously.

I trust by now you are all going tut, tut, shaking your head and thinking “why would anybody take this man seriously?” No? You’ve obviously been spending too much time reading MENZ Issues!

Australian fathers to pay less child support

Filed under: Child Support — JohnPotter @ 12:42 pm

Fathers will pay less for child support Sydney Morning Herald

Minimum child support payments are to be raised, but most fathers will find themselves paying less, after the federal cabinet approved the biggest revamp since the inception of the controversial system.

Instead of payments being calculated as a percentage of taxable income of the child support payer they will be based on the combined income of both parents. The changes could take effect as soon as July 1 next year.

The amount of time each parent spends caring for the children will also be taken into consideration and the cost of raising children will be assessed in two age groups – up to 12 years and 13 to 17 years. As a result, about 60 per cent of non-custodial parents – usually fathers – can expect their payments to be reduced.

The decision comes as the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, prepares to take amendments to the Family Law Act to Parliament, including the requirement that separating couples visit a counsellor at one of the new Family Relationship Centres in an attempt to settle their differences out of court.

Tue 11th October 2005

Virus savages the XY gene

Filed under: General — triassic @ 5:03 pm

A most fearsome virus has been released into society, in some ways even more lethal than the feared H5N1 strain of avian (bird) flu. The strain PRA (XY-XX) is already estimated to have infected nearly 70% of NZ couples with potential for financially and emotionally debilitating results. There have been cases of suicide.

At the time of writing, this virus has been circulating for the better part of three years. Most couples are not even aware they have contracted it. Perversely, couples that have vaccinated to avoid the virus can be the ones most at risk. Although XY genes are most at risk some XX can also be vulnerable.

Those that believed they were inoculated using “COA” (old batches were called “prenuptials”) inoculum (at $500-$1000 per dose) find that it can actually encourage the disease. One couple became vaccinated then 3 years later almost to the day he came down with a severe attack of the strain known as “section 21?.

He caught this off his partner whose health provider had only suggested he may have administered a bad dose of vaccine. This turned out not to be the case but in such cases the cost of testing the vaccine can be more burdensome than the disease it was designed to prevent. The cost falls not on the health provider but the victim.

Image make-over for Family Court

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 9:38 am

Standards push in Family Court NZ Herald

The Family Court is facing a fresh shakeup, with Principal Judge Peter Boshier insisting on more formality to ensure it – and the legal orders it makes – are respected.

Judge Boshier wants a higher standard of evidence presented to the courts, and has decided lawyers will be asked to stand, not sit, when they address judges.

He has already applied to the Government to lift a legislative ban on judges wearing gowns in the Family Court.

The changes he has outlined are intended to improve the authority of the Family Court and to prevent its orders, including those protecting children, being flouted.

But it is also understood Judge Boshier wants to strengthen the performance of professionals, including lawyers, social workers and court staff, to avoid “embarrassing lapses and delays”.

In a speech in Wellington yesterday, Judge Boshier said that, when established, the Family Court was allowed to receive “any” evidence which might not be heard in other courts.

“At what point, do we say there is an honourable limit to the admissibility of second-hand, unoriginal and sometimes questionably sourced material?”

Call to respect Family Court Dominion Post

“I would like there to be no perception at all that Family Court orders, when issued, can be negotiated, avoided or informally modified,” Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier said yesterday.

“The Care of Children Act does much to strengthen our court’s powers, making it clear that our role has authority and that the orders we make are not to be flouted,” he said.

But many litigants still lacked confidence in the court and did not see its orders as requiring compliance, he said.

JohnP’ s comments: Now that it is no longer able to operate in secret, the NZ Family Court is being forced to undergo a rapid image make-over. Principal Judge Peter Boshier has realised that allowing judges to continue making decisions on the basis of “second-hand, unoriginal and sometimes questionably sourced material” is not a good look, as is tolerating “embarrassing lapses and delays” on behalf of court professionals, and blatant flouting of Court Orders by some parents.

Many of Judge Boshier’s suggested reforms are on the right track, but it will take a lot more that a change of costume and protocols to rebuild public confidence in the court. For a start, an acknowledgement that thousands of families devastated by the court’s past disgraceful performance deserve to have their cases reviewed. And how about making public statistics on custody awards by gender which will demonstrate unequivocally how much institutional bias against fathers still exists?

Accusation: A Wife’s Story

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 9:07 am

Newly released book by Mary Fielding and Jane Westaway
ISBN/ISSN 1877361151
In bookstores now – $29.95

ACCUSATION is Mary Fielding’s gripping account of a nightmare that begins one ordinary evening with a knock at her front door. Minutes later three police officers lead away her husband Steve. Later that night he is charged on two counts of indecency. What is his wife and mother of his two daughters to believe? And which is worse: that her husband is guilty as charged, or that an innocent man is subjected to such on-going anguish?

After a two-and-a-half year battle which threatens the Fielding’s emotional and economic survival, Steve is spat out of a system that Mary now sees as deeply flawed, shockingly unjust. It’s easy to believe in justice, to trust police to investigate and judges to deliver sound verdicts, that is, until someone in your family is arrested, charged and tried. Then that belief can be shattered forever. ACCUSATION is a compelling story told with remarkable courage.

Fri 7th October 2005

Campaign to Target Male Depression.

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Child Support,General,Men's Health — Downunder @ 10:23 am

A Stuff News Release advises the launching out of the blue campaign, for male depression and suicide, then links to a website about female and gay depression.

For anyone looking for a more appropriate website try this link to the
mental health site.

Judge warns of violent young girls

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 8:57 am

Brazen and streetwise teenage girls are responsible for an increasing share of the violent crime in New Zealand, a senior judge says.
This week Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft told The Press that 20 per cent of youth crime was now committed by females, compared with 15% two years ago.

Article by

07 October 2005

Thu 6th October 2005

The Rising Hysteria of The Domestic Violence Industry.

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — Downunder @ 2:32 pm

Anti Domestic Violence Campaigns take on a new meaning while sensible people step up the fight against the rising hysteria of the Domestic Violence Industry which pales the religious frenzy of the middle ages. This burgeoning billion dollar business is home to the lazy and incompetent — the hyenas of family destruction and social meltdown. An ideology of subjective truth has left a festering train of vagrant minds, unable to distinguish right from wrong, fact from fantasy, and reality from fallacy. These people are more dangerous than the few pedophiles that escape the incompetence or failure of our social administration. In a parade of self righteous antagonism their trail of destruction will diminish the legacy of great wars.

The 2005 annual conference of
The National Network of Stopping Violence Services

2.12 Fathers’ Rights Groups and Their Impact on the Effectiveness of Domestic Violence Laws in New Zealand

This workshop will present on the impact of fathers’ rights campaigns on the laws about domestic violence and care of children and the approach of the New Zealand Family Court; and also about how gender bias and a parental rights focus makes it harder to get effective legal protection for victims of family violence. This will be followed by discussion about strategies to increase the effectiveness of our DV laws.
– Wendy Davis is a Wellington family lawyer and much of her work involves family violence. Wendy’s workshop will address many of the issues raised in her paper Gender bias, fathers’ rights, domestic violence and the Family Court, published in Butterworth’s Family Law Journal in December 2004.
Extract: Gender bias can prejudice both women and men, but it is not symmetrical. Unlike gender bias against men, gender bias against women occurs in the context of women’s generally disadvantaged position in society and, historically, under the law.

The National Network of Stopping Violence Services is a network of 33 Community based organisations working to prevent violence and abuse in families in Aotearoa New Zealand. Services provided by member agencies include stopping violence and support/education programmes for men, women and children under the Domestic Violence Act, advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence, domestic violence training for organizations and professionals, and interagency coordination.

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