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Sun 16th February 2014

Media Bias Concerning Family Court

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 12:17 pm

The injustice shown to men over the decades since the inception of the Family Court and the abuse done by that Court to children’s relationships with their fathers (and therefore to the children themselves) have been largely ignored by our media. Exposure of the Court’s sexism against men relied mainly on individual men’s letters to the editor that were often not even published, and if they were the paper would often arrange for an article to appear in the same edition reporting unsubstantiated claims by some male-hating group such as Women’s Refuge. Publicity was occasionally given to fathers’ protests outside Family Courts and Court workers’ homes but focused more on the complaints about protesters’ behaviour than on the concerns driving the protesters. On the rare occasion that news media gave voice to fathers’ concerns and experiences the stories would always include comments in reply sought from feminist spokespersons.

Despite the odds being so firmly stacked against fathers from news media to the very fabric of ‘family’ law and Family Court functioning, men’s movement efforts have led to positive changes in the law and application of it. Father’s ongoing contact with children is now given a higher priority by most if not all judges (although ‘every second weekend’ is still often seen as sufficient).

So what has happened in our news media since these marginal changes in Family Court attitudes? This. We are now seeing regular articles, many more than were ever published about men’s issues, giving voice to complaints by women dissatisfied with Family Court decisions even though the statistics show that decisions still significantly favour mothers. Women’s claims are reported without caution, background checking or any opportunity for the other party to respond. Society’s tendency to be sympathetic and protective towards women is fully exploited by the wording of these pro-female articles that tend to avoid accurate information and useful analysis.

This latest salvo on behalf of feminism begins with a tear-jerking account of a woman who ‘watched her grandmother die over the internet after a custody order prevented her from leaving New Zealand with her young son’. No information is given about the age of the young son or what might have been achieved by him being able to watch his great-grandmother die in person. No mention is made of the fact that this mother was fully at liberty to travel back to Malaysia to see her grandmother at any time; she just wasn’t able to take the child without the NZ father’s agreement. (How totally unreasonable to give any father a say in such matters.) We don’t know whether there was a non-removal order in place and if so what were the grounds for this, or whether the mother actually made any Court application to take her son to see the great-grandmother. The article mentioned only that she arrived at Court too late to file an application to take her son to the funeral, and implied that she should for some reason have been given special or magical treatment concerning the Court’s ability to schedule hearings as it suited her.

The article made no mention of the frequency with which mothers abduct children to the mother’s country of origin, or the difficulty and expense involved for fathers to try to get their children back or even to see their children ever again even when international laws allow for this. No mention is made of the fact that Malaysia is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions, meaning that it would be almost impossible for this particular father to have his child returned should the mother choose to stay there. Rather than any contextual, factual information, the journalist preferred instead to air this mother’s opinion that the father’s preferences were ‘more about power’ than the best interests of their son. Ah yes, the patriarchal power and control myth, what a novel and newsworthy idea.

The low level of accuracy in this news article was clear from the first paragraph in its reference to a ‘custody order’. There is no such thing as a custody order, the concept of ‘custody’ having long been removed from our family law.

It appears this Herald on Sunday journalist Kirsty Wynn communicated with the well-known feminist propaganda merchant Dr Vivienne Elizabeth and ‘uncovered’ several cases while ‘looking into custody disputes’. We don’t know whether Dr Elizabeth made the first contact on behalf of these complaining women or whether the story was stimulated in some other way, but Ms Wynn saw it as sufficient to interview only this one heavily biased feminist academic in her process of ‘looking into custody disputes”.

Ms Wynn went on to give voice to the claims of two other disgruntled female litigants, again with no shred of investigative journalism to assess the veracity of their claims. The first alleged that the father withheld food from their children (perhaps he refused to buy them junk food one time, what a monster) and that he physicallly and sexually abused them but ‘nothing had been done’ about this. (Yeah right, the authorities simply ignore physical and sexual abuse of children especially when done by men. And if any woman in a Family Court dispute alleges such abuse that should be enough evidence to convict him and to wreck his children’s relationship with him. How dare anyone doubt or investigate any woman’s claims?!) This mother went on to claim that children are not being kept safe. She will be right about that; her children may well need more protection from her malicious allegations and efforts to wreck their relationships with their father.

Dr Elizabeth and/or Ms Wynn had to trawl the bottom of the barrel for the third and final disgruntled female litigant’s story. Apparently, her children didn’t want to live with their father and the Court wanted a psychological assessment concerning this even though counsel for child had told her such assessment would do more harm than good. That apparently showed that the Family Court was now ‘more about the father’s rights than what is good for the child’. Journalist Ms Wynn could easily have contacted someone from the fathers’ or men’s movement and in a 10-minute phone conversation she would have gained useful information about parental alienation and the importance of assessing this when children reject one parent, and about the problem of lawyers for child giving psychological opinions and otherwise acting well outside their role, training and expertise.

In that 10-minute telephone conversation Ms Wynn could also have been directed to dozens of cases in which men and their children have been treated unjustly by the Family Court. Every one of those cases would be much more convincing than those of the three disgruntled women publicized in her article.

The fact is that without-notice protection orders continue to be slapped mainly on men on the basis of allegations unaccompanied by any shred of corroborating evidence even when such evidence would be easy to obtain. Women’s affidavits will allege telephone harassment without supporting telephone records, ‘financial abuse’ without supporting bank records, and physical abuse without supporting medical records. Yet without any warning or right of reply the targetted men suddenly have protection orders against them, restricting their contact with their children, forcing them out on to the street without access to their possessions, and forcing them under threat of imprisonment to attend ‘anger management’ courses. (In the rare cases that protection orders are placed on women, they attend ‘women empowerment’ programmes, highlighting just how pro-female and anti-male our family law system is!) It is left up to the targetted man to refute the woman’s allegations with telephone, bank and other records proving the woman lied through her teeth, yet the Court will do nothing about her perjury and act as though the rest of what she says is still trustworthy. Such pro-female bias has been and continues to be typical in Family Court disputes, yet media ignore injustice to men and instead regale us mainly with articles about women complaining how unfair the Family Court is towards them.

18 Responses to “Media Bias Concerning Family Court”

  1. Skeptic says:

    Superb, especially the last paragraph.
    I wish MPs, NZ media and every young man in NZ got to see it.

  2. Julie says:

    “Rolls Eyes”.

    I like Angry Harry’s latest article about a memory like a gold fish. Seems a few men on line have the same problem, lol.

  3. Fathers are Important to Children says:

    Well written article. Good tone and strong points made.

    You mentioned Lawyers for Child giving psychological assessments of their own, when not qualified to do so.

    I had the lawyer for child in my girl’s case, do just that numerous times. Her name was Wendy Galvin of Galvin Law, a small firm of women only lawyers.

  4. golfa says:

    Well said. Send it to the NZ Herald.

  5. MurrayBacon says:

    Your overview of the present situation of fathers is unfortunately spot on.

    Although the stupidity of the caught$ and familycaught$ in particular, are becoming common knowledge among fathers, men remain apathetic.

    Most men are more concerned about impressing women, than in defending their rights, as men or as fathers.

    Protection Orders – The Quantitative Figures by Scrap the csa.

    Deaths cut close to home

    An emotional Judith Collins has revealed her personal pain at the loss of a cousin, murdered when her husband breached a protection order.
    . . . . . .
    But the GPS proposal dates back further. In July 2012 Collins’ cousin Robyn Prole was brutally killed by her husband Rex Prole, despite a protection order banning him from approaching or contacting her.
    . . . . . . .
    Collins said Robyn, the daughter of her father’s sister, was a kind person who only ever saw the good in people, even when there was no good. Asked how Robyn’s death influenced her work as Justice Minister, Collins said: “Obviously I need to be very professional as I am about these matters, but I am very aware of the way in which this can happen to anybody in any family. It has a devastating effect.”
    . . . . . . .
    “Blame must always be with the murderer. That’s who is at fault here. Obviously there needs to be a coroner’s inquest which will no doubt go through every detail and all the facts, but ultimately there was one person who did that. We should seek answers as to how things can be done better, but even people who were told that he was thinking this – I don’t blame them, I blame him. It was a terrible, dreadful thing to do.”

    ______________________________________
    Minister Collins can only see that responsibility must lie only with the murderer.

    As a society, we test car drivers, before we let them loose on the roads (and WOF test cars too). We take responsibility for ensuring that only competent drivers get to aim cars.

    We have been jailing fathers for breaches of “Protection Orders” now for almost 20 years. Although statistics show that this act has not saved womens and childen’s lives, it has resulted in an increase in parental murder suicides, by both mothers and fathers. For every live the act has saved, it has enraged someone else and cost an additional life. Thus, no net savings even of victim’s lives.

    If the act has resulted in increased deaths, then to propose increasing penalties, is almost certainly only going to increase the deaths associated with the DV Act.

    If as a society, we were to protect parents rights to have a relationship with their children (as set out in DV Act and Care of Children Acts), then parents would not be under so much fear about not being able to see and know their own children. What I am suggesting is that the problems lie in the failure of familycaught$ to honour existing legislation, much more than the degree of problems in the legislation.

    Editorial: GPS and gun register might have saved Livingstones

    I support GPS monitoring of all accused violent offenders, for up to 10 years, based on evidence of risk.

    Even so, technology cannot protect people from a determined nurderer.

    Surely better to have a system of law, which satisfactorily and properly protects parent’s and children’s rights, rather than to fuel injustices and then attempt to use excessive force to crush revolt?

  6. Aaron Bell says:

    send it to all mp, everyone 1 send then maybe they listen and put out there infront of themif 10 guys go to 1 mp with his story he see there is a problem

  7. Agreed Ministry of mens affairs,

    ,great article exactly the same thing I was thinking and replied to about that on the family consumer court page (awaiting moderation) before I saw this one :)

  8. oops and

    Murray bacon good stuff for you guys highlighting this again :)

  9. kumar says:

    I wish media was unbiased. Hope to see this article in top newspaper. We need a national forum like these newpapers or websites so that our voices can be heard by public and the lawmakers

  10. I am not sure if this is okay but presume so as its a public forum and only creating more interest in MENZ , I have set up a Facebook page called “NZ men fed up with the NZ court system” in the hope it will highlight this more and invited all my personal friends to like it ? and linking this directly to this stuff as its so good and well written I could never put it the way you guys do ?

    I see I can advertise the site through face book but just setting it up and will do that later I guess…. please keep writing such great articles and comments

  11. @ Fathers are Important ,

    Lawyers for Child, AKA biased turd (second lawyer for mother) are never there for the father just another leech in the corrupt system where not only are they getting money from the goverement from multiple streams by doing so, ,

    my one graeme askelund (yes I hope you read this) blanky told me “keep fighting I make more money” then denied it when I put a complaint to the law society about him, but they are also lawyers as well so that went no where just like trying to get anywhere with this handbrake in front of me.

  12. MurrayBacon says:

    At #5 above, I didn’t manage to make myself clear.

    Judith Collins wants to focus on putting responsibility only on the actual murderer. Although I can see her logic, it is a narrow view, which doesn’t meet the public policy test, as used by judges when setting out liability responsibility and also aeroplane crash investigators, including Justice Mahon (Air NZ crash on Mount Erebus Enquiry).

    Although the murderer was the last obvious link in the causal chain, there were many earlier links, that if not present, would have averted the tragedy. These are all opportunities for improvement in social outcomes.

    If we choose to focus only on the last link, we can guarantee our ability to maintain the present rates of death and injury, as provided from the DV Act unfortunate perverse outcomes.

    It appears that Justice Minister Judith Collins is working hard to maintain and increase upon the present rate of injuries and deaths? Does this lack of breadth come from a narrow brained legal training, or is she just enjoying dwelling in the land of drama, bloodshed and unnecessary loss? Has she watched too many american legal dramas on TV?

    If Air NZ hadn’t programmed their aeroplane to crash land on Mount Erebus, then the 287 people would still have been alive after the flight. Justice Mahon did his very best to protect future air travellors, although he was too late to help the 287 Air NZ passengers survive Mount Erebus. If Air NZ had accepted the recommendation of an IT quality control advisor, to double check navigational calculations, before entering them into the navigational computers, then the passengers would not have been killed. If Air NZ had informed the pilot that they were changing the navigational waypoints, then he would have checked them, then the passengers would not have been killed. If Air NZ had informed the pilot that they were changing the navigational waypoints, then he would not have descended through cloud, then the passengers would not have been killed.

    If many (most?) of the “victims” of PO breaaches had supplied honest not-manipulative affidavits (in other words according to Family Court Rules) to the familycaught$, or if the familycaught$ had checked on the honesty of the evidence supplied (as they are legislated to do and paid to do), then these murders would probably not have occurred.

    Isn’t this exactly the desired outcome??????

    Well then, what IS the desired outcome?
    It would be interesting to hear what these now childless women would say to this question.

    In the comments on the post Blackmailed Man Commits Suicide , several people pointed out that the 18 year old woman should bear at least some of the responsibility for the man’s suicide, as a result of her dishonest thieverous manipulation. This is a fairly big ask, of a socially immature 18 year old woman.

    I am guessing that Hon. Minister of Justice Judith Collins could not and should not use that same excuse?

    If she lacks creativity and social responsibility, then maybe we need someone in the job of Minister of Justice, not hindered in ethics and imagination, by having a law degree and legal work experience?

    Maybe as a country, we are so desperate for someone wiser and more creative, that now we could even consider Angie Rose Wilson for the post?

    In the same spirit, of looking to whether we could carry more self responsibility, as men we could consider whether our approach to media relations management had contributed to our very poor media presence?

    Dr Brian Edwards and his wife Judy Callingham wrote a book, about cultivating good media relationships. Mr. Dale Carnegie wrote a somewhat similar book How To Win Friends and Influence People. I have offered to several men’s representatives to work through these books with them, but every single one has refused for various reasons.

    I believe that you can learn more by trying to carry responsibility, than by pathetically disclaiming it, as our judges do after every disaster in which they have played pivotal roles.

    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  13. caston says:

    @Fathers Are Important, interesting to hear about your experience with Wendy Galvin. She was c4c in my case as well, and my child didn’t like her from the start. Thats because she was twisting my child’s words and not faithfully reporting my child’s wishes instead telling my child what she thought, ie that she didn’t want more time with her father.

    Wendy Galvin also steered the case in a direction that supported my ex wife bu echoing in her reports verbatim my ex wife’s view on me, without bothering to check them for veracity.

    I am fortunate I still have a good relationship with my daughter, but Galvin very much represented my ex wife’s interests, at the expense of our child.

    I see she is the principal at an all woman firm and also see she advertises the white ribbon campaign on her firm’s facebook page.

    I’ve spoken with other lawyers who say she has a reputation for siding with mothers.

  14. Daniel says:

    #5 I remember Ms Collins getting “emotional” in parliament when she was calling David Benson-Pope a pervert in support of some manufactured story about his days as a teacher. She’s an expert in the use of crocodile tears, it’s hard to know whether she is being sincere in this latest example. I know what I think but I have a pretty low opinion of the woman and a wary eye for manipulative behaviour.

  15. Scott B says:

    10 can’t find your page

  16. Skeptic says:

    Well done setting up the Facebook page Dominic.
    Another push for justice.

  17. Scott B says:

    16 Thanks

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