Last night, in amongst much, I wrote:-
Then we have to address the very nature of abuse. Surely, anything short of demonstrable violence is abuse of position, but hardly constitutes indefensible abuse, or avoidable abuse.
Upon reading it, I can see the potential for misinterpretation, so please allow me to restate the case.
It seems to me that physical abuse, adult-on-adult, is indefensible and potentially life-threatening, thus ‘any’ level of physical abuse must be dealt with vehemently and immediately.
But what of the other so-called abuses, verbal, psychological, financial, and big dingaling ‘potential abuse’. Surely, physical abuse is a provable assault, ergo, one person must hit another.
But how does one even define verbal abuse? Is it an enraged partner screaming at the top of his her lungs, at the other? Is it insidious remarks about the other? And what the dicken is psychological abuse? Moreover, how is it demonstrated at a level which can be tested against some norm? The same goes for financial abuse. Is it abusive to withhold access to money for no good reason? One could argue that it is. But what is the ‘not good reason’? Is it because the other partner wants to retain as much money from income as possible to peel back the mortgage or other debt? Is it for that partner to waste on drink, drugs and fags? And again, how do we, within a lawful framework, test it?
Then we have potential abuse! Sure, we can reasonably argue that any partner who has consistently beaten the snot out of the other, and then finds him/herself ejected (rightfully) one can argue that such a person represents a potentail threat. But I have to ask, if said snot-beating ‘has’ been consistent, then why isn’t the perp in jail doing a lengthy sentence, instead of roaming free, waiting for the opportunity to turn potential into actual violence? In such a case a DVA is about as much value as waving a wand. The police can’t place a guard with the potential victim, 24/7. The fact is, there are some instances where a victim will become so regardless of the best efforts of authority.
But is the issuance of a DVA, based upon so-called violence other than physical, acceptable? Surely, the answer is no!
You see, the big problem we have here is the concept of justice not being seen to be done. Surely, a contract is a contract. ‘I will,’ and ‘I won’t,’ (apply that to all marital situations) means just that. And so when party breaks that contract, surely the other party has the right to feel aggrieved and, further, has the right to redress.
The biggie, of course, is seperation after adultery, or separation while adultery is in train. Is this not profound emotional abuse of the adulted? And what of the contract wherein the adulterer asserted they would not become so?
It seems to me that the sooner we return to ‘fault’ divorce, the better. That would certainly put a crick in the neck of free-association sex.
And then we have the kids involved.
It is clearly quite unacceptable for any court to assert a child is not safe with the non-custodial parent (at the time of separation) unless clear proof the child is not safe can be offered. And where do we go for that proof? We go to the child…presuming the child can talk. And if the child cannot, then some clear medical evidence must support accusations of abuse.
No system will ever be perfect, and so there will be some occassions when the child is coached or even forced to assert the ‘other’ partner is personna non grata. But, in the evnt a child asserts he/she is perfectly happy with mum or dad, then so be it. The child is happy.
We can’t cause hardship to either the child or the ‘other’ parent by calling assertions fact. Sure, some children will be in denial, many others will not. But how about this for a concept. Why not appoint a lawyer for the child and make that lawyer responsible for attending to the child’s wants…not needs (the moment you bring in ‘needs’ the lawyer can have a view).
In this way, a child in denial can, at some stage, approach the lawyer and ‘tell’. At some stage a child who has been coached into trashing the father/mother, and who finally changes his/her mind, can approach the lawyer with his/her wants. The child would not be required to excuse him/herself, for previous allegations or position-taking. The child would have the right to say, ‘I’ve changed my mind and i want to spend equal time with mum/dad.’
Sure, this is alos open to some level of abuse, but again, there is no perfect system.
What we have now is a seriously imperfect system which thinks it’s perfect. But it’s far from it. It is assuming the ridiculous stand-point of ‘absolute’ safety for all, when no such thing is possible in any theatre of life.
Children tend to learn from their parent’s mistakes. Other than those right down at the bottom of the heap (the Kahuis of the world) most children will grow up asserting they won’t do what their parents did. And so, living in a difficult environment may not be actually so bad for a developing adult. Consider Jona Lomu’s story. A prince of men who came from a visciously violent childhood! Why?
And so, I guess what I’m getting at here is simple. At the time the credits are handed out (at FGC judgement time) each parent, biological other otherwise should be treated as having automatic equal guardianship unless the evidence against such a course is clear and incontrovertible.
Couple that to the zero-to-sixteen years, lawyer for child programme, and then couple that with severe penalties for a malfactor, and suddenly we have a way through this vile mess of what’s best for the kids.
Then take away the free-lunch society and educate the growing kids that free lunches went out with the Labour Party’s last term, and maybe we’ll yet get some sense into the societal mess which see 300,000 children bereft of real parenting, God knows how many CYFS children living as street-kids.
Remember, no system will be perfect. But if win nine and lose one, surely that is better than losing nine to win one.