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


Filed under: Domestic Violence — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 10:28 am Wed 19th September 2007

We don’t yet know all the details about the case of “Pumpkin”, the little Chinese girl whose father abandoned her in Melbourne on his way to the US. However, the case stands already as another dramatic failure of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) because a protection order was in place that failed to protect and perhaps increased the risk of violence. That won’t be noticed though by the media, even less by the domestic violence industry. All we will hear is unbalanced allegations against Mr Xue of domestic violence, omitting any consideration of the violence done to him by the DVA and Ms Xue. We will never hear Mr Xue’s side of the story nor get any insight into his experiences through his eyes. I am not condoning whatever Mr Xue may have done in reaction to his situation. He deserves normal justice for offences he has committed. But I would like to see some realistic analysis of the case and what it says about the DVA.

The appallingly small amount of research undertaken on the DVA has so far failed even to ask the question “is this legislation resulting in any reduction of serious violence between parents and family members?” I always predicted that protection orders in their current form would increase the risk of serious violence from those with that tendency, for at least three reasons.

Firstly, the DVA’s basic unfairness and abandonment of existing principles of justice (e.g. the right to be treated as innocent of allegations until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt; the right to occupy the home and to use the chattels one has paid for; the right to free speech; the right — even for imprisoned criminals properly convicted under normal evidential criteria – to decide on one’s own medical/psychological treatment, education and philosophical beliefs) are likely to increase a respondent’s general resentment and malaise, his fear that his role and relationship with his children will continue to be damaged or severed by his partner in alliance against him with a sexist system deaf to his experiences, his hopelessness about ever having his own perspectives and needs acknowledged, and his sense that he now has little to lose.

Secondly, protection orders stifle communication and thereby remove the safety-valve function of expressing one’s feelings as well as removing any opportunity to resolve the relationship problems.

Thirdly, bringing relationship issues into an adversarial Court system increases general stress and acrimony, and forces respondents to pay lawyers large amounts of money (if respondents want to protect themselves and their children’s welfare in the legal arena).

These and other aspects of the DVA can be expected to result in massive build-up of anger, frustration and anguish, tipping over the edge those respondents with a tendency to serious violence already. For most other people who don’t have significant tendency towards serious violence, the DVA will mainly relieve applicants from the inconvenience of hearing their partners’ communication and feelings, entrench the existing relationship conflicts through further layers of resentment at unfair treatment, reduce any chance of overcoming the relationship problems through communication, and thereby increase the chance that children will be damaged through permanent loss of their family unit.

History has taught us that when the state starts to abandon basic rights and principles of justice for whatever reason, this is a slippery slope requiring increasingly severe injustice to repress those whose rights are being breached. Thus we have Neville Robertson and associates recommending that in order to work properly the DVA will need to treat respondents with even less concern for what once were fundamental civil rights.

So what can we expect? Permanently deprive respondents of their passports so they can’t abandon children at Melbourne airport. Deprive respondents of any money they might have access to so they can’t pay others to harass the applicants or take children away or otherwise dare to act as though they are a parent to their children. Force respondents to move immediately to another town to reduce any chance that an applicant might suffer the trauma of seeing him at the supermarket. Routinely imprison respondents for failing to attend feminist indoctrination programmes, for failing to admit their guilt or for failing to agree with the feminist doctrine when they do attend. Imprison respondents immediately to prevent them from reacting against what is being done to them and to make it easier to force them into the indoctrination programmes (although that would also require the state to abandon international treaties so it can treat convicted prisoners with the same disregard for rights now shown to DVA respondents). Imprison respondents permanently so they can never take revenge for the damage the state has caused them and their children. Prevent applicants and children from initiating any contact with respondents.

When those provisions don’t work, as assuredly they won’t, then I guess the eventual solution will be routinely to kill respondents, at least male respondents, to save hassle and to ensure that applicants will not be inconvenienced further. Oh, and we had better kill all of the respondent’s associates as well to prevent them from acting against the applicant or against the system on his behalf.


  1. To the Editor
    Letters to the Editor,

    Dear Madam / Sir,

    re: Pumpkin Case.

    The question that should be addressed in this case is why the father was prevented from having contact with his daughter by the Family Court in the first place.
    Its no good saying that the decision was justified by the fact that the father ended up harming his wife and child when none of this might have happened if he hadn’t been treated with such cruel disregard in the first place.

    Empowering one parent to abuse a child’s other parent in this way can and does create massive distress which sometimes can push an excluded parent over the edge.

    The solution to all family law disputes is to protect the children from being used as a weapon by one parent and their solicitors. No doubt this tragic case will be used to argue for even more brutal treatment of parents who find them selves excluded from their children, resulting in more desperation, misery and money for the divorce industry practitioners.

    Yours faithfully
    Simon Hunt
    8 Terrylyn Dr.
    (09) 444 7206

    Comment by simon hunt — Thu 20th September 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  2. Well done Simon. Nothing in the media so far has challenged the provocative role of the DVA in such tragedies.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 21st September 2007 @ 11:47 am

  3. What we do not have and have not fostered is a social bank where society for its functioning community strength has a proactive approach to individual’s difficulties. The Family Court is a response to these problems and as Simon points out an industry is built upon our inability to navigate significant and dangerous adversarial situations before they escalate out of control.

    A prime example of where a society is dysfunctional and not cohesive to the citizenship’s demand to be protected from domestic violence, is more profound if you consider the data gathering and its assessment of our system as it stands, even without the interference of knowledge from a social bank of knowledge. Paul Catton’s case raised a significant and notable circumstance of people improperly leaving the country with children where there were considerations necessary to be given on the spousal partner. Paul’s case is extreme where the behaviour of the professionals involved can be measured to their willingness to accept, where Paul had a protection order out against him, that that protection order entitled the mother to act as she so wanted. Paul proved quite reasonably otherwise.

    If the administration is not of the mind that it should change the laws to protect women to escape domestic violence from their husbands, as in Paul’s case it should have been flagged to an order, then it is most unlikely that will recognise the need to alter their practices better to reply to social knowledge development in the light of the murder.

    They need murders to occur in order for the administrators to affect change. Basically, I think this identifies ignorance rather than skill. Essentially I figure it says these people who go through school and get jobs that pay well making and reviewing law are still pretty stupid.

    They should have listened to Paul. They should have talked to him like he is human rather than judging him and alienating him into the pile of deadbeat dads. They should have listened to me, and my suggestions of mediation through Family Group Conferences before you get to the Family Court – building up social knowledge. But no, they won’t listen. They want murders to fill their papers and theri stomachs for food on the table as paid for from the domestic violence industry. We are organised by people who demand violence from their communities in order for them to get paid.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Fri 21st September 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  4. mr Xue had a long standing relationship with domestic violence for may years. His , now murdered, partner, had had to seek safety from a woomen’s anti domestic violence service for women of colour, and had been given a safe house to stay in on a number of occassions prior to her murder. The resources of this women’s shelter are limited, they do not use them in cases where allegations of domestic violence are not serious and proven. It is a shame that you publish comments on cases that you seem not to know muuch about, and then promote misleading, false infomration to support what seems like a continuation of the ‘angery tone’ that is aparent throughout your site. Men’s issues would, in my opinion, be better served by not claiming the voice of men in such angery , sometimes fanatic, tones. Persons would more likely to listen if the mesages was spoke quietly not shouted…

    Comment by anon — Mon 24th September 2007 @ 8:58 am

  5. Anon, thank you for your comments. I appreciate your suggestions about how better to be heard, though as a man I get tired of being told that masculine ways of communicating and behaving are somehow inferior to whatever is preferred by women. In fact, masculine communication styles have been deliberately defined as “violence” in both the conception and application of the DVA to facilitate the disenfranchisement of men, while cruel, destructive behaviour “spoken quietly not shouted” in sweet female tones is condoned.

    You claim that the current posting and comments promoted “misleading, false information” about a case we don’t know much about. In reading through my post and all of the comments I was unable to find any false or misleading information at all. Little was actually mentioned by anyone about the Xue case. The only comment that could be construed as such was my reference to “the violence done to him by the DVA and Ms Xue”, by which I meant that the DVA is inherently violent, aside from any other possible actions by Ms Xue that might have been experienced by Mr Xue as violent. Contrary to the feminist formulation underlying the DVA, both of NZ’s longitudinal studies have shown that most domestic violence is characterized by contributions from both partners.

    We don’t know anything about the source or veracity of your claims about the Xue case. However, if it is true that Mr Xue has long been violent towards his wife then it is also true that his violence was less serious for a long time before the DVA was applied than it became soon after, and it follows that the case stands as another failure of the DVA. The current post and comments describe how and why the DVA in its current form is likely to provoke more serious violence than it might discourage. If you are genuinely interested in reducing risk of domestic violence then you might wish to consider carefully the analysis presented.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 24th September 2007 @ 11:44 am

  6. The empathy to respect humanity and its essential function to challenge domestic violence isn’t lost to us anon, as Hans rightfully suggests.

    What men are saying is that there is another kind of violence that lies under the human skin that is hurting everyone in the extreme that most people just seem to want to ignore.

    For my poart I point out that FGC’s may well interfere with these facts of violence from getting to a place where there is serious violence, death or infanticide. Paul Catton, for his case showed that we have problems at our border relevant to domestic vioelence, well before Mr.Xue succesfully left the country. You fight what we tell you, whether in ignorance, for want or other I am not sure, but the longer the points we disaffected men bring to these circumstances of national violece are ignored, direspected or considered vioelent, the longer the violence we all deplore will be ignored.

    It isn’t us who has to change what we say. We ask you to listen more to what is being said.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Mon 24th September 2007 @ 1:30 pm

  7. I don’t in any way condone what appear to be Mr Xue’s violent responses to his situation. Nor do I support violent terrorism. Nor do I suggest that any violence he may previously have directed towards his wife should have been accepted or ignored. However, the DVA response to such situations is violent, provocative and unjust. Mr Xue needs to be seen as a freedom fighter in the same way as we might view a Palestinian activist or an underground rebel against Hitler or Mugabe. He is a soldier in a gender war against a feminist regime that humiliated him, that stomped all over his cultural needs, that forced him out of his home, that arbitrarily stripped him of many normal civil rights and imposed a sentence of periodic detention without trial, that attempted to force him into attendance and submission at a feminist indoctrination programme, and that glibly shut him out of his child’s life. If and when he is caught he should be seen as a political prisoner and treated as a prisoner of war.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2007 @ 11:29 am

  8. That is only if we need to go to that end in thinking. That is a necessary end if the argument of injustices that are raised as Hans raises them are not affectively recognised.

    The same applies in international politics to which Hans writes, reasonably and accurately. The Palestinians have fair reasons to complain. The ongoing violence that is taken to extreme exists because there is no affective dialogue entered that can disengage an authority from a control that is cruel and disaffecting. The most extreme and debated topis to example this is that we know the Israel have and stock nuclear weapons. To protect this we have an escalation procees that implements division between views and the stronger is societally protected and enforced. France for example has stated that the world should prepare to be in war if Iran build nuclear capability. The power that is, is justified for no other reason than it is the power. Thousands of ballbearings and shrapnel ripping though human tissue of soldiers, children or other innocents used as nothing more than an excuse to consolidate the authority in its justification to employ any tactics it sees as fit to counter the horror of any such event.

    What Hans writes may seem repugnant. And he does not withdraw from his comments and in fact consolidates them best to inform the critics that the abhorence of the act is being employed as the oversight to the established practices in its conception. His critics in reply will discount his views on the same grounds of the original ctiticism, as there are no new grounds to traverse and therefore overlook his point. This is if you want to go there and continue to debate the points of the argument for the sake alone of debating in a circle.

    So why go there? It makes no sense.

    A Family Group Conference before the problem occured, run to the jurisdiction of a social bank of knowledge, separating domestic problems out from those that could be criminal, recognising the necessary functions and rights by association between son and daughter and mother and father and applying relevant funding to support social health in dealing with these problems doesn’t exist. Instead we have at an end of the social problem a Family Group conference which two key people cannot attend. The mother isn’t there because she is dead, and the father isn’t there because it appears he has run away after killing the mother.

    Obviously the damage done is horrendous and to be eradicated from society, but just as obviously as ignored are the problems that end with such violence needing to be met before they get to extreme – and no matter what the critics may say, these provisions to interfere with the violence before it becomes extreme are not accessible simply because we have not researched and had them tested.

    So how can any argue with Hans’ point? How can any say that the family in question (and there are thousands of them around the country)who are reacting to domestic violecne with domestic violence are supported, evenly and fairly out of this horrendous condition.

    What we are doing is spending lots of money on advertisements to say “it’s not OK”. Of course it is OK. The domestic violence industry depends on domestic vioence – it is obvious.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Thu 27th September 2007 @ 12:19 pm

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