Separated with Children by Adam Cowie – Book Review
In the preface of this self-published 130 page book, Adam writes that since his separation:
“the torment and legal battles I have had to go through since then I feel are rather unique”
Well, not quite. There is actually not a single thing that happens to Adam that I haven’t seen happen to dozens of other NZ men over the last two decades. There won’t be anything new in this book for regular MENZ readers.
This is a sad, sad story about a psychologically manipulative mother successfully using the Family Court processes to achieve total parental alienation over a period of years. The usual cast of lawyers, court officials, judges, psychologists, CYFS workers, Police, therapists and counselors appear, and at no doubt vast expense, enable and support the mother to carry out her abuse.
By the end of the story, Adam’s daughter is saying: “I hate you, don’t call me, I hate you”, and his 11-yr-old son says: “Don’t ring me or my sister OK?”
This book is a clear demonstration of how the NZ Family Court fails to protect the best interests of children, due to it’s bias in favour of women, and it’s complete failure to recognise and confront this form of female violence.
Would I recommend this book to someone recently separated? No, I think probably not – it could likely cause some men to decide that “shooting through” immediately would be the most sensible option. The fact is, some courts and some judges seem to have woken up to the importance of fathers in the lives of children, so I would encourage newly separated fathers to stay positive, and stay away from horror stories like this one.
If, on the other hand, you are one of NZs many already-alienated fathers, and your children are just a distant memory, you might well find this book useful. I’m sure you’ll understand when Adam writes:
“I got to a point where I wondered if it was really worth going on with my life.”
Fortunately by then he has found a female friend who gives him the support he needs to carry on. I was particularly impressed by his use of “Kia Kaha” as a kind of mantra. Now Adam is able to say he wants to:
“show you how I coped through this distressing time and came out the other side a better person.”
There is some interesting feedback for all of us MENZ members. After asking the Family Court for information about men’s support groups, he was directed here (!) and posted this request for help in 2009. He doesn’t name MENZ in the book (unfortunately), but says:
“I must say I was surprised by the bitterness and hatred shown by the people who passed comment on my article….All in all I didn’t take much from the comments that were made as most of them offered very little in the way of constructive advice.”
I don’t actually consider offering advice as the primary role of this site, but I’m disappointed that Adam didn’t get more of what he needed from us.
The inadequate proofreading became annoying after the first few pages, but then the story grabbed me and I finished it in one, wet afternoon.
I recommend buying a copy for your Member of Parliament, and referring to it in submissions to the Select Committee later this year.
You can purchase copies for $25 (including p&p) direct from:
177 Lorn St,