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

Father’s Day 1st September Sydney

Greg Andresen of Men’s Health Australia has set up a March for Father’s Day, 1st September Sunday, at Hyde Park Corner, Sydney.

The Theme is A Voice for Children and is against all of the commercial forms of Parental Alienation.

These issues are even more of a problem in New Zealand than in Australia, where the caught$ do give children some protection from parental abduction by mothers.

The failings start with the police who process Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) on the basis of personal statements, even without any evidence to support the statement. The courts then hear the application several months later, removing any responsibility from the police. This policy decision was made to rid the police of liability if they do not action an ADVO and then violence subsequently occurs, but serves only to rid a child of their father. This is because the defendant, usually being the father, often has no right to see their child whilst waiting for the hearing – the start of common trend.

These strict conditions regarding ADVO’s were initiated to counter the terrible problems stemming from domestic violence, but are inherently unfair. The Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 26% of mothers and 17% of fathers reported being physically hurt by their partners. A further 39% of mothers and 36% of fathers reported emotional abuse. However despite such similar proportions of both female and male victims the police, Family Law professionals and counselling providers perpetuate the myth that it is females and children who are almost exclusively victims of these awful crimes, contributing to systematic persecution of fathers, who are almost as likely to be the victims.

In situations where the ADVO applicant also has a case before the Family Court, judges consider all allegations of family violence, whether true, false or unheard. This violates the right of every citizen to be innocent until proven guilty and encourages behaviour that intentionally alienates a father from their child by making allegations which are acted upon by the police and the Family Court.

The retiring Family Court judge, Justice David Collier, recently said he sees unprecedented hostility infiltrating the Family Court, and a willingness by parents to use their children to damage one another. The worst are those mothers who direct false allegations of abuse against former partners; specifically allegations of child sexual abuse are being increasingly invented by mothers to stop fathers from seeing their children.

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“I’m satisfied that a number of people who have appeared before me have known that it is one of the ways of completely shutting husbands out of the child’s life.”

These problems result in children and their fathers suffering the psychological impacts from being separated from their father and being in the middle of highly conflictual custody and child support battles, where the most malicious and inhumane behaviour is rewarded. The child has almost no meaningful time with their father and after extraordinarily expensive legal proceedings he is ruthlessly pursued for financial support of a child that has been forced from him. However any Orders for access to the child in favour of the father can be easily ignored and are toothlessly enforced, if at all.

The Child Support Agency provides little transparency as to how their figures are calculated and frequently ignores common sense and affordability. There is no consideration of the emotional impact on the father of their actions, which are frequently initiated just days after horrific court battles. They require no evidence at all of the money that is being spent on the child and their actions are often the last straw for men considering suicide and contribute to the horrifying fact that Australian males are four times more likely than females to take their own lives.

With a budget for 2013-14 of nearly $1.5 billion the Child Support Agency should be able to ensure much more fairness than is currently the case.

In summary the current system incentivises malicious actions by encouraging false allegations, resulting in clogging of the courts and precious resources being taken away from those with genuine problems. Fathers are often left penniless and suicidal, with almost no support or counselling to assist with relationship breakdown, lifestyle, domestic violence and depression.

Worst of all is that hundreds of thousands of Australian children are growing up without the benefit of meaningful relationships with their fathers and his family. This has well documented consequences including low self-esteem, self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, substance abuse and other forms of addiction, leading to an ongoing cycle of personal and relationship breakdowns.

People Against Parental Alienations will work with likeminded individuals and organisations to achieve positive change in the areas of:
1. The risks to children from parental alienation, with appropriate treatment of those responsible.
2. More appropriate policing in terms of the administration of ADVOs.
3. Availability of counselling regarding parental alienation, relationship breakdown, domestic violence and male depression.
4. The Family Courts; and
5. The Child Support Agency.

The “March for the Voice of the Children’ protest is taking place on 1st September 2013, Father’s Day in Sydney CBD. Please RSVP, stay up to date with progress and help the cause by joining our Facebook group at:

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