UK Family Law Reform

Free information index

----- Original Message -----
From: igualdadeparental@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:36 PM
Subject: Re: Swedish researchers released a massive study

What they did in December when the Convention was rectified:

http://www.assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2012/programaViolenciaI.pdf

----- Original Message -----
From: igualdadeparental@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:25 PM
Subject: Re: Swedish researchers released a massive study

Portugal have rectified last week the Istambul Convention

http://www.parlamento.pt/ActividadeParlamentar/Paginas/DetalheIniciativa.aspx?BID=37364

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:25 PM
Subject: Professor Stephen Baskerville

With debate in Australia raging between the judiciary, politicians, journalists, academics and community groups over the inquiry into joint custody and reform of family law and child support, attention naturally turns to the institutions which have arisen around the divorce industry.

Professor Stephen Baskerville from the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington DC is one of the world's leading commentators on the corrosive social impacts of these courts.

Professor Baskerville says American fathers groups and family law reform advocates can only look on in envy at what is happening in Australia; with acknowledgement from the highest political office of the great unhappiness current custody and child support laws are creating.

We will also be continuing our examination of the media coverage of the shared parenting debate and later in the show with Geoffrey Greene from the Shared Parenting Council of Australia be setting out how you as either an individual or a group can contribute to the current government inquiry into joint custody.

This is the single best opportunity you are ever likely to have in your lifetime to contribute to actively changing family law in this country. The deadline for submissions is 8th August. Advocates for reform argue that a fundamental change in the philosophy and operation of these institutions and protecting bureaucracies will ultimately lead to improved life outcomes for millions of parents and their children.

Here is an edited extract from a recent a recent article by Professor Stephen Baskerville in the Summer Edition of the British political magazine The Salisbury Review and titled The Divorce Revolution.

For some thirty years now a quiet revolution has been waged throughout the Western world. Most people are now familiar with the social consequences of the divorce explosion: the growth of single-parent homes and massive increase in fatherless children. The Pandora's box of social problems this has released has also reached general awareness. Virtually every major personal and social pathology can be traced to fatherlessness more than to any other single factor: violent crime, substance abuse, unwed pregnancy, truancy, suicide, and more. Fatherlessness far surpasses both poverty and race as a predictor of social deviance.

These problems are alarming enough in themselves. What is seldom appreciated is that they are also responsible for a vast expansion in the power and reach of the state. In fact, so is divorce itself. In contrast to its social fallout, the political consequences of divorce are hardly understood at all, yet they may ultimately be the most destructive.

The result of three decades of unrestrained divorce is that huge numbers of people - many of them government officials - now have a vested professional and financial interest in encouraging it. Divorce today is not simply a phenomenon; it is a regime - a vast bureaucratic empire that permeates national and local governments, with hangers-on in the private sector. In the United States divorce and custody comprise over half of civil litigation, constituting the cash cow of the judiciary and bringing employment and earnings to a host of public and private officials, including judges, lawyers, psychotherapists, mediators, counsellors, social workers, child support enforcement agents, and others.

This growth industry derives from the impact of divorce on children. The divorce revolution has spawned a public-private industrial complex of legal, social service, and psychotherapeutic professionals devoted to the problems of children, and especially children in single-parent homes...

It is commonplace today that fathers are disadvantaged in divorce courts everywhere when it comes to child custody. In today' political jargon we attribute this to 'discrimination' and 'gender bias'. But this does not convey the half of it. Divorce courts and their huge entourage of personnel depend for their existence on broken, single-parent homes. The first principle of family court is therefore: remove the father. So long as fathers remain with their families, the divorce practitioners earn nothing. This is why the first thing a family court does when it summons a father on a divorce petition - even if he has done nothing wrong and not agreed to the divorce - is to strip him of custody of his children. While mothers also fall afoul of divorce courts, fathers are their principal rivals.

Once the father is eliminated, the state functionally replaces him as protector and provider. By removing the father, the state also creates a host of problems for itself to solve: child poverty, child abuse, juvenile crime, and other problems associated with single-parent homes. In this way, the divorce machinery is self-perpetuating and self-expanding. Involuntary divorce is a marvelous tool that allows for the infinite expansion of government power.

Once the father loses custody, he becomes in many ways an outlaw and subject to plunder by a variety of officials. His contact with his own children becomes criminalised in that he can be arrested if he tries to see them outside of authorised times and places. Unlike anyone else, he can be arrested for running into his children in a public place such as the zoo or church. In the United States fathers are arrested for telephoning their children when they are not authorised or for sending them birthday cards. Fathers are routinely summoned to court and subjected to questioning about their private lives. Their personal papers, bank accounts, and homes must be opened and surrendered to government officials. Anything a father has said to his spouse or children can be used against him in court. His personal habits, movements, conversations, purchases, and his relationship with his own children are all subject to inquiry and control by the court.

Despite prohibitions on incarceration for debt, a father can be jailed without trial for failure to pay not only child support but the fees of lawyers and psychotherapists he has not hired. A judge can summon a legally unimpeachable citizen who is minding his own business and order him to turn over his earnings or go to jail.

Fathers are further criminalised through child-support burdens, which constitute the financial fuel of the divorce machinery, underwriting unilateral divorce and giving everyone involved further incentives to remove children from their fathers. Government claims of unpaid child support constitute one of the most dishonest and destructive hoaxes ever foisted on the public.

Involuntary divorce is the instrument not simply of tyrannical judges, unscrupulous lawyers, and doctrinaire feminists, but of a new political class whose interest is to subject the private corners of life to state control.

What then can check the march of the unilateral divorce machine?

One theme of intellectuals who dissented from the ideological-bureaucratic dictatorships of eastern Europe was 'nonpolitical politics': to oppose ideology not with contrary ideology but with non-ideology, to resist politicisation by re-creating the ordinary business of 'civil society' and private life. If any group should adopt this philosophy today, it is fathers. For all the effort to 'restore fatherhood' through programs like Fathers Direct, ultimately the only ones who can restore fatherhood are, of course, fathers themselves. Almost by definition, fathers alone can truly 'save the children' by re-creating the family with themselves in it.

In so doing, fathers may also hold the potential to start redeeming a political culture that for thirty years has been sinking into the mire of permanent rebellion.

For more than 30 articles from over 4 years by Professor Stephen Baskerville go to:

http://www.members.cox.net/sbaskerville/index.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: robertwhiston1@sky.com
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:14 PM
Subject: RE: Swedish researchers released a massive study

There is more bad news coming to all EU countries if the Istanbul Convention
on DV is adopted.

Apparently it takes only 10 or so national signatories to make it binding on
all 27 countries of the EU

It has 10 already, and so only has to be ratified by the 10.

This URL gives a little more detail

http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2011/04/council_of_euro_1

Apparently, the uproar in Spain over the automatic imprisonment of men and
fines of 20,000 Euros for uttering slurs of any type against women is based
on this concept of "protection".

Spain is not a place to go for a holiday from now on.

I do not pretend to be an expert on Spanish or EU law (or of DV) but it is
certainly worth looking at this backdoor law change.

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 10:17 PM
Subject: MK DV Forum confirms no support for male victims

http://www.mensaid.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=3402

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard.Solly@Milton-Keynes.gov.uk
To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Cc: Neil@MK-ACT.org
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: What you have done since 2006 to help?

Dear David

All domestic violence services except the refuge are open to men as well as
women and the proportion of men using the services has increased (although
at about 15% it is still well below the number of female victims referred).

I have circulated this to our reducing domestic abuse co-ordinator Neil
Dodds who will be able to give fuller details.

All the best

Richard

From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: 20 November 2012 10:25
To: Solly, Richard
Subject: What you have done since 2006 to help?

Dear Richard Solly,

Please will you kindly tell me in your reply exactly what you have done
since 2006 to help male victims of domestic violence & their children in
Milton Keynes?

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

----- Original Message -----
From: jaki.collins@milton-keynes.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 9:00 AM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request

Mr Wiffen

Milton Keynes Council does not currently run any domestic violence
perpetrator programmes.

Kind regards
Jaki Collins
Partnership Finance and Admin Officer
Community Safety Partnership
01908 252080

----- Original Message -----
From: Malcolm.Hopgood@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 10:33 AM
Subject: Freedom of information

Dear Wiffen

Thank you for your request for information dated 27/10/2006 concerning how
many male and female victims of domestic violence were recorded by each of
the police districts in each of the last 3 full financial years.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Hopgood
Freedom of Information Officer
Head of Corporate Information
Thames Valley Police Headquarters
Oxford Road
Kidlington
Oxford
OX5 2NX.
01865 846321

----- Original Message -----
From: Vicki.Green@Milton-Keynes.gov.uk
To: dave
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 11:43 AM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request

Dear Mr Mortimer

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
requested is below

The Lighthouse Project for male and female victims of domestic violence
£5000 in the year 2005/06

Womens Aid for women and their children £294,693 per annum

Regards

Vicki Green
Freedom of Information Officer
Milton Keynes Council
01908 253949

----- Original Message -----
From: Pauline.Shayler@Milton-keynes.gov.uk
To: dave
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 1:21 PM
Subject: FOI request

Dear Mr Mortimer

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
requested is detailed below:

How many help and support groups are funded directly or indirectly for (A)
male and (B) female victims of domestic violence and their children and (C)
how much each one receives pa.

MK Lighthouse provide support to males and females who are victims of
domestic violence. In 2006.07 they will receive funding of £126,000 from
both statutory and voluntary sources. Additionally some staff are seconded
by other agencies who continue to meet their costs.

Women's Aid are a charitable organisation providing support, advice,
information and 24 hour emergency access to safe accommodation for female
and child victims of domestic violence, as such I am unable to comment on
their funding.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me on 01908 253518
or jane.spencer@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Jane Spencer
Freedom of Information Officer
Children's Social Care

----- Original Message -----
From: Nick.VanBenschoten@dti.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 10:12 AM
Subject: A national survey of service provision

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Thank you for your e-mail. As promised when we spoke last week, I have
raised your query with colleagues within government involved in developing
policy to tackle domestic violence.

By way of background, I should emphasise that the government does take the
issue of male victims seriously. That is why the Domestic Violence, Crime &
Victims, Act, was designed to be deliberately gender neutral and we expect
all the victims of domestic violence to be taken seriously by all services,
particularly criminal justice agencies. The commonly agreed definition of
domestic violence is also gender neutral.

In response to your query, a national survey of service provision is not
planned. Such an exercise would be prohibitively costly and would provide a
snapshot of service provision which would quickly date as, in reality,
service provision is constantly evolving through local commissioning
frameworks.

However, the government is funding a men's advice line ('Men's Advice Line
and Enquiries') which has been specifically set up to support the male
victims of domestic violence. The government also funds Broken Rainbow, an
organisation which provides information, advice and support to gay men,
lesbians, bisexuals and transgender populations who may also being affected
by domestic violence.

Looking ahead, it is obviously important that there is a range of provision
for all victims of domestic violence. The majority of domestic violence
services are commissioned by local partnerships, such as those with a
responsibility on crime and supporting victims. If they identify a need in
their area for male refuge provision - or indeed other services for male
victims - they should include it in their priorities, and set out how they
will address it.

I hope this is of some use to your organisation, and thank you again for
your interest in our consultation.

Kind regards,

Nick van Benschoten
Sexual Orientation Discrimination - Goods & Services
Discrimination Law Review
Department of Communities and Local Government
020 7215 6206

-----Original Message-----
From: dave
Sent: 05 June 2006 17:20
To: Nick.VanBenschoten@dti.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: A national survey of service provision

Dear Nick van Benschoten,

Please will you kindly ask the Minister with responsibility for equality
issues to do a national survey to identify exactly what help and support
services are available in each town in the UK for both male and female
victims of DV and their children.

Best regards

David Mortimer

Best Value Performance Indicators

----- Original Message -----
From: dave
Sent: 08 January 2007 10:26
To: Complaints
Subject: BV225 Domestic Violence definitions discriminate against male
victims of domestic violence and their children.

Why does the BV 225 Domestic Violence definitions discriminate against men ?

Best regards Dave

Best Value Performance indicators

Definition

2. 'Places' means the number of rooms providing bed spaces for a woman and
her children. Rooms not normally designated, as bedrooms should not be
counted towards the total. 'Refuge' means emergency accommodation for women
and children who have been referred for help having experienced threats to
their physical safety. It must provide help, advice and advocacy support as
well as being part of an integrated local approach involving partnership
with other local and statutory bodies. Calculate 'Local Authority
population' using the latest ONS mid-year estimates.

7. A sanctuary type scheme must provide security measures to allow the woman
to remain in her home where she chooses to do so, where safety can be
guaranteed and the violent partner no longer lives within the home. It must
be available across tenures where the landlord of a property has given
permission for the work to be carried out. It must consist of additional
security to any main entrance doors to the accommodation and locks to any
vulnerable windows. Wherever possible it must provide a safe room in the
home secured with a solid core door and additional locks. It is essential
that this service is only provided where it is the clear choice of the
victim. The scheme should be implemented through partnership with the police
and/or the voluntary sector that could provide supplementary support. It may
be provided directly by the local authority or through a third party funded
as part of the local authority's homelessness prevention work through grants
that may be available for crime reduction initiatives.

8. The indicator is met if there is a percentage reduction in homelessness
acceptances due to domestic violence. Acceptances who were previously
homeless in another local authority area should not be included. Reductions
achieved in preventing repeat homelessness should be clearly linked to
positive measures adopted to provide genuine alternatives for women to
either remain in their own home or be placed in alternative accommodation,
removing the need to become homeless. Alternative accommodation may be
secured by arranging a reciprocal property with another social landlord, or
a safe management transfer. Any options or measures to prevent repeat
homelessness must only be taken with the full consent of the victim of
domestic violence.

----- Original Message -----
From: John.Bentham@communities.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 3:31 PM
Subject: BV225 Domestic Violence definitions discriminate against male
victims of domestic violence and their children.

Dear Mr Mortimer,

Thank you for your email of 8 January regarding BV 225.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will respond to
you directly regarding this issue, as the Best Value Performance Indicators
(BVPI) are set by the DCLG and audited by the Audit Commission.

Your query has therefore been passed to them for response.

I hope that this information is satisfactory, but if you require any further
information, please contact the Audit Commission Complaints Unit again.

Kind regards,

James Holbrook

Complaint Unit Administrator
Chief Executive's Office
Audit Commission
Westward House
Lime Kiln Close
Stoke Gifford
Bristol
BS34 8SR
Tel: 0844 798 7888
Fax: 0844 798 6281
Email: John.Bentham@communities.gsi.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: John.Bentham@communities.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 10:30 AM
Subject: BV 225 DV definitions discriminate against men

Dear Dave

Thank you for your e-mail dated 8 January 2007. I apologise for the delay in
replying.

The purpose of BVPI is to assess the overall provision and effectiveness of
local authority services designed to help victims of domestic violence and
to prevent further domestic violence. The 11 part BVPI relates equally to
men and women - with the exception of the definitions of question 2 and 7
(2. Is there within the local authority area a minimum of 1 refuge place per
ten thousand population?) which states that "Places" means the number of
rooms providing bedspaces for a woman and her children. However, it is the
responsibility of the individual local authority to identify any gaps in
service provision and put in place appropriate solutions to address this.

Question 7 of the BVPI talks about Sanctuary Schemes in a gender neutral way
but the subsequent definition mentions women. I realise that this could
cause some confusion and ideally it would be useful if we could change this
wording, however, Ministers have made a commitment not to amend any of the
BVPIs until 2008 to enable authorities to build up time series data. A new
framework for LAs is being introduced in 2009.

If there are new domestic violence measures in this framework then we will
make sure that they are gender neutral and reflect the needs of the victims
as our position on domestic violence is a gender neutral one that recognises
that it occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity,
sexuality, wealth and geography.

That said I hope that the subsequent guidance 'Options for Setting Up a
Sanctuary Scheme' makes the point that Sanctuary Schemes, where appropriate
and where they are the choice of the victim, are/can be ideal for both men
and women. To reinforce this point I shall be writing to our local
homelessness and domestic violence contacts drawing their attention to the
guidance. I shall send you a copy of this email.

With the Gender Equality Duty coming on stream in April 2007, local
authorities will need to take into account the individual needs of women and
men when promoting equality of opportunity. However, stakeholders with a
major interest in men's issues should work with local authorities to ensure
that issues of DV against men are considered and addressed in a
proportionate manner.

On a slightly different tack, we are planning to produce some work entitled
'Homelessness prevention and accommodation options for victims of domestic
violence'. The aim of this document would be to offer information and
guidance to those working on domestic violence and homelessness prevention,
looking at some of the proactive things that can be done to safeguard a very
vulnerable group of people. Once our plan of action is more established I
would hope that I could contact you with a view to involving you in this
work. It would be immensely helpful to be able to draw on your expertise
helping us identify existing good proactice and any gaps in service to do
with domestic violence and homelessness prevention. I hope that this would
be acceptable.

I hope this goes some way to answering your question and if there is
anything you would like to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

John Bentham
Housing Strategy and Support Directorate
Housing Needs Policy
1st Floor Zone H9
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5DU
0207 944 3229

----- Original Message -----
From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 10:14 PM
Subject: CMEC’s enforcement procedures are ‘obnoxious’, says Lord Justice Ward

Court of Appeal finds CMEC breaches fathers' Article 6 rights http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed103803
CMEC’s enforcement procedures are ‘obnoxious’, says Lord Justice Ward

Stephen Lawson http://www.qualitysolicitors.com/fdr/our-team/stephen-lawson, a child support specialist and partner at QualitySolicitors Forshaws Davies Ridgway http://www.qualitysolicitors.com/fdr, and Liverpool barrister Matthew Stockwell http://www.stjohnsbuildings.com/barrister/Matthew_Stockwell/454/22.aspx, from St Johns Buildings http://www.stjohnsbuildings.com/content/Home.aspx, worked with Richard Gordon QC http://www.stjohnsbuildings.com/content/Home.aspx of Brick Court Chambers http://www.brickcourt.co.uk/home/home.asp to bring two test cases before the Court of Appeal.

The heart of the cases, reported as Karoonian v CMEC; Gibbons v CMEC http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed104067 [2012] EWCA Civ 1379, related to whether or not the procedure routinely adopted by the Child Maintenance & Enforcement Commission was compliant with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It was decided that it did not.

The judgment of the Court, comprising Ward, Richards and Patten LJJ, directs CMEC to review "as a matter of urgency" its current legal procedures for making applications to send parents to prison when they fail to keep up maintenance payments.

In the judgement, Lord Justice Ward condemned the lack of robustness and confusion in the current legal practices as "obnoxious" and "unreasonable" and stated: "the procedures adopted do not comply with the rights to a fair trial and were flawed." The ruling also recommends that suspended sentences should now be limited to a maximum of two years.

Stephen Lawson said:

"I hope this ruling will now end the unjust practice of non-resident parents, usually fathers, being jailed or threatened with jail without the opportunity to defend themselves properly.

"Parents may have heard nothing from the CSA for many years and then suddenly out of the blue they receive a demand for thousands of pounds. Many are simply unable to pay and are met with an application to put them in prison or disqualify them from driving.

"In another recent case, a father was arrested, taken to court and sent to prison all on the same day, with no opportunity to challenge the evidence against him. The CSA has been sending summons notices through the post, often to an old address, so this has led to some parents being tracked down and arrested, knowing nothing of the court proceedings. And the onus has been on the parent to prove why he shouldn't be sent to prison, which reversed the traditional burden of proof.

"The ruling means the burden of proof, the serving of summons notices and disclosure of documents will now be improved to a level similar to criminal proceedings – which is only fair if people are threatened with the ultimate sanction of imprisonment."

----- Original Message -----
From: gwpiskor@sympatico.ca
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 5:23 PM
Subject: Supreme Court decides "Eric vs Lola" case on Spousal Support in Common-Law relationships

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Eric+Lola+Common+couples+

“Eric vs. Lola”: Common-law couples in Quebec do not have the same protection, top court rules
Slim majority decision will have far-reaching implications for millions of Quebecers in such unions
By Sue Montgomery, GAZETTE JUSTICE REPORTER January 25, 2013 11:43 AM

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against ensuring the same protections for common-law spouses as for married couples in case of a breakup “ a decision that will have far-reaching implications for millions of Quebecers.

Although the bench of the country’s top court was divided in its reasoning, it ultimately found that marriage is a deliberate choice that must remain distinct from common-law partnerships in its rights and obligations.

The court upheld Quebec’s civil code, which does not entitle common-law spouses to alimony, only child support, in the case of a split-up.

The decision ends an 11-year battle by a woman known only as Lola, who took on her billionaire ex referred to by the pseudonym Eric, whom she never married during 10 years and three children together. Lola argued she deserved the same rights as divorcing husbands or wives and that Quebec’s civil code provisions were discriminatory against common-law spouses “ many of whom are left destitute when their unions implode.

But despite much discussion about the injustice and inequality in a system that entrenches differences between married couples and “spouses of fact“ as the Quebec term for common law directly translates . the court upheld the status quo.

In the 128-page decision, five of the nine judges ruled that Quebec’s family law does violate the Quebec Charter of Rights in that it is discriminatory. But then of those five judges, one agreed that the discrimination was justified under Section One of the Charter, killing the case.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin tipped the scales, writing:

“The objective envisioned by Quebec legislators, including the promotion of free choice and the autonomy of all spouses in the province in the dividing of assets and the payment of child support, was adopted in response to rapid changes in attitude in Quebec regarding marriage and are sufficiently important to justify an infringement on the right to equality” she wrote.

Lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, who represented Lola at the appeal court and won, said it’s a very sad day for family law in Quebec.

“The fight does not stop here, rest assured” Goldwater said. “If I have to knock at (Quebec Premier) Pauline Marois’s door, then that’s just what I’m going to do.”

smontgomery@montrealgazette.com

----- Original Message -----
From: icatt@btinternet.com
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:01 PM
Subject: Swedish researchers released a massive study

A Google search for “domestic violence” + definition
throws up some amazing stuff.

http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm

Here we have the UN supporting radfem ideology.

http://www.endvawnow.org/en/articles/398-definition-of-domestic-violence.html

says that a definition of DV must be “gender-sensitive”. I take that to mean a definition of DV must clearly state that DV is only by man on woman.

“Drafters should consider limiting the intervention of the criminal justice system and order for protection courts to cases involving physical violence, because the inclusion of psychological and economic violence in the definition of domestic violence has in some cases had the unintended consequence of creating opportunities for perpetrators to claim psychological or economic abuse against their victims. For example, an angry or disgruntled violent abuser may seek protection measures against his wife for using property owned by him. Or, a perpetrator may claim that physical violence is an appropriate response to an act he sees as economically disadvantageous to himself. Government intervention in the form of orders for protection and criminal sanctions for offenders may have unintended harmful consequences for the victim in many cases of mental or psychological abuse. Also, claims of psychological and economic violence may be very difficult to prove in legal proceedings.

In 2008, a group of experts at meetings convened by the United Nations recommended that “It is therefore essential that any definition of domestic violence that includes psychological and/or economic violence is enforced in a gender-sensitive and appropriate manner.”

----- Original Message -----
From: joakimidisyuri@yahoo.com.au
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 11:35 AM
Subject: Swedish researchers released a massive study

On 22 January 2013 Charles Pragnell pragnellc@iprimus.com.au wrote.
Past research has also shown that children living with both parents do tend to do better. But then, there is a group of children who spend their childhood lives in boarding schools while their parents live overseas because of Armed Forces commitments or for other employment requirements.

Such children see their parents only at holidays etc. Do those children do equally badly in the absence of one or both parents? They would certainly be an interesting control group to compare with the Swedish group.
Comment

Research with military families, is of limited use because of the obvious differences between an intact military family and a family where the parents are divorced and one parent wants to move the children away from the other parent. When a parent is away in the military, the absence is understood by all to be temporary and is not a source of conflict between the parents. Furthermore, while the parent is away, the remaining parent generally props up the children’s positive feelings about the other parent, and helps them anticipate with excitement his or her return to the home.

This type of positive support may not be evident in a divorced family. If the resident parent harbours much resentment toward the remaining parent, the children are not likely to receive positive support for their relationship with the non-resident parent. In such cases, the children are likely to suffer the loss of a meaningful and rewarding relationship with the absent parent.

As the divorce rate continues to climb, non-resident fathers and their children are increasingly being separated not by choice. The question Why are absent fathers absent is better replaced by the question How do so many persevere, and hold on, despite reluctance by judicial officers to enforce parenting orders and other pressures to give up and disappear? The evidence is overwhelming and demands that we re-examine the wisdom of conventional care taking of children following the terminating a marriage Unless you believe that a father's value to his children diminishes after divorce, it is hard to justify a family law policy that routinely and automatically disrupts the divorced father's relationship with his children.

The notion that only mothers are important to their children is certainly false; it is time to jettison it from family law policy. If the treatment fathers receive in the Family Court occurred in the workplace, an affirmative action plan would likely be implemented to rectify the pervasive discrimination and barriers fathers encounter as they seek substantial, meaningful contact to their children in Family Courts.

Fatherhood Research

The father’s vital role in giving his child the start to a successful future was confirmed by the results of a 40-year Oxford University’s study (Flouri & Buchanan 2002) that tracked the lives of 17,000 individuals born in 1958, monitoring their progress at the ages of seven, eleven, sixteen, twenty three and thirty three. They were given scores at each stage according to how big a part their fathers played in such pursuits as reading, helping with homework and accompanying them on outings. The study released in March 2002 found that close paternal involvement not only improves academic performance but also relationships and health. The benefits are greatest for youngsters who establish a strong bond from at least the age of seven. The highest scorers performed best at school, socially and in their marital relationships. After inspection of all the factors influencing a child’s later marital success, such as mental health, academic achievement and emotional behaviour, the influence of a father was most telling. Daughters benefiting from a strong paternal bond were less likely to have mental health problems and boys were less likely to get into trouble with the police.

Similar results have been documented by other long-term investigations. A thirty-six year longitudinal study in the U.S. found that the children of affectionate fathers were much more likely in there forties to be happily married and mentally healthy and to report good relationships with friends (Franz, McClelland, & Weinburger 1991). Furthermore, the child with an available father, both in the early and the adolescent years, is more companionable and responsible as an adult (Warshak 1992; Snarey 1993).

----- Original Message -----
From: familymen@eircom.net:
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 9:31 AM
Subject: Please listen to this courageous woman telling legislators how wrong they are to attack the Family

“Not since the overthrow of the Weimar Republic have the leaders of a major democracy used their offices and the mass media to disseminate invective against millions of their own citizens.

In fact it was Adolf Hitler who urged that “the state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people” and who explained, in the words of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, that “as long as government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people happily will endure almost any curtailment of liberty.”

Using children to tug on our heartstrings may be not only a weakness of the sentimental. It also may be a ploy by those cynical and unscrupulous enough to exploit children for their own purposes.

This is likely to be remembered as one of the most diabolical perversions of governmental power in our history, a time when we allowed children to be used and abused by fast-talking government officials and paid for it with our families, our social order and our constitutional rights.”

Professor Stephen Baskerville

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rules-bailiffs-industry-000326450.html#8rZfNWw

Bailiffs will be regulated under new laws to "clean up" the industry and protect vulnerable debtors, the Government has announced. New rules will stop late-night visits to collect debts and restrictions on what property can be seized are being introduced. Bailiffs will also be banned from entering homes when only children are present and they will no longer be able to set their own fees. New safeguards will also prevent them from using force against people who owe money, according to the Ministry of Justice. Under the changes, bailiffs will also be forced to undergo a mandatory training and certification scheme and those who breach the new rules will be barred from the industry. Justice Minister Helen Grant said: "For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees. "These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly."

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