Women’s credibility doubted in many family courts

(WOMENSENEWS)–During an unsettling divorce and painful custody dispute, a woman alleges that her young daughter has been sexually abused by her father. He denies charges. Frightened for her daughter’s safety, she believes that family court will help her, that the truth will come to light.

Instead, the mother, who is required by law to report abuse, finds herself virtually in the dock–quizzed, examined, doubted–treated, she feels, as though she were a perjurer, as though her only objectives were to selfishly punish her daughter and ex-partner.

She is disbelieved by judges, lawyers, child protective services and experts, categorized as an angry, unbalanced woman trying to bring another innocent man down with malicious fabricated allegations.

At the same time, most agree that for a family court to award custody of a child to a parent who physically or sexually abuses that child is contrary to the entire mission of these courts.

Custody in Crisis: How family courts nationwide put children in danger

Six years ago, in 2010, an appellate court in Tennessee affirmed a family court ruling that had awarded Darryl Sawyer* primary custody of his six-and-a-half-year-old son, Daniel.

The court ruled in favor of Sawyer despite evidence presented by his ex-wife that alleged he had sexually abused their child.

Three years earlier, Daniel returned from a visit with his father with suspicious bruises on his bottom. His mother, Karen Gill, immediately took the three-year-old boy to his pediatrician. “Your instant reaction is that you don’t want it to be what it appears to be,” Gill said, choking back tears at the memory. “You really hope there’s another reason for why he has these marks on him.”

But the doctor, Victoria Rundus, confirmed Gill’s worst fears. Dr. Rundus reported to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services that she found reddish blue bruises on the child’s buttocks that could only occur from an adult “holding his buttocks forcibly open.”  Gill thus began a long, arduous battle – that continues to this day – to protect her son.

'My husband abused me for ten years - and HE won custody of our children'

'I was told by countless institutions that I wouldn't lose my children - but I did'.

A woman who suffered domestic abuse for over a decade before fleeing her home has said there needs to be 'more transparency' in family courts to protect victims of domestic violence.

Emma Swann*, 40, fled from her family home, with her two daughters aged 9 and 10, to Sleaford in February last year after suffering from emotional, financial and psychological abuse that lasted for 12 years.

Domestic violence shouldn't be a culture war. Can't we all agree killing women and children is wrong?

Abusers job or title:: Father

Hannah Clarke sits with her three children on a picnic rug with a fruit platter and holding flowers.

lPHOTO: Hannah Clarke and her three children were murdered this week by her former partner.

How on Earth did an abhorrent crime like domestic violence become entangled in Australian cultural wars?

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment commentators began to talk about the domestic violence "industry" comprised of "feminazis" who complain too much about men, and to imply, without evidence, that hordes of women like to fabricate stories of abuse.

Abuser Name or Alias:: The father
Abusers Organisation:: Family Court of Australia
Type of Abuse:: Death
Matter Resolved?: Yes

Desperate mums taking abused children underground

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (WOMENSENEWS)–Mary Lou French took her children into hiding in Costa Rica and later Panama because she feared they were being sexually abused. Tracked by fathers’ rights groups and the FBI, she was arrested, becoming the first to face stiff mandatory sentencing for international parental kidnapping, a federal crime. Facing up to 12 years in jail if she pleaded guilty, French risked even longer imprisonment if she exercised her right to a trial and lost.

In a trembling voice, she told her story during a recent San Diego conference on family violence of her anguish after extradition. “There I was in prison, and my children were with the perpetrator–and no one was listening.”

French is one of an impossible-to-tally number of women who flee the authority of the U.S. family court systems rather than give custody over to the fathers whom they accuse of sexually and physically abusing the children.

Placing children with the parent that abused them: The problematic theory of parental alienation

An unproven–and mostly discredited–theory is encouraging family court judges to award custody–against children’s wishes–to the parent that has been accused of harming them. Moreover, this theory of “parental alienation” has “spawned a cottage industry of so-called family reunification camps that are making big profits from broken families.” That’s the message of a stunning report by the Center for Investigative Journalism aired on public radio’s Reveal program.

The Reveal broadcast focused on two custody cases in which the judge ordered children placed against their will with the parent that they claimed was abusive. In one case, the judge sent a teenage boy to juvenile detention because he was not making sufficient efforts to get along with his mother. He and his sister were then sent to live with their father and allowed no contact with their mother for a period of  three years. In the other case, a fourteen-year old girl who said her mother was emotionally abuse and wanted to live with her father was sent to a “reunification camp” for ten months at her parents’ expense. Her mother was given full custody and the teen was separated from her father father for four years.  The judges in both cases based their decisions on a theory called “parental alienation.”

Tributes flow for ‘loving’ Brisbane mum who attempted to escape her family’s killer

A makeshift memorial is growing as the grieving community deals with the horrific crime.

On Wednesday, Hannah Clarke and her three children set off on their school run.

Within 12 hours, they were all dead at the hands of her estranged husband.

Clarke died in hospital on Wednesday night after suffering “horrific” burns when she and her three children were doused in petrol by the children’s father, Rowan Baxter.

Her children - Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3 - died in the car after it burst into flames on a quiet suburban street in Camp Hill in Brisbane’s east on Wednesday.

Statistical Evidence: Gumshoe’s Family Court Survey

This article contains the replies to the survey that I conducted from November 5 to December 16, 2018.  What I was seeking to find is an explanation for the anecdotal reports of unfathomable behavior by the authorities regarding the removal of a child from an apparently good parent.

I was hoping to make some sense of the oft-heard complaint that even where there is good evidence of child abuse, the Family Court orders the child to be placed with the abuser, or in foster care.

Eye-watering costs of family law disputes

And the wealthy — rich enough to fight every procedural point — are soaking up more court resources, blowing out court waiting times for low-to-middle-income Australians desperate to finalise their cases.

An appetite is building within the Federal Government to crack down on outrageous gouging by lawyers, who are being accused of getting flush from family misery.

Children’s advocates say family courts unfairly favor fathers, even when they’re the abusers

“It’s really the same story of the #metoo movement, just in a much more dire setting where children are at stake.” news1main_09.jpg

At a custody hearing in Allegheny County on May 20, 2016, the 9-year-old boy at the center of the case took the stand and was asked a series of questions. His favorite school subject? Math. His best friend? Drew. His musical instrument of choice? The alto recorder.

But according to court transcripts, the questioning soon turned from school and music to the boy’s relationship with his father. “So what happened when your dad would sleep in the bed with you?” the judge asked. 

The boy answered in graphic detail.

“Well, sometimes he would lay on top of me,” the boy said. “He would, like, pull my pajamas down. … Well, the first thing is that I was — I acted asleep, but I was really awake when it all happened. He would stick his penis in my butt crack. … He would do that many times. When under my body he would be squeezing my penis. Sometimes, I get really angry with myself, because I always say that I could have stopped him.”

Removal of child from good mum traceable to corrupt female police officer

Two Hours on Computer

Female police officer disgraces the South Australian Police for corrupting two child abuse investigations, and acting against a child.

The child “must always be listened
to, believed, and investigated
before anything else.”

— Interagency Code of Practice

ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA, October 9, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — After a South Australian mother reported an injury on her daughter last year (2018), the female police officer that took over the investigation made no attempt to investigate the injury. The police officer (code-name ‘Demeter’) not only stalled and corrupted two investigations into child sexual abuse and assault, she colluded with the perpetrator.

The mother is about to release a book on her case — with the book coming out early September 2019.

We reported on this officer back in July, and again in August as further evidence was gathered to substantiate the extent of the malfeasance in this case.

Family law inquiry is no sop to Hanson. It's a deliberate move to bury previous reviews

Pauline HansonTwo big inquiries have recommended sweeping changes to put children’s safety – instead of parents’ rights – back at the centre of the system.

At first, I presumed, like many others, that the government’s recently announced inquiry into the family law system was an exercise in pure politics – a sop to Senator Pauline Hanson and her constituency of angry white men. Nothing would come of it, as nothing has come from the two big inquiries that preceded it. Another report to languish in a drawer.

But on close reading of those two inquiries – one from the House of Representatives, the other from the Australian Law Reform Commission – I see I was wrong. This new inquiry is not just cynical horse-trading. It is, I believe, a deliberate move by the government to bury the findings of the two inquiries it commissioned.