Recently, we have seen the effects of many years lobbying by women’s groups and academics/researchers in the passage of the Family Law (Family Violence) Act 2010. This Act has effectively ‘rolled-back’ the shared-parenting gains of 2006 by broadening the definition of domestic violence so it now means anything one wants it to mean; removing penalties for false allegations and removing the requirement for parents to be supportive of each other’s role in their children’s lives.
Labor politicians and some in the Coalition got cold feet when they listened to the unsubstantiated claims the Family Court was ordering contact with fathers who were violent. Was there any proof of this claim – of course not! But parades of bandaged, tomato sauce covered activists, pushing prams garnered the attention of the media. Barbara Biggs, author of her own biography which tells of her dysfunctional upbringing in a family of 6 children ( different fathers) a mother, grandmother and various ‘Call me Uncle’ boyfriends, became the new “poster girl” for the anti-shared-parenting movement. While many fathers have been disturbed by her comments in the media against shared and co-operative parenting after divorce, there is an opportunity to actually hear what she has to say. More on Barbara Biggs can be found at http://www.dadsontheair.com.au/shows/the-barbara-biggs-show.html
She spoke at a Fellowship of the Roundtable forum at NSW Parliament House on the subject of Family Law – Is The Man The Loser?
Sue Price of Men’s Rights Agency was also originally invited to speak at this forum, but the invitation was cancelled at the last minute. Clearly, the politically correct line of ‘women victims, men perpetrators’ was more acceptable to this particular Fellowship .
Despite the best efforts of men’s and fathers’ groups the roll-back has occurred.
It is interesting to look back and see who the main-players have been in the anti-shared parenting lobby. Academics feature prominently and this was brought to mind when uploading new/historical posts to the website and came across the following article published in 2000 highlighting three very familiar names, Helen Rhoades, Regina (call me Reg) Graycar and Margaret Harrison, a close associate of retired Chief Justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson. The first two mentioned are prominent opponents of shared parenting. Harrison worked (still works?) for the Family Court and her name crops up frequently as a third party in various research documents.
As you will note, both Rhoades and Graycar use the claim domestic violence perpetrated in front of the children has an affect on them, as it does. We have no argument with this claim. Where the issue becomes distorted and open to judicial abuse is when false allegations of abuse are made. It is common knowledge that domestic violence allegations are used as a weapon to gain an advantage in upcoming family law proceedings
Over time we will bring to your attention to others who are prominent in the anti-shared parenting lobby.