Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

A new day and new year looms

Outside my window, a new day I see and only I can determine what kind of day it will be.

It can be busy and sunny, laughing and funny, or boring and cold, unhappy and grey.

My own state of mind is the determining key,for I am only the person I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help, or be selfish and think just of myself.

I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.

I can be patient with those who may not understand, or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.

I can be at play each day building healthy bonds of love with my four God given children,never to show them a negative display.

But I have faith in myself, and believe what I say, and I personally intend to make the best of each day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

German father strikes a blow for single dads

04/12 07:31 CET

An unmarried German man has struck a blow for fatherhood, winning a landmark legal decision on his right to see his daughter. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of Horst Zaunegger, whose former partner refused him access to their teenage daughter when the couple split up and she moved away.

Under current German law, unmarried fathers can be refused access by the mother. Zaunegger said: “For me this is clearly a violation of human rights because, as an unmarried father, I’m being treated as a second-class parent. There is no justification for that. I’m a responsible father, I’ve proved this but I have no access to joint custody.” Single German fathers must pay child support, but can make no decisions and can be prevented from seeing their children.

Child custody is generally split between married couples. The law has been under increasing pressure, and in Berlin the justice minister called for a fundamental review of the rights of unmarried fathers. Figures from 2008 show that every third German child is born out of wedlock.

Copyright © 2009 euronews

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Report dispels link between domestic violence and murder

Quote: "The policy problem for government is whether to raise the
protection standard for all victims of domestic violence or raise
protection for a specific sub-group. I've got my doubts about the
effectiveness of the latter approach."

The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
2 December 2009

Report dispels link between domestic violence and murder
By Joel Gibson, Legal Affairs

It is a myth that most domestic murderers are known to authorities, with 74 per cent of them having no contact with police for violent incidents in the year before they kill and 48 per cent no contact for five years prior.

Even fewer victims - only 10 per cent - were involved in a recorded incident of domestic violence with their eventual killer in the year before their death, a Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report says.

The bureau's director, Dr Don Weatherburn, said the findings made it difficult for authorities to prevent murders in the home, which are the most common killings in Australia.

"The policy problem for government is whether to raise the protection standard for all victims of domestic violence or raise protection for a specific sub-group. I've got my doubts about the effectiveness of the latter approach."

The report also suggests that recent powers given to the NSW coroner to investigate all domestic violence-related deaths could be fruitless.

"For me, the idea that the coroner will be able to sort through the deaths and identify early warning signs for who is going to end up a victim is now open to question," Dr Weatherburn said.

"You can identify risk factors for a burglar such as drug use but it's very difficult to do for domestic homicide."

The bureau analysed the 215 domestic murders in NSW from 2003 to 2008 and found the rate was steady.

The number of male and female victims was roughly the same, and 43 per cent of the murders were committed by intimate partners.

More than three-quarters of offenders were male and one-third may have had a history of mental illness, which Dr Weatherburn said showed domestic homicide was generally not a manifestation of mental illness. More common was consumption of alcohol by offenders before the crime.

Child killings were frighteningly high, with 17 per cent of victims less
than five years old and one in five killed by their parents.

Stabbing was the cause in more than one-third of cases, and of the 207
offenders, 13 per cent committed suicide after the murder and 10 per cent
attempted it.

For every victim of domestic homicide, there are more than 620 recorded
incidents of domestic assault.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Judge Boshier, Come Out And Say It: The Family Court Kills Males

Judge Boshier, Come Out And Say It: The Family Court Kills Males

By Union of Fathers

The Union of Fathers commends Judge Boshier for fronting up to suicide following Family Court proceedings, however, he fails to mention it is males committing suicide after dealing with the Family Court.

The gender of suicides is overwhelmingly male and we welcome the Court’s attention to the issue that the Union of Fathers has been talking about for many years.

Union of Father’s National President Allan Harvey says Judge Boshier cites statistics of 18 Family Court related suicides in the past year, but the real question is, has Judge Boshier completed a gender analysis of his own statistics?

“If not, why not? If he has then why does his speech today not include the research findings,” says Harvey.

Harvey says children suffer when their parents are absent in their lives, however, the Family Court grants only 13% of children shared care where they can enjoy and benefit from the input of both their parents in meaningful ways.

The usual Family Court pattern of children having contact with their fathers only every second weekend, two days a fortnight, is archaic and absurd.

“This is a cause of despair, mental health issues and suicide,” says Mr Harvey. “When parents are excluded from their family, their children’s lives and their homes, vulnerability is greatly increased.”

Harvey says Judge Boshier talks about “holistic approaches”, “primary prevention”, “social oversight of rehabilitation” and “access to programmes”.

However, one can quickly see that by using such obtuse language he is avoiding acknowledging that these deaths are his responsibility.

“Let’s hope he lobbies Parliament to make rapid changes before more children lose their parents and have their lives damaged by parental suicide.”

“Our experience in Union of Fathers is the Court labels complex situations with simple labels like victims and perpetrators. Judge Boshier does the same in his speech today.
“We note that Judge Boshier proposes working more closely with community groups and talks about providing a “sense of support” and “direction” to Family Court litigants.

Harvey says what we now have to ascertain is whether Judge Boshier is serious about solving the problem or does he see fathers as an allowable loss either by taking them out of children’s lives through questionable custody orders or having them suicide.