Friday, December 31, 2010


I hope this kid got an A+ on his paper.


New Pledge of Allegiance (TOTALLY AWESOME)!  

Since the Pledge of Allegiance  
The Lord's Prayer  
Are not allowed in most  
Public schools anymore  
Because the word 'God' is mentioned.....  
A kid in   Arizona wrote the attached  

NEW School prayer:  
Now I sit me down in school  
Where praying is against the rule  
For this great nation under God  
Finds mention of Him very odd.  

If scripture now the class recites,  
It violates the Bill of Rights.  
And anytime my head I bow  
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,  
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene..  
The law is specific, the law is precise.  
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.  

For praying in a public hall  
Might offend someone with no faith at all..  
In silence alone we must meditate,  
God's name is prohibited by the state.  

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,  
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks...  
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.  
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.  
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,  
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.  
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,  
We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong..  

We can get our condoms and birth controls,  
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles..  
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,  
No word of God must reach this crowd.  

It's scary here I must confess,  
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.  
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:  
Should I be shot; My soul please take!  

If you aren't ashamed to do this,  Please pass this on..  
Jesus said,  'If you are ashamed of me,  I will be ashamed of you before my Father.'  

Not ashamed. Pass this on. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Zealand Finally Admits That Women Abuse Children

She-wolves in sheeps' clothing
posted Thursday, 2 September 2010
Female child abusers are the 21st century equivalent of lesbians in the Victorian age: not legislated against because they do not exist. The nature of woman being incapable of “deviancy”, as the bigoted Victorians said. Hence in New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation was unable to accept claims from boys sexually abused by women, until the law changed in 2005. Prior to that the perpetrator of “sexual indecency” had to be male.
However, statistics indicate that female child abusers not only exist, but in numbers approaching those of males. In New Zealand, 48 per cent of child abusers for 2006, where the perpetrator gender was known, were women. In the USA in 2002 63 per cent of all child abuse, from neglect to sexual abuse, was perpetrated by the mother. In 40 per cent of cases the mother acted alone.
The UK's Lucy Faithfull Foundation estimates women are responsible for 10 per cent of all child sexual abuse and that 5-20 per cent of pedophiles are women. Meanwhile in New Zealand, 40 per cent of the 1,200 men helped by the Christchurch-based Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (MSSAT) in 2010, were sexually abused by women when they were boys.
Ken Clearwater, founder of MSSAT comments: “We live in a culture in which men aren't allowed to be victims and women aren't allowed to be anything other than nurturing. So abuse suffered as a boy at the hands of an adult female can be the hardest abuse of all to come to terms with, let alone to speak out about.”
Numerous studies show very young children are at increased risk of abuse. According to the New Zealand Families Commission, in 2006, children under five-years-old made up 49 per cent of all children aged 0-16 years found to have been neglected, 48 per cent of those emotionally abused, and 23 per cent of those physically abused. Infants aged under one-year account for two-thirds of childhood deaths each year and three-quarters of all child deaths in New Zealand 2002-2006 were of children under five.
As the primary caregivers of young children, the New Zealand Ministry of Justice observes that “Mothers do most of the constant and demanding care of pre-schoolers, so it should be no surprise that much of the reported physical and emotional abuse of pre-schoolers is done by mothers”.

Culture of silence

However, as a taboo subject, both female perpetrators and their victims are unlikely to speak out, with women unwilling to ask for help in a society which brands them as evil aberrations.
A 2005 study by the New Zealand Department of Corrections says that violent and sexual offending by women “has been avoided or neglected because it challenges fundamental beliefs about women as nurturers, protectors and as victims of violence”.
Former New Zealand MP, Marc Alexander, a campaigner for victim's rights and a published author on the criminal justice system, has been criticised when speaking out about female abusers: “Often when I've talked about this issue in the past I get accused of women-bashing or deflecting from the vast majority of child abuse cases which are perpetrated by men.”
However, Clearwater notes that there has been a significant shift since MSSAT started in 1995. Clearwater comments: “Abuse at the hands of a woman is not the dirty little secret it used to be. I can now sit in a room of women working for Rape Crisis and talk about male victims. I've also noticed that the language has changed. Perpetrators as well as victims are now referred to as he\she in new editions of books about sexual abuse, whereas before there was always the assumption the perpetrator was male and the victim female.”
Part of the reason politicians and society at large may be unwilling to address the issue of female abusers, is their own culpability in the problem. Women who abuse their children are ordinary women for whom factors such as their own history as a victim of abuse, lack of social support networks, poverty and poor educational opportunities have collided to create a parent unable to live up to society's ideals of the all-nurturing, self sacrificing mother.
The late pediatrician Dr Robin Fancourt commented that “The stresses of unemployment, a lack of income, the void of isolation and a lack of social support can push any adult to abuse or neglect.” Fancourt saw child neglect as perpetrated by society as well as by individuals, when she said of the increasing number of New Zealand children who are bought up in poverty “these children are neglected through the many other disadvantages that are imposed on this sector of society as a whole”.
The 2010 report Learning from Tragedy concurs, commenting that “Prevention of child maltreatment for the youngest children at risk will involve addressing layers of disadvantage”.

Loving abusers

Female perpetrated abuse is often conducted in the context of an affectionate and loving relationship which children dare not risk losing. Studies into childhood sexual abuse have shown that young children have difficulty recognising the inappropriateness of a request when it is made by a “good” person, and research has shown that children can often feel loved, wanted and cared for by the parents who are abusing them.
This makes it almost impossible for the child to assimilate what is happening to them. As Alexander observes: “Improper sexual behavior by women is grossly under-reported, partly because children are scared of saying anything against the main nurturer in the home but also because it can so easily be hidden in caring activities such as bathing, dressing or consoling the victim.”
The conflict between loving and abusive, appropriate and inappropriate is reflected in a 2005 study about maternal experiences of childhood of Pacific Island mothers in New Zealand which concluded that “abusive and supportive behaviours co-exist; physical abuse being recalled more strongly than emotional abuse, and mothers seeming both more abusive and more supportive than fathers”.
Women who have intimate relationships with teenage boys often claim they were in a loving partnership. The media glamorises its reporting with headlines such as “Blonde, attractive, successful and having sex with teens”, further fueling a culture in which female perpetrated abuse is not taken seriously.
The fact remains that consensual exchanges, be they emotional or sexual, between a child or young person and an adult are always abusive because the perpetrator has a power imbalance with their victim.
Particularly challenging are subtle but pervasive forms of emotional abuse within an otherwise loving relationship, such as using children as confidants, or as Fancourt says, where behaviour conveys to the child that they are “only acceptable in the context of meeting another’s needs”.
The child remains trapped in a netherworld, potentially only recognising abuse decades later. Fancourt, in her report on neglect and psychological abuse in childhood, makes the point well when she speaks of “the rare ability of children to conceptualise, comprehend, or verbalise what is happening due both to their developmental barriers and as a result of these forms of maltreatment being the expected background of family life”.

Victim as abuser

There is a heated debate about gender parity in family violence. Many studies argue that male and female intimate partner violence is similar in frequency and severity. This is countered by researchers who believe for example that women's violence is exaggerated by bias and selective remembering
Yet one American study of women's refuge clients showed that 90 per cent of the women displayed aggressive behaviour toward their children. New Zealand government agency Child Youth and Family (CYF) also reports that about half of women who are physically abused by their partners also abuse their children, illustrating a key point which is that you can be a victim of violence and also a perpetrator of abuse.
Ruptured attachment between mother and baby, one cause of which is Postpartum Depression (PPD), is implicated in child abuse. A 2010 study on Pacific Islands families showed that being the victim of physical violence more than doubles the risk of PPD.
These points emphasise the importance of seeing male and female perpetrators and male and female victims, as a holistic problem. Furthermore, female abusers often abuse with a male partner, again making the two genders inseperable.

Child homicide

Women commit a small proportion of family homicides, yet the statistics increase dramatically for child homicides. Learning from Tragedy, which looked at family homicides in New Zealand for the period 2002-2006, found that women were responsible for 7 per cent of homicides of “other family members”, 11 per cent of couple related homicides, but 40 per cent of child homicides.
Child homicides, and therefore female perpetrators, may be greatly under-reported due to the way deaths are classified. One study noting for example that given what is known from other countries about deaths resulting from child neglect, the total number of child maltreatment deaths in New Zealand may be much greater, saying “The malnourished baby suffering from failure to thrive who develops pneumonia and dies from lack of medical attention does not appear in homicide statistics”.
The report says infanticide “is the most susceptible to misclassification as a death by some other cause”. It is estimated that 5-10 per cent of children recorded as having died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may have been misdiagnosed incidents of neglect or abuse. This is especially significant in light of the high prevalence of neglect by females, and New Zealand's historically high SIDS rate.
Research shows that children of young mothers are particularly vulnerable. CYF notes that “Compared to mothers aged over 25 years, mothers were 11 times more likely to kill their children if aged under 17 years.”
Single mothers are also vulnerable to perpetrating child abuse. In the USA in 2002, single mothers were the highest category of offender in child abuse cases.
Young and single mothers share risk factors with child abuse perpetration, such as economic hardship and being a victim of abuse. For example, a 1998 New Zealand Ministry of Health report notes that women who report being sexually abused as a child “are more likely than nonabused women to become pregnant before age 19”.
For young mothers, 60 per cent of whom according to Australian research do not have a male partner when their baby is born, these factors are compounded by a body which is capable of bearing children without the parallel mental and emotional maturity.
Anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy comments: “Settled living and plentiful food have removed constraints on fertility that for tens of millions of years protected anthropoid primates from giving birth at such young ages ... Being fat enough to ovulate is no longer tied to having a supportive social network who will help rear her child.”
The fact is that poverty, lack of educational opportunities, a history of childhood abuse, family violence and young and single motherhood are some of the many risk factors which indicate a woman may abuse a child.
If we are serious about preventing child abuse, we need to be more open about female perpetrators, so that victims and the women who abuse them can be supported and acknowledged. And we need to take collective responsibility for the social conditions which provide fertile ground for this hidden tragedy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

John Barth, Jr.: Why Judicial Corruption is Invisible

John Barth, Jr.: Why Judicial Corruption is Invisible



In 250 words, what would YOU say if you were addressing a skeptical, disinterested, cynical, uncaring audience, that would cause them to take notice and change their thinking on the value of Shared Parenting???

Please send your suggestions to: 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Good One...Happy Family Christmas

Good One...Happy Family Christmas

..(´• ̮•)
.( . • . )
(... • .. )

A man in Scotland calls his
son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says,"I hate to ruin your day but
I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing;
forty-five years of misery is enough".

 "Dad, what are you talking
about?'" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of
each other any longer", the father says. á"We're sick of
each other and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call
your sister in Leeds and tell her".

Frantically, the son calls
his sister, who explodes on the phone, "Like hell they're
getting divorced", she shouts, "I'll take care of this".
She calls Scotland
immediately and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting
divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm
calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow.
Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs

 The old man hangs up his
phone and turns to his wife. "Done! They're coming for
Christmas - and they're paying their own way

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home detention for killing husband

 Unfortunately this kind of absurd judicial decision indicates the wholesale supply of feminized Judges working  to a mandate that does not recognize men as equals. How long in prison would a man have done for committing the same sadistic crime? Five or ten years. What a sick and sad country.. How could anybody respect a judge.....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Woman stabs self blames partner.

A Northland woman has been sentenced to five months' home detention after she stabbed herself with a small pair of scissors and blamed her partner because she believed he was having an affair.
Erica Moana Murphy-Hodge was sentenced in Whangarei District Court yesterday after earlier admitting attempting to pervert the course of justice, the Northern Advocate reported.
Her partner Robert Joseph Hodge spent three days in Ngawha Prison in March and waited two months for the case to go to court after he was charged with assault with a stabbing/cutting instrument, contravening a protection order, threatening to kill, male assaults female and possession of an offensive weapon.
In May Murphy-Hodge confessed to police she stabbed herself in the arm with nail scissors in an attempt to get him in to trouble. She believed he had been having an affair.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poverty hits children's health levels .

  This is so sad. What has happened to our once strong family unit.
It's been sad to witness and I really feel for all the children of New Zealand. 
What a disgrace!

Poverty hits children's health levels
Children's ;health is suffering because of the recession, with a "concerning" report
revealing a rise in hospital admissions and prompting
the children's commissioner to call for urgent action from the Government. ... Read More

New Book 'The Look of Love' Offers Readers a Poignant View of Parental Alienation at its Worst

New Book 'The Look of Love' Offers Readers a Poignant View of Parental Alienation at its Worst

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chaos at the Crossroads: Family Law Reform in Australia

Chaos at the Crossroads: Family Law Reform in Australia

By John Stapleton - posted Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The book Chaos at the Crossroads: Family Law Reform in Australia is launched today and fulfils a long held dream of Dads On The Air to include publishing alongside its weekly broadcasts. The book marks another step forward for the community radio program that began in Western Sydney in 2000 with a small group of disgruntled separated men who had no experience of radio and no resources.
The book tells the story of the last decade of struggle for family law reform in Australia, not just by separated fathers, their supporters and their lobby groups, but by grandparents and other family members cut out of children's lives by the discriminatory and destructive sole-custody model purveyed by the court.
Chaos also tells the story of how, from the humble beginnings of that disheveled little group, Dads On The Air became the world's longest running and most famous fathers radio program, regularly interviewing national and international activists, advocates, academics and authors. Dads On The Air, broadcast on Liverpool's community radio station 2GLF each Tuesday morning, went on to attract a talented team of people with legal, journalistic, managerial, entertainment, academic and counseling backgrounds. This was achieved with no more motivation than a sense of outrage over institutional corruption, social injustice and the fate of our children.
From today Chaos at the Crossroads will progressively become available throughout the month in most of the world's online eBook retail outlets, beginning with Amazon and ending with Apple's iBook store.
When Dads On The Air began in 2000 we had no idea we were part of a worldwide trend protesting the treatment of fathers in separated families. Internationally, Fathers 4 Justice in Britain had yet to climb Buckingham Palace or invade the House Of Commons. Bob Geldoff was yet to speak out. But we were fortunate to find ourselves broadcasting in an era when there was no shortage of stories. As that first small band of dads rapidly discovered, like no other subject, family law cut deep into hearts and lives, a seemingly infinite well of pain.
The history of Dads On The Air coincided closely with the evolution of Australian groups such as Dads In Distress, the Non-Custodial Parents (Equal Parenting) Party and the Shared Parenting Council of Australia. Dads On The Air was born not just out of a sense of outrage, but frustration with the mainstream media's failure to take men's issues seriously. We were proud to provide a conduit for groups otherwise little heard.
At first we felt very much alone. Our bolshie broadcasts put us out on a limb. We would say what we had to say nervously, thinking that at any time the Australian Federal Police would come to silence us. Our fears were not unfounded. The Court, which we referred to as The Palace Of Lies, had a long history of attempting to stifle its critics. One man who suggested in a letter that the court belonged on a garbage tip found himself being arrested by three Federal Police. Criticism of the court as "criminal" and "corrupt" now fly across the internet without consequence.
Dads On The Air was itself a prime example of the way the information revolution made it possible for a small group in western Sydney to cheaply create a 90 minute weekly program that could be downloaded by anyone with a computer in many different parts of the world. The immediate reach the internet provided outside the Liverpool radio footprint allowed us to attract some of the nation's and the world's leading political, academic and social commentators simply did not exist a decade before.
With the spread of communication technology, the court's arbitrary and cruel judgements were already the stuff of legends by the time we began broadcasting. One Indian immigrant was jailed for writing to his parents in English. The court ignored his protestations that his father had two masters' degrees in English. The court has also ordered litigants not to contact the United Nations with their concerns, not to publicise the injustices of their cases in any way and not to take their children to a doctor or raise welfare concerns. One father was ordered not to contact his children after he allegedly carried his daughter around on his shoulders, in a crowded park, in a suggestive manner. Another father who expressed a desire to see his adolescent son after the boy's suicide attempt was ridiculed from the bench. Yet another was jailed for sending his child a birthday card.
Similar stories of damaged lives circled the Child Support Agency. The Agency claimed to be treating fairly a young father who was losing 80 per cent of his income in tax and child support and died with one of their letters in his hand. Another man took more than two weeks to die when he swallowed poison after a call from a CSA officer. The CSA refused to attend the inquest despite a request from the Magistrate.
Chaos at the Crossroads unabashedly looks at the issue of family law from a father's perspective. Father's voices are often invisible in the public debate and we try to redress the imbalance in our humble way.
Dads On The Air was strategically placed to cover the push for family law reform in Australia. For a period many of the country's leading politicians, including the Attorney-General, queued to come on the show; most wanting to demonstrate their support for shared parenting and for fathers. This openness has not been matched by the present government.
Despite architect Lionel Murphy's vision of a "helping" court when he brought no-fault divorce to Australia in 1975. co-operative parenting after divorce was rarely encouraged.
Almost from the minute the Family Court opened its doors it became a law unto itself, imposing sole mother custody on separating families despite the harm it caused. Reforms meant to promote shared parenting in 1995 actually saw the small percentage of such orders drop. Historically, the Family Court denied fathers contact with their children on the flimsiest of excuses or most ludicrous of accusations. Overly legalistic, enormously bureaucratic, secretive, unaccountable and ideologically based, defying community norms of morality and propriety, it soon became one of the country's most hated institutions.
The book relies on many sources already available in the public domain to trace the antecedents of the Howard government's 2003 parliamentary inquiry and the story of what has happened since. Despite the deliberate blizzard of women's and domestic violence groups stacking the inquiry, the public hearings around the nation exposed for anyone who cared to look the massive dysfunction of Australia's family law and child support systems and the distress they created in the community.
It also exposed the divide between the taxpayer-funded mandarins and the general populace. The industry continued to blindly insist their only concern was the best interests of the child. It was little short of a lie.
The 2003 inquiry was given added piquancy by virtue of being held during the final days of that aging lion of the left Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson. He had dominated family law in Australia for more than half of the Court's life and took every opportunity he could to attack the Howard government for its investigation of shared parenting.
The original 2003 announcement from the Prime Minister that the government would examine the idea of a rebuttable presumption of joint custody provoked a wave of positive media coverage and community support. However the parliamentary inquiry's final report, the poorly written, intellectually sloppy and ridiculously named Every Picture Tells A Story, caused many problems. It was condemned by family law reformers as a betrayal of the nation's more than one million children of separated parents and of the sometimes tearful parents who had appeared before the inquiry. DOTA described the report as just like a Family Court judgement, it bore no relationship to the evidence and no relationship to reality.
The Howard government dithered for years over the issue of family law reform, destroying the public momentum for change. Embarrassed by accusations it was influenced by men's groups, it would not be until 2006, after yet more committees and calls for submissions, that the Howard government finally passed what DOTA condemned as sadly inadequate laws promoting shared parental responsibility.
Unconvinced the legislation would make any difference in practice, DOTA declared with characteristic chutzpah the fight lost: "The liars, the lawyers, the bureaucrats and the social engineers have won the day."
Not withstanding DOTA's stance, the lengthy public debate engendered a cultural shift. After 2006 many separating parents expected to share the care of the children. But the court itself was largely hostile towards shared parenting and impatient of parliamentary interference.
Just as with the name Dads On The Air, the title Chaos at the Crossroads popped into my mind one day and stayed. An early draft went up online in 2004. Come 2010 and the title could hardly be more appropriate. The narrowly returned Labor government had neither the guts nor the integrity to mention family law during the campaign leading up to the August election. Fearful of losing votes, they did not acknowledge they were winding back the popular shared parenting laws. The rollback came under the guise of protecting women and children from violence. The government ignored the findings of the Australian Institute of Families Studies that there was no evidence shared parenting resulted in higher levels of conflict and that the new laws were widely supported.
The government's expansion of the definition of domestic violence in the proposed Family Violence Bill was cheered on by shared parenting's greatest opponents former Chief Justice Alastair Nicholson and Justice Richard Chisholm.
After more than 20 years of ferment, community agitation, government inquiry, thousands of submissions and countless stories of suffering and distress, there now appears less hope than ever for separated dads. As the government fuels moral panic over domestic violence, family law is heading straight back from whence it came, to those dark days when too many fathers entering the court never or rarely ever saw their children again.
There has been almost no public input into the shared parenting rollback. The public submission period for the Family Violence Bill runs across Christmas and ends at the height of the holiday season. The Bill is the result of blatant manipulation of the public inquiry process. The plank of reports being used to justify the changes, commissioned by the Attorney-General's department after it became clear the AIFS intended to be neutral, almost all fall under the category of feminist advocacy research. One expensive two volume report took their sample from women's services, a naturally self selecting group of disaffected. The appointment of former Family Court judge Richard Chisholm, whose hostility to shared parenting was already well known, to produce one of the many reports was simply shameful.
Yet the Labor Government, led by Julia Gillard and ably assisted by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, appears determined to press on with its lunacy.
Show me a person who has not been guilty of emotional and financial manipulation and I'll show you Christ on earth, but this is just one of the new and greatly expanded definitions of domestic violence being placed into the Family Law Act.
There can be only one result from defining domestic or "family" violence so broadly as to include much normal human behaviour, in such a gendered way and couched in such a manner as to target only men as perpetrators - and that is a return to the days when many fathers entering the Family Court of Australia rarely or never saw their children again. The resultant personal pain created a large body of disaffected men as well as grandparents and other extended family members, did the community as a whole great harm, brought the judiciary into disrepute and impacted badly on the children involved.
Chaos At The Crossroads concludes: "Successive governments from both left and right have failed to listen to their constituents and respond to their concerns. Even when enacting legislative reforms, these same governments left their enforcement in the hands of institutions notoriously resistant to change. They allowed or encouraged fashionable ideology, institutional inertia and bureaucracy to triumph over common sense. Common decency was lost long ago.

"In terms of human suffering, the Australian public has already paid dearly for the failure to reform outdated, badly administered and inappropriate institutions dealing with family breakdown - and for the failure of governments to take seriously the voices of the men and women most directly affected by them. The country's failure to reform family law and child support is ultimately a failure of democracy itself."
Chaos at the Crossroads is now available directly from the internet publishers at:

About the Author

John Stapleton is an Australian writer and a founder of the world's longest running fathers' radio program Dads on The Air. He has just published Chaos at the Crossroads: Family Law Reform in Australia.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 Most Infamous Female Criminals

 This is a sad reality which is seldom picked up by a gender bias media, who are quite content on labelling all fathers as potential rapists and child abusers. I wish our feminist influenced judicial system would recognize the fact that women are capable of horrific crimes. The list is worth a read as it highlights that the fairer sex are no angels. Considering the New Zealand police force is packed to the brim with man hating lesbians who enjoy sending innocent men to prison I thought it appropriate to send a dozen vicious men hater cops this link. When will judges act fairly? When will they accept that homicidal manics can be women? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A view from Singapore,

Replace Women’s Charter with Family Charter 29th, 2010 | Contributions current surge in gang violence, that not only leads to injury but also death, amongst youths is something we have not witnessed before. Over the last five years, I have been hearing from friends who are police investigators who pointed out to a rising trend in youth gangs, youth violence and juvenile crime across a certain section of youths. My police friends explained that though it is unclear if overall youth crimes and violence is increasing, the rise within that section of youth is worrisome. One police friend shared with me about an incident in Far East Plaza about 5 years ago whereby a CID officer was chased by a group of youths armed with parang. My police friend said “when in the history of Singapore have we ever seen CID officers running and youths chasing and also with a weapon… CID officers always have had a fierce reputation whereby only others flee at their sight”. Another police friend told me that he has been seeing an increase in crimes involving youths as young as 17 years old carrying weapons and stealing or robbing. As I stated earlier, this thing has been a rising trend for last five years. Though the field police officers want to combat this, the police management basically takes the usual complacent Singapore civil service attitude of “lets not open a can of worms”.
Each time my police friends share these stories with me, I always asked them what they thought was the common root problem. They cited that these kids often come from divorced families or seperated parents. They shared that unlike in earlier decades where the divorce families were also often associated with other problems, lower literacy and lower socio-economic status, these kids often do come from families where their single parent having care rights and control rights over them are white coller, well educated and coming from good socio-economic background.
The police officers blamed how womens’ charter was radically implemented in Singapore and pointed out that the women’s charter though having empowered women have instead failed to put in place checks, create a balance or moderation in that empowerment process to allow a peaceful co-existance between seperated or divorced parents for the benefit of the children. When I went to review the women’s charter with friends from other countries who are trained legal experts, they pointed out there is absolutely no check, no balance to prevent even the worst abuses by women against their husbands or ex-husbands. They also pointed out that the womens’ charter has in place only weak, useless and superficial processes for amicable dispute resolution between the mother and father of the child. Instead what is in place is legal ballistic weaponry for full battle against the husband. Hence when the typical mechanisms in the womens’ charter are extremely hostile towards one gender, given seperations/divorces/custody disputes/alimony disputes/maintenance disputes are essentially domestic problems the dispute then only grows bigger and not smaller and drags for a longer period than concluding faster.
When the couple is facing stress in the marriage, the Womens’ Charter provides greater mechanisms for hostile take out than for peaceful reconciliation. The couple basically have just 2 to 3 opportunities at lame and weak counselling or mediating sessions with the least qualified social workers. If that fails, then what is available is operation ‘take out’. Lawyers whom the couple engage from the beginning aggravate the situation because their remuneration lies when the couple go to court and divorce/annul their marriage. The lawyers profit little in peaceful reconciliations.
After the divorce, during the next few decades when the parents are alive, when there is again dispute over maintenance whatsover there is absolutely no proper mechanisms for peaceful and amicable resolution of the issue. Instead they need to go to court again and courts are by nature not positive mechanisms for family issues. There again the womens’ charter provides another set of ballistic missiles for another operation ‘take out’.
In this whole process, the one who reaps no benefit nor even sadistic pleasure is the children. They face enormous mental pressures in such situations. Watching their parents tear each other apart in court itself is not a pleasant experience for them. It does not help their self-esteem at all when they see their friends having normal families doing families activities. Even when the parent remarries, the child cannot refer to that person as father or mother in the presence of his/her friends like how their friends do. The parents also try to make up for the situation through pampering.
I annaecdotally surveyed children from a 2-3 families in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia where the parents divorced and the kids grew up in such a divorced family. I found that in those families in Malaysia and Indonesia where they had great extended family support or relative support or neighbours support on a daily basis, they turned out well in terms of completion of tertiary education, non-participation in crime or violence, non-participation in drugs/smoking/alcohol etc. On the other hand, in the Singapore case since there is no support on daily basis from extended family, neighbours or relatives, the kids tend to end up with the wrong company of friends and aimlessly search for a purpose and self-worth in life and try to achieve it through risk taking activities such as gangs, sex, alcohol, drugs, violence, smoking.
What is clear is that though Womens groups in Singapore, where lawyers are largely represented, may proclaim victories in being able to set up punitive legal mechanisms within the Womens’ charter, they need to claim resonsibility in creating hostile environment for divorced couples to sort out their families issues over their lifetimes and in that process affecting a generation of kids pushing them to resort to directions which society can ill afford to see them head into. They need to take responsiblity for destroying the destiny of a generation of divorced children in order to protect the well-being and rights of divorced women.
What is required now is action to replace the Womens’ charter with Family charter which creates not just checks but also balances and which ensures the lifelong well-being of the child is protected. The primary focus should not be about only the protection of women but instead women, children, men collectively. The reform of the Womens’ Charter to Family Charter need to be headed by non-lawyers and instead by social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists.
Singaporean Observor