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Dont Deny Domestic Violence

By Tony Scanlan

Guys get the short end of the stick when it comes to Family Court proceedings, we all seem to agree on that. It seems if a woman even thinks there is a possibility of violence, a protection order is automatically issued.

Actually, I can see the logic in this (no good shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted), but it is a system open to abuse by bitter and disgruntled women seeking revenge against their ex-partners, knowingly making false claims of ill treatment.

The law is interpreted unevenly by the courts in a sometimes vain attempt to protect those that can’t protect themselves.

The price for this attempt is paid by the children of the men that are unjustly labelled violent. They miss out on a parents love, sometimes convinced of their father’s brutality for the rest of their lives.

However, there ARE men who do inflict violence upon their partners and their children. It would be very naive to suggest all men who have been issued with Protection Orders were wrongly accused. Protection Orders and the way they are given out so freely are a reaction to reality.

In the ‘Father & Child’ magazine we often read about the dads who are unfairly deprived of their children because of a spiteful ex-partner, but what about all those women and children that live in fear of the next brutal outburst, hoping he has had a good day at work that day, dreading if he has been belittled by his boss or even slighted at the traffic lights and needs to re-establish his masculinity, his need to feel dominant over someone.

I know it’s not only men inflicting the violence on their partners and children, women are guilty of it too. Maybe one day society’s new ‘zero tolerance’ toward domestic violence will include that inflicted by females as well; that is something to work at within the existing system.

A truly zero tolerance is worth striving for.

Whenever there is a case in the media spotlight of a man defying a protection order and hurting or even killing his estranged wife, both pro- and anti-protection order people leap up and say they are vindicated.

The ‘pro’ side claim protection orders need to be more powerful and the ‘anti’ side say it proves protection orders cause the violence by creating a feeling of injustice, betrayal, and frustration.

It’s the old chicken and egg question, which comes first? Does it matter which comes first? If you bash the stuffing out of someone else, you are in the wrong. It’s a bit like rear ending another car. It doesn’t matter what the car in front was doing.

We need to admit there are guys who do bad things to their loved ones, we need to have zero tolerance, but we also need to support them. They won’t stop doing it if we turn a blind eye. They won’t stop if they feel they have to hide.

Next: Towards Parental Equality

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