New father’s rights group begins London protest

Family|August 12th 2014

Members of a recently formed father’s rights group have launched a protest in central London.

Six members of a group calling themselves Human Worth scaled Apsley House in Hyde Park earlier today and unfurled a banner announcing their group.

The protesters, one female, include three Britons, two French people and one American. Two are dressed in superhero costumes.

They are protesting what they describe as “the corruption and prejudice that family courts so cruelly promote.” The group say their protest is international and not purely focused on English family law. According to a statement, they plan to continue its protest for three days.

Their website seeks donations and supporters. It also includes a six-minute video highlighting cases in which children were reportedly separated from their fathers by the family courts, featuring the affected children themselves.

Last year, the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) published research suggesting that one in eight fathers who have divorced or separated from their partners have no contact with their children.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Paul Manning (Haywain protester) says:

    Not like you Marilyn to give us defunct fathers a mention, because you normally side wit the court routine and we all know that their policy, in over 97% of private law cases, is to give mum the kids while we fathers have to apply for contact, I hate that word “Contact”.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Paul
      You don’t know me at all then!

      • Name Witheld says:

        I know you very well, as do a couple of friends of mine whose exes you also represented in our divorces. Between you and my ex you blocked me having contact with my daughter for 3 years. My friends also suffered similar experiences at your hands. You tried every dirty trick in the book to try and deny me contact with my daughter but I was not going to give in and in the end you lost but you made a tidy sum out of the whole sordid affair. What’s your main motivation, hurting men or making money from gullible clients?

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear Mr X
          Your name which I have witheld means nothing to me. I do not have a clue who you are.

      • Paul Manning (Haywain protester) says:

        Dear Marilyn, how on Earth can you say that I don’t know you? Of course I do! How? Well I know you by your many faces that publicly make you ‘knowable’ and by your many TV appearances and by the usual often heard before advice that you offer, same old stuff Marilyn. Tell me this Marilyn just tell the truth… when you get a case who are you fighting for? Is it your client? Is it the child? or is it for yourself? Is it your job to get the best result you possibly can for your client and hang the other party?!! I mean surely on one day you are trying your best to get contact for a father with his child, then on another day you are in court representing a mother trying like hell to oust the father by any means possible!!! How does this stand with your conscience Marilyn, I mean you supporting this adversarial family court system? Or as I like to call it the “Fighting pit for kids” Where on the whole mothers win the fight with help from your kind. I mean this with full respect, but I would like and answer. How can you do it Marilyn, if it were me I would not be able to sleep, not unless I tried my best to expose the whole sorry state of affairs that is the family courts, have you tried that or do you like the status quo?

  2. Paul Gilbank says:

    This law needs to be changed why is it decent dads have to go to court to see there own kids? It should be there human right so many dads have protested over the years to no avail why is that? Paul manning tim Harris Chris Thompson Matt o conner to name a few and also myself but has got us no where why is that? Please take a look at what I went through surly the law needs changing by now??

  3. Peter McMurdie says:

    Oh I think he does know you Marilyn. You are a solicitor, and as such have been really outspoken about how children are being left fatherless by corrupt family courts. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Peter
      You don’t know me either.

    • Luke says:

      Actually you are guys are both wrong on this, Marilyn and I don’t agree on a number of things but she does post and highlight articles to stuff that she doesn’t have sympathy for on a quite regular basis.
      She also is also remarkably liberal on allowing people to say what they think on her blog posts.
      She is quite unusual in this behaviour and should be respected for it, I don’t understand what your problem is.

      • Stitchedup says:

        Agreed Luke, I’ve had my wrists slapped on a couple of occasions by Marilyn and the team but they should be applauded for allowing a fair debate. Try getting that on the Guardian Women’s pages!!!

  4. dave hawksworth says:

    Well done parents.
    They know me oh too well as i had to move 450 miles to dundee with custody of my first 2 kids only to be called a foreigner by sheriff davidson and was refused any access now to my 3rd child.
    Sent to prison for putting 100 balloons up at my sons school to say happy 8th birthday with police permission.sheriff davidson again punished me because i had reported him to his bosses to no avail. Talk about getting shafted by the courts for being english in scotland. Meanwhile the mum continues to emotionally abuse my son as she did to my other children hence why we split but she looks the good adult while i look a criminal. Great system protected by educated professionals.

  5. Nick Langford says:

    One of the stranger aspects of this protest is the comment from the police that they were making enquiries to find out what the protesters were protesting about. Now I know the Met are not the brightest, but surely this has to be the first protest in the history of protesting where the protesters have forgotten to mention what they are protesting about. Even the press release seems to be all about how careful they have been not to damage the masonry or frighten the pigeons.

    It is also strange that they deny any association with the organisation Fathers4Justice, despite their name – New Fathers4Justice is surely something of a giveaway – and despite the fact that those not dressed as superheroes (didn’t Fathers4Justice do that too?) appear to be wearing the old Fathers4Justice “iDad” sweatshirts.

    Top billing on their banner is a new group I’d never heard of called Humanworth so I paid a visit to their website to see if there was any more detail there. All I found was a single page featuring – wait for it – an old Fathers4Justice video featuring a number of children, at least three of whom are now adults. Were they asked their consent for this video to be used? Most definitely not. And yet they are now implicitly complicit with this new organisation.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I am the first to agree that the family justice system doesn’t work and requires urgent, wholesale reform, though I would draw the line at saying, as these people do, that it is corrupt. But is this the way to go about it? With a strategy that has been tried time and time again and has been proved to fail? Isn’t this Einstein’s definition of insanity? And surely the first rule of protest is to let people know what you are protesting about.

  6. Peter McMurdie says:

    Typical bullying behaviour, blame the victims, those men on that gate are victims, their children are victims and they will probably get a criminal record to boot and be victimised more. The system is corrupt, as I am now starting to prove by the posts on my FB feed. Social Workers not turning up to court, Cafcass manager sent to lie to the court to cover for the first one. Solicitors not following the Regulation Authority code of conduct, a Policeman abusing his position of power to pervert the course of justice. All of my physical evidence left out of the Cafcass report, all of which I can prove. I’m now naming an shaming these people, why aren’t they taking me to court? Because they know I can prove it. This system is corrupt and it doesn’t work in the best interests of children. That, is what those men are fighting for, for them, their families and children’s rights, and you ridicule them. Shame on you. I never said I knew you, I’m glad that I don’t.

  7. Peter McMurdie says:

    Imagine this scenario. You get made redundant, a week later you collapse with a burst appendix. Two weeks later you are out building up your strength post op. You come home, your wife and children are gone as are their belongings, you don’t know where they are or if they are safe. It turns out she has moved in with another man hundreds of miles away. Your ex then turns your children against you and starts making false allegations, such as beating up your children (proven to be false) . Then one of your children rings up and says things like, why aren’t you answering the f*cking in solicitors letters, why aren’t you selling the house, put the house on the market. Why is Nanny calling Mum an evil bitch (when she said no such thing), calling you a that, the abuse continjes. Then you get Cafcass who lied to you, won’t answer your questions about a report full of Parental Alienation flags and obvious coaching. Cafcass officer doesn’t show in court breaking an order from the court so she doesn’t have to answer your questions. Her boss turns up, tells lies about you in court, this is someone who hasn’t met you or your children. Then the Policeman turns up in court and tells lies about you because he has been manipulated by your ex. You suffer from anxiety attacks because the way you have been treated and what’s happening to your children. Your life is a living bereavement, your children are gone, just gone and no-one will help them. Two years on you get messages from one of your children, repeatedly calling you a c*nt, calling you unemployed scum because you still suffer from anxiety attacks. I could go on. You are not allowed to see your children, at all, because they don’t want to see you because they have had their mind poisoned by an obsessive Parental Alienator. Can you imagine if this happened to you, more importantly, if this happened to your children! That’s why those men are standing on that gate, for their children’s basic human right to have a family. They do not deserve to be ridiculed. They are victims.

  8. Nordic says:

    While I also would disagree with Marilyn and other authors on many (most) family law topics, this is a quality blog which in my experience so far has proven fair and comprehensive in the way it covers topics and submissions. Marilyn deserves support for maintaining it.
    On the issue of the protest, I have a couple of questions. Firstly, in my home jurisdiction of Denmark, fathers are awarded sole residence in 35% of cases according to the latest public survey on court judgements covering 2008 to 2013 (domstolsundersoegelse). These surveys cover all actual judgements over that period and hence is not an estimate or assumption, but a fact (happy to provide a reference, but the survey is in danish). My first question is whether the often made assertion that mothers in this jurisdiction get residence in 97% of cases is (remotely) correct? If so, my second question is how one might explain the stark difference to danish outcomes. Seems to me there are 2 possible explanations: 1) Danish men make far better fathers than their English counterparts or 2) there is a systemic gender bias in the English family courts compared to their danish counterparts.

    • Luke says:

      “My first question is whether the often made assertion that mothers in this jurisdiction get residence in 97% of cases is (remotely) correct?”

      I believe it is correct Nordic, Marilyn has quoted it herself – but let’s just suppose it was actually 92% – that is still miiiiiiles from your Danish figure of 65%…

      • Nordic says:

        Yes it is and it does point to a jurisdiction dominated by a 1950s view of gender roles.
        It is interesting how such basic statistics, which also are availed from other Nordic jurisdictions, completely failed to make it into the Norgrove review. That review seemed intent on finding evidence to fit preordained conclusions. A robust and honest analysis of international experience would have raised some glaring questions about this jurisdiction, but one suspects that the true purpose of the Norgrove review was to suppress critical questions rather than ask them.

  9. United Kingdom International protest for fathers says:

    […] […]

  10. Peter says:

    Say what you will about Marilyn and how she supports the alienating parent. It’s the same old story, if they work in the legal profession they must be corrupt and support the mother.

    I contacted Marilyn rather cheekily via Twitter sometime ago for advice. I didn’t receive an invoice. Just some sound advice which helped me out no end.

    Tarring everyone in the legal profession with the same brush, is no different to saying all alienated parents deserve to be alienated.

    I agree with Nick’s comments above. This protest sends a mixed message. Who are they and what do they want. It’s really not very clear.

  11. Name Witheld says:

    . I brought a Hague case that was declined on habitual residence which is not a defined term in Hague. I had parental rights for two americans when the woman got pregnant in america. When she found out i was filing for my rights she fled. Evidence in the petition shows 9-10-2014 i sign my petition. She fled fearful of the results she knew were coming. I was issued all rights to an unborn child on the knowledge of her leaving to evade and restrict my rights. For hague my action of enforcing parentage before removal is clear as hague states wrongful removal.. They are allowed no home forum. As they claim habitual residence here that is not possible after actions were already made for my rights. No preferential treatment or claims can be made in the country the obductor is retaining the child.. that should include geographic position. time here or anything of that matter.. that goes against hague as her having home forum.. Apon birth Feb 22 and the Hague case on May 20th the mother was not a resident or national of norway. I as an american am entitled to pass my nationality to my son. She is directly refusing that because she has not obtained her legal nationality or citizenship which may be soon to change but as of dates prior she was not legally claimed by norway neither my son. As of now the only nationality he is entitled to is american by blood so she is forcing him to be stateless. If you think this can be appealed let me know… I made it this far but Norway is against me in all ways and all I’m trying to do is stand up and be a father to my son.. For all fathers out there it is wrong that a woman can be in one country and get pregnant and leave and take all your rights and son away from you. If this needs to go public or acquire assistance from fathers support groups or what ever is need if you feel it can be done i have only 30 days to appeal.

    Give me your honest opinion and lets set a new standard for fathers and put your names in the history books. Spread this immediately i have a very short time to appeal.

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