An Australian father caught up in an acrimonious contact dispute with the mother of his child has called for a change in the law.
The man, from the Gold Coast in Queensland, has been subjected to multiple domestic violence (DV) orders following a succession of allegations by his former partner, including sexual assault, possession of a gun and even murder. He says all the allegations were fabricated in order to prevent him from seeing his child but he has still been forced to spend thousands of dollars defending himself in court.
Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin, the father insisted:
“My little girl, who loves and adores me — and vice versa — is miserable and I have to drag her through years of court just to try and see her. I’ve been physically and mentally abused for years by this woman and it just continues.”
The Australian DV system is used as a “weapon” in order to gain custody of children, he claimed. His daughter was the most important thing in his life, he declared, but the courts have let her repeated removal continue regardless.
However local politician Stuart Robert, a member of the House of Representatives, defended the system, saying:
“It’s not as simple as people using the courts as a weapon. People try manipulate all the time but I would rather courts operate in terms of protecting vulnerable people than loosening court protections that exist.”
The man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of his child, has launched a petition entitled Abolish Parental Alienation In Australia. To date it has attracted 1046 signatures.
The petition claims actively excluding the non-resident parent from a child’s life constitutes emotional abuse with both short and long term consequences. It notes:
“Parents who try to alienate their child from his or her other parent convey a three-part message to the child:
(1) I am the only parent who loves you and you need me to feel good about yourself;
(2) the other parent is dangerous and unavailable,
(3) pursuing a relationship with that parent jeopardises your relationship with me. In essence the child receives the message that s/he is worthless and unloved and only of value for meeting the needs of others.”
You can read the petition here.
Photo of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast by GrieSeb via Wikipedia