Monday, May 19, 2003

History of trauma dogs sole parents with government's discriminating against fathers

Australia's sole parents including those who were squarely divided by the [Anti-] Family Court of Australia which include tens of thousands of lone mothers on welfare [social services] benefits [or who work], [and tens of thousands of lone fathers] on [social services benefits or who work] have experienced rape, physical assault, torture, mental health disorders, [and discrimination] at some time during their life, [by a new study] a new study shows.[?]

Compared with other mothers [and not other fathers], sole mothers [and not sole fathers] on income support [and not those that work] are three times more likely to have suffered a significant psychological trauma, leading researchers to urge sensitivity in the implementation of the Federal Government welfare [social services] reforms.

[But no mention or comparison or any suffering of significant discrimination drawn here, leading researchers to urge sensitivity in the implementation of social services reforms with sole fathers.]

Under the reforms sole parents with teenage children will be required to undertake return-to-work activities, and may face financial penalties if they fail to carry out activity agreements.

But the new study, by the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University, shows a substantial minority of sole mother beneficiaries face multiple and severe personal problems, in some case stemming back to childhood in other cases back to the [Anti-]Family Court's easy resolution of their marriages.

[But no research about what a minority of sole fathers face? Why not?]

[In the past the [Anti-]Family Court has encouraged family breakdown by introducing the 'no fault law' which isolated the children from the protection of both parents, by awarding custody to one parent, even if that parent was the one who made the mistake, like jumping the back fence while the other parent was at work.]

[No fault law means no parent was at fault for the breakdown of their marriage, no matter what wrong was done to the other parent by one parent. If one parent caused the breakdown they were not at fault.

But if one parent caused a traffic accident in a motor vehicle on the road then the police would charge the person in the wrong. This no fault law led to parents leaving the marriage and claiming it was the other parents fault when the marriage broke down and then possibly being awarded custody of the children of the marriage by the Anti-Family Court.]

[It probably seemed fair and cost effective at the time for the Anti-Family Court, just to get people out of the court. However, in the long term, it also meant throwing away the art of conflict resolution, deciding who made the mistake and how that could be understood better by making one party responsible for their commitments and mistakes and was reckless.]

[The Australian government may have decided a broken family is easier to control, that is until they had to pick up the tab of the cost of raising the children themselves.]

[The government had become the breadwinners, now both parents were on social services too, to avoid paying maintenance, and probably still some ar, because they did not agree with the quick fix and some were denied access to their children. Many offended parents thought that they did not make the mistake.]

Peter Butterworth, a post-doctoral fellow at the centre, said there were two possible explanations for the link between traumatic experiences and sole parent status.

"Either these women have actually left violent relationships or their early experience of childhood and adolescent abuse has interfered with their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships," he said.

[And or these women had 'jumped the back fence' claiming that they never made a mistake and the Anti-Family Court agreed with them and granted them custody of the children.]

[So did the Anti-Family Court's influence make it easier to break- down the marriage using (no fault law) rather than helping to resolve the issues the family faced, at the time, with counseling in order for them to try and stay together. The counseling costs more?]

The study, based on the 1997 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is the first to shed light on the deeper problems many sole parent [?mothers] beneficiaries' face. Previous studies have focused on their poorer educational qualifications, work experiences, transport and child-care problems.

Dr Butterworth said he was surprised the differences were so marked between the life experiences of a significant group of sole mothers [?] on welfare [social services] and the other mothers.

[But not sole fathers and the other fathers or mothers or the discrimination and bias.]

For example, 19 per cent of the sole mothers reported having been raped compared to 6 per cent of mothers not on welfare [social services;] and 26 per cent had been the victim of a serious physical attack compared to less than 10 per cent of other mothers. As well, 21 per cent of the sole mothers had been "threatened with a weapon or tortured" compared to 7 per cent of the other women.

[But nothing said here about sole mothers jumping the back fence for sex with another partner? Why not? If that is in fact the case? Because this article is bias. Also again, nothing for example about what sole fathers reported?]

But even these figures under-estimated the extent of trauma suffered by many sole parent beneficiaries, the study found.

Sole mothers were more likely to have experienced multiple problems, such as childhood adversity and domestic violence, or alcohol problems and depressive illness. Most of the non-welfare [non-social services] recipient mothers had experienced one or no major psychological traumas. But about 70 per cent of the sole parents had suffered two or more.

[But how many of them sole mothers jumped the back fence and claimed that they did no wrong? And what about the likely experience of sole father's and their multiple problems? Didn't they have any? I mean compared to sole mothers and non-social services recipient fathers?]

"It's not just about poverty or lack of work skills," Dr Butterworth said. "It's the personal experience of abuse, the level of violence in their lives, and the mental health problems that are fundamental barriers. If you don't do something about these issues the other sort of interventions to get these women into work will not be effective."

[And it is also about the 'personal experience' of them jumping the back fence and screwing the next door neighbour, whilst their partner was at work, and not making them responsible for their failures and commitments, and the implementation of counseling, and the 80-20 rules in the Anti-Family Court. If you don't do something about these issues the other sort of interventions to get these people into work will not be effective .]

Dr Butterworth said new welfare [social services] reform measures that required sole parents to attend Centrelink interviews were potentially helpful. "But it is important that policy makers and interviewers understand the circumstances of these women's lives and provide appropriate assistance and support," he said.

[But it is not important that policy makers and interviewers understand the circumstances of these men or Dr Butterworth's discriminatory study into these mens lives and provide appropriate assistance and support?]

By Family Breakdown 19 May 03

THE FATHERS: In the past the Anti-Family Court of Australia has encouraged family breakdown by introducing the no fault law - to make it easier for one parent to opt out - which isolated the children from the protection of both parents, opposed to one parent. - and one set of grandparents, opposed to two sets of grandparents - because one parent wanted out - usually the parent who lacked responsibility and commitment.

If governments seek the easy way out by not providing children and parents with better social skills, communication and conflict resolution and settle for short answers like encouraging family breakdown then there is a price. Social Services and broken families!


Family Law Links

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