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Media Release

The Men's Right's Agency, Australia, by Sue Price, Director, November 19th, 2009

November 19 - International Men's Day

TIME TO STOP 'BAD DAD' STEREOTYPING

Nov 19: On International Men's Day, the Rudd Government has been accused of declaring war on Dads in response to calls from extremist women's groups, who see no need for fathers in children lives, apart from their usefulness in paying the bills. The accusation has been made by Men's Rights Agency Director, Sue Price.

International Men's Day is an occasion for men to highlight discrimination against them and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and childcare.

But according to the Men's Rights Agency, in modern day Australia Anti-male women's groups (led by author Barbara Biggs) are seeking to roll back the shared parenting changes to family law. Their petition makes two claims 1) the need to protect women and children from violent husbands/fathers and 2) to prevent children from being sexually abused by their father.

Both good intentions, but if exposing crimes within the family and against children is their true intention, why do they not call for the protection of 1) fathers and children from violent wives/mothers and 2) to prevent children from being sexually abused by other siblings, mother's boyfriends, stepfathers and mothers themselves when in their care, not to forget, protecting children from neglect, physical and emotional abuse and even murder, where mothers are the majority offenders of these crimes.

The Australian Institute of Criminology National Homicide Monitoring Program for 2006-07 showed 11 mothers and 5 fathers killed their children (one father killed 2), plus five more children were killed by the mother's live-in defacto.

Identified perpetrators only Neglect % Emotional /
Psych %
Physical %

Sexual %

Defacto / step-parent / guardian - male 2.20 8.19 16.79 14.21
Defacto / foster / guardian - female 2.51 5.26 0.75 0.51
Bio father 11.64 23.98 24.25 11.17
Bio mother 50.63 42.11 28.36 1.52
Other females including siblings / friends 1.57 0.58 2.98 0.00
Other males including siblings / friends 1.26 1.17 2.24 40.61
Not recorded 30.19 18.71 24.63 31.98

The West Australian Government has been the first to release the details of the relationship of the perpetrator to a child abuse victim, albeit as a result of an FOI application.

(The categories in this table have been grouped together to conserve space. The full table is available upon request. Department of Child Safety 2005-2006)

In all categories apart from sexual abuse, mothers are the majority offenders against children. Siblings and other male relatives make up the majority of sexual abuse offenders.

Queensland Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves in response to a Question on Notice recently told Parliament that 2491 substantiated abuse cases occurred in intact family homes; 1335 in step/blended families; 2770 in single mother households and 284 in single dads' homes.

Consistent lobbying by women seeking a return to the days when fathers were relegated to visitor status and mothers were assured primary care of the children, whether they were a suitable parent or not, has persuaded the Attorney General, Rob McLelland, to launch numerous inquiries into family violence/family courts. The Darcey Freeman tragedy, when the 4 year old was thrown from the Melbourne Westgate Bridge, allegedly by her father, has contributed to the knee-jerk reaction of the Attorney General to question whether the new shared parenting provisions included in the legislation might have been a contributing factor. Strange he did not respond similarly when Gabriella Garcia, threw herself and her 22 month old son off the same bridge 12 months previously. The Freeman tragedy was broadcast globally, but media coverage for Garcia and her son was far more sympathetic to the mother, with social commentators wondering how we had failed, as a caring society, to offer assistance to this troubled person and calls for the Westgate Bridge to be fenced to prevent a reoccurrence. Both mothers and fathers must experience similar moments of insanity and despair to kill their own children, yet we treat 'dads as bad and mothers as sad or mad!

So why have fathers gained such a terrible reputation? Why does suspicion surround their relationship with their children once they are separated from the mother, when no such fears were expressed prior to separation?

The feminist agenda has been well served by their claims of rampant domestic violence, rape and now child abuse. Funding flows from politicians seeking to protect 'a defenceless female'. Yet no one is asking women's services or refuges to account for the enormous sums of money that are entrusted to them. Judging by recent claims for more funding and protection for women and children only, one might conclude, the money already given has had little effect, wasted on incompetent programs that focus only on violence committed by men, never the violence committed by women against either their partner or their child. Treating only half the problem within a relationship is not a solution likely to bring about positive results.

In some States, between 30 to 40% of domestic violence orders (AVOs) issued are to protect men. Other statistical evidence, gathered via reputable International studies finds equal numbers of men and women are violent and abusive to each other.

The petition promoted by Biggs is dishonest in not recognising abuse of children in all its forms and by all perpetrators. She is responsible for generating a new level of hatred against fathers, who are merely seeking to be more involved in their children's lives. The forced removal of fathers will only put more children at risk of harm. The same harm Biggs describes in her book about her life where she claims to have been subjected to sexual abuse after growing up in a single mother household with no father to guide and protect her.

Sue Price, Director, Men's Rights Agency

Mob: 0409 269 621