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Feminists throw children under the bus
There’s no end to the dreadful chicanery being used to prop up the feminist narrative of virtuous women and villainous men, as we have seen in two recent examples, one from the UK and the other Australia. It is astonishing how hard the ideologues work to deny that essential truth about human nature – that neither gender has a monopoly on vice nor virtue.
Last month an Australian social issues journal published the most fascinating research - Allegations of child sexual abuse – which showed judges determined that only 12 % of the child sexual abuse allegations involved in contested family court cases were found to be true.
Accusations of abuse that were deliberately misleading were found to be twice as common as true allegations, according to the study by Webb, Moloney, Smyth and Murphy, which reviewed family court cases from 2012 to 2019.
Take a look at this graph summarizing the findings:
You might wonder how many of the 102 cases of deliberately misleading accusations were prosecuted for perjury? Anyone who followed submissions to the recent Family Law inquiry will know the answer to that one - precisely zero.
Though startling, these results shouldn’t come as a surprise. Over thirty years ago I published an article quoting a retiring family court judge speaking out about the proliferation of false accusations of child sexual abuse in contested cases. Other judges have raised concerns about the problem and it has long been known that false accusations are more common in custody disputes.
That’s the real world, very different from the alternate reality occupied by these researchers who make it clear they hoped to prove false accusations were rare. Nola Webb, barrister and lead author of the study, proudly told the ABC that she commenced the research because she was shocked to hear from mothers reporting their child abuse accusations were being dismissed in family court.
Faced with devastating evidence that judges conclude most of the allegations didn’t stack up, the researchers do their best to massage the results to disguise the extent of the false allegation problem. For instance, they exclude allegations which are “one of a multitude of criticisms of the other parent” claiming this might “minimise their seriousness and compromise their believability.” What, a mother fires off a barrage of complaints including child sexual abuse allegations and that somehow makes these allegations less serious? Go figure….
Also excluded from the deliberately false accusation category are cases they deem as "genuine but mistaken belief" which is clearly a phony category designed to minimize the rate of false accusations. (For data wonks, my brilliant researcher has put together a brief explanation of some of the complexities of this study’s statistics here.)
The bottom line is here we have an important study revealing the true extent of the problem of false allegations of child sexual abuse in family court cases – allegations which often result in small children being subjected to multiple intrusive interviews by court experts and the shaming of innocent fathers.
But this significant news is totally ignored by our mainstream media, apart from that skewed ABC article claiming the judges have it all wrong. Oh yes, there was also a bizarre blog in Diplomat magazine claiming the study proved “the family court offers a prime example of how male supremacist groups are able to alter the culture of public institutions to the detriment of our collective social health.”
Coercive control comes back to bite them
Meanwhile, in the UK feminists are engaged in another battle to misrepresent the truth of what happens to children in family court battles. But here the sisterhood finds itself hoisted on their own petard, with their latest coercive control weaponry threatening to misfire badly, opening the door to action against women rather than just men.
Coercive control was introduced into British law a few years ago when the DV industry demanded that a whole range of new behaviour involving emotional/psychological manipulation should be defined as violence. In theory the legislation was gender neutral, but it is pretty much only men who are being charged with coercive control.
Now there’s a new Domestic Abuse Act 2021 which takes a major step forward in recognizing children as victims in their own right, underlining how critical it is to protect them from coercive control. Logically, that meant recognizing parental alienation (PA) as a form of coercive control which impacts on children and this was indeed included in the new Act until feminists launched an almighty barrage of complaint, roping in the London Victims Commissioner, to bully parliamentarians to get PA removed from the actual bill.
Sure enough, they pulled that off, but PA is still mentioned in the draft statutory guidelines and feminists are now conducting a ferocious media campaign arguing that the notion of alienating children is a cynical ploy by abusive fathers to wrest control from ‘protective mothers.’
Take a look at this charming piece in The Guardian from Charlotte Proudman, a human rights barrister “specializing in violence against women and girls”. The title says it all, “The discredited legal tactic that’s putting abused UK children in danger.”
Here’s Proudman’s summing up:
“The dangerous label of parental alienation is now the single biggest threat to the credibility of victims of domestic abuse, and to the voices of children. It gives validation, power and control to perpetrators. Any court that countenances unevidenced allegations of parental alienation is potentially sanctioning abuse.”
Not exactly pulling her punches, is she? Her conclusion comes after a string of lies and misinformation, claiming PA is extremely rare, discredited by mental health authorities, and inadmissible in American courts.
Proudman’s shocking misrepresentation of the facts regarding PA is dissected in recent blogs by Robert Franklin, an American writer who has been writing for many years about divorce and custody issues. See his commentary on his site – The Word of Damocles.
Feminist panic at damaging own goal
It’s been highly entertaining watching the panic set in as the feminist policy makers and bureaucrats realize the power of parental alienation to undermine their own male-bashing agenda.
It’s happening here in Australia as well. With coercive control now set to become part of our domestic violence law, key players are out in force doing everything they can to discredit parental alienation before it ends up causing similar problems to those besetting their UK sisterhood.
Listen to this incredible recording of the Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, dismissing the whole notion of parental alienation at a hearing of the family law inquiry. “I think that’s a pretty kooky theory. I think it’s proven as pretty much debunked,” says Mitchell, who describes herself as “a psychologist by trade.”
“There’s no evidence to suggest it is a real thing,” she claims, adding an extraordinary claim that the “fellow who concocted the theory” believed that “the way to cure incest was to give the mother a vibrator.”
How’s that for mudslinging? Mitchell is actually talking about Dr Richard Gardner, the eminent American child psychiatrist who came up with the term “parental alienation” for behaviour extremely well supported in hundreds of research papers. Her malicious, ignorant misrepresentation of Gardner’s views is rightly called out in this analysis by Amanda Sillars, who runs the excellent Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation which showcases the many decades of research on parental alienation.
Amanda is a PA victim herself and her highly professional organization makes it clear that both men and women engage in behaviours that damage the relationship between their child and the child’s other parent. But it’s most likely to happen with divorced or separated parents and because women are most often the live-in parents, they are the ones best positioned to exert this control.
Everyone knows that – including the feminists. Recognising parental alienation as coercive control of children threatens to expose women’s capacity for violence in a very public way. That would be a mighty blow to the hateful, divisive anti-male ideology so influential in our society.
That’s why the ideologues will stop at nothing to shut this down, just as they work so hard to suppress news of the appallingly high frequency of false child sexual abuse accusations used to gain advantage in family law battles. It is very revealing that in both cases their single-minded focus on women’s rights means they cheerfully throw the needs of vulnerable children under the bus.