Dads and Domestic Abuse

Dear _____

Today being Mental Health Day I thought I would write an email to spread awareness about an issue that is always pushed aside.

I was at the ___ this week for the ____ function. I noted you were on the Panel for the Call Me Dad doco. I noted you were introduced as a male role model. I noted your speech, which was short but incisive and positive. I know you have tremendous networks.

I am totally against domestic abuse. I accept that mainly men perpetrate physical violent abuse but I also know first hand that domestic abuse can take other forms. I know because I am a victim. I have seen my 16 year old daughter once in the last 4 years and therefore she is also a victim.

I have never had any alcohol or drug problems etc. I have always been employed and always paid maintenance for my child. I have never had any problem or issue with my daughter but I have tried absolutely everything only to watch her fade out of my life like a train wreck in slow motion. I’ve been screaming but no one seems to notice or care. Those close to me who do care, can’t really relate and don’t know what they can do.

One of the participants in the discussion of this movie stated words to the effect: “when we talk about domestic violence we are talking about men. Men have all the power and men, not women, are the problem.”

I beg to differ.

I see women who have support of all types of Women’s Centres, Women’s Refuges, and Women’s Legal Services etc. I have friendships with two different women from such services that go back over three decades. Both women have recently left that employment but both had the same message for me. They are places where women learn quickly and easily how to manipulate the Family Law system to ensure they get their way in Court. There are usually very knowledgeable “man-haters” in such “supportive” environments that guide the women to certain legal ploys dependent upon their circumstances and their preferred outcome with their child.

I was absolutely blindsided by the false accusations by my daughter’s mother. I got nothing anything remotely like natural justice in our joke of a legal system and the less said about the ruthless hypocrisy of certain Family Law firms the better. “Best interest of the child” is just a catchphrase tagged on the end of every damn angle they play for their client, not the child, – and money, not truth, rules.

I found myself banned from approaching my daughter, banned from contacting her at school etc. I guess I can consider myself lucky that the false allegations were not sexual but more like fabricated examples of harassment of my daughter. It was absolutely, totally and wholly false. But it has had the same choking result.

Devastated, I sought support. Unlike all the support setups for women, I found there really isn’t anything for alienated fathers. You’re on your own in every sense of the word. When you feel you are losing your kid by being cheated by your ex, its a very bitter pill to swallow to find that our justice system in this field is blind and broken and there’s absolutely nowhere to turn but to stumble onto other Dads who have been abused by the same manipulation of the system by women.

There are a frightening number of good Dads out there – good men- going through similar torture. And it is pure torture. Physical injury gets better or at least can be managed with medicine or time. There simply is nothing one can do about a death. Its one way from that point. There’s no to and fro. Parental Alienation is like a death that happens all day every day.

With PA or similar estrangement resulting from hostile aggressive parenting or manipulation of the system, a dedicated Dad’s life is simply stuck in limbo. Will she call tonight? What if I try (a) or (b) or? What is she doing this moment? Why has she died in my life but she is living and just a phone call away? Its impossibly unnatural and heartbreaking. We are reminded every hour of every day of what we have unnecessarily lost in so many ways. No one can really understand what its like to have zero contact of any sort on Father’s Day despite there never being the slightest issue with your child. What is your child going through?

I’ve been suffering for a decade and I’m pulling my hair out because I know she has been poisoned and I feel I’m really losing her now. Time doesn’t heal this agony. Nothing does. There is very little awareness of HAP (Hostile Aggressive Parenting). There are so many pro-women groups ready to denigrate fathers. Our laws or Judges in family law are incredibly biased against fathers. But there’s nothing there when we come out the end of this broken system without our children in our lives. I know I speak for so many Dads I have seen writing little anonymous comments on social pages that are not seen (or not given a thought) by broader society. Most suffer dreadfully in silence.

We need someone who cares and who knows people who can make change. If you have some time please shine a light our way.

A letter I sent on 10/10/14

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