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The hidden half of domestic violence

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Family court bias leads to suicide

I have been saying this very thing since the beginning of Shattered Men.   We WILL see many more murder/suicides as time goes by with the VAWA II as it encourage false accusations of abuse both to women and to children as it rewards women to be victims.  YES we know there are far too many women that are abused...but remember, there are as many abused men who have NO protection.


Robert Muchnick
Center for Children's Justice
Denver, CO

Men's International News and Review
March 7, 2002

Family Court Bias and Injustice the Root Cause of Many Murder-Suicides
by Eeva Sodhi

Last few decades have seen an alarming rise in the number of young men who
see suicide as the only option out of despair. In Canada, the yearly toll
is close to three thousand men, most of them in the prime of their lives.

Statistics Canada tells us that in year 2000 fourteen men and one woman
also committed an act of family homicide before ending their own lives: 10
men killed their spouses, three men killed their spouses and children, one
killed his child. There was one high profile case where a mother killed
her child during an act of murder-suicide.

Based on the above, we can hardly conclude that we are facing an all-out
epidemic of murderous men on the prowl, intent on killing their spouses
and offspring. Rather, we are facing an epidemic of desperate men who see
their own death as the only option.

Yet, we refuse to examine the causes for these multiple tragedies. Rather,
commentators cite this as another example of male violence. Only in the
exceptional case where a mother kills her child and then takes her own
life do we strive to understand the underlying reasons.

Researchers have almost totally ignored the role of biased family laws
which are pushing fathers to commit the unthinkable, not only in Canada
but across the world. Though we now cannot escape the fact that most of
these tragic acts are linked to the break-up of families, we prefer to see
it as an act of revenge not as a statement: I have been pushed further
than I can go.

It is noteworthy that when fathers kill their children, they often commit
suicide as well. Suicide, as we all know, or should know, is the final act
of desperation. It is rare for a mother to take her own life after she has
killed her children, who often have suffered long time abuse in her hands.

Strangely, the courts determine, almost without an exception, that it is
in the children's best interest to grant the sole custody to the mothers,
while ordering fathers to pay even if the mother has moved away with the
children in order to thwart their access to their father.

Only shared physical custody and financial responsibility by both parents
can prevent these tragedies. The assumption that both parents are
financially responsible for the upkeep of the children is already written
in the law.

However, only the * non-custodial parents, usually the fathers, are ordered
to provide support. The following exchange during the proceedings of the
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs tells it all:

Senator LeBreton:
"When the courts decide these issues, how does the mother's income factor
into this? Who determines what amount the mother will contribute?"

Ms. Brazeau (Dept. of Justice Canada):
"The amount that the mother is required to pay is presumed. There is a
presumption that she will pay what she can at her income level. If she
earns more, she will be pay more."

[Source: Social Affairs, Issue 3, Evidence. Proceedings of the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Issue 3 -
Evidence. OTTAWA, Tuesday, December 16, 1997]

For the ultimate irony, the father is usually ordered to pay alimony as
well so that the mother can then be seen to contribute to the financial
support. As Abella J (Ontario Court of Appeal) put it:

"There is a clear statutory attempt to equalize the standard of living
between the payor's household and that of his or her children so that
there is as little financial disadvantage to children from the parent's
separation as necessary...households tend to function as integrated
economic and social units. This makes it more reasonable to determine
what standard of living the household as a whole is entitled to enjoy."

In short, Madame Justice Abella advocates that the non-custodial parent
is not only responsible for his child(ren) but for his ex-partner's new
partner, and his/her dependants also.

Justice L'Heureux-Dube elaborates on this concept:

"The purpose of the guidelines is to enhance the child's post-separation
standard of living to approximate, as far as possible, what that standard
would have been had the parents not separated."

Personally, I cannot find any statute that stipulates that an outsider has
to support the family of a stranger who has robbed him of his children and
then uses them as pawns to extort money.

In 1999, Renu Mandhane, representing the Ontario Women's Justice Network,

"...Unfortunately, this bias (towards joint custody) can have a
detrimental impact on women and children by promoting the rights of the
father at the expense of the mother and weakening the mother's financial
situation post-divorce."

[Source: "The Trend Towards Mandatory Mediation: A Critical Feminist Legal
Perspective Executive Summary" by Renu Mandhane, a University of Toronto
law student, who worked with METRAC/OWJN for the summer of 1999 as a
Pro Bono Fellowship Student]
[[ ]]

So, there you have it from the horse's mouth: the support is for the
mother, not for the children. Ms. Mandhane ignores the fact that sole
custody promotes the rights of the mother at the expense of the children
and their father.

The only equitable way to deal with this dilemma and save lives is, of
course, shared physical custody, or sole custody by the parent who is able
to provide the pre-divorce standard of living to the children. By ordering
the transfer of wealth from the payor parent to the receiving parent, who
need not be accountable, further reinforces the master-slave relationship
between the parents and sets the stage for further conflict and even
death, usually that of the payor parent.

Yet, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is on record
for having said that he wants to shelve the Child Custody and Access laws,
while pursuing fathers who find it difficult to pay support to the mothers
of their children. It is time forget the advocacy folly and restore
justice into our laws.

Eeva Sodhi is a freelance writer from Ontario, Canada.

Men's News Daily Home:
Related to MND:

Men's site vows to outdo Drudge
by Jennifer Harper -- Washington Times, 30 Jan 02

*Child Support

Information from multiple sources show that only 10% of all noncustodial fathers fit the "deadbeat dad" category: 90% of the fathers with joint custody paid the support due. Fathers with visitation rights pay 79.1%; and 44.5% of those with NO visitation rights still financially support their children. (Source: Census Bureau report. Series P-23, No. 173).

Additionally, of those not paying support, 66% are not doing so because they lack the financial resources to pay (Source: GAO report:GAO/HRD-92-39 FS).

The following is sourced from: Technical Analysis Paper No. 42, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Income Security Policy, Oct. 1991, Authors: Meyer and Garansky.

Custodial mothers who receive a support award: 79.6%

Custodial fathers who receive a support award: 29.9%

Non-custodial mothers who totally default on support: 46.9%

Non-custodial fathers who totally default on support: 26.9%

Other sources show that mothers who are ordered to pay child support are most often ordered to pay a far lower amount for the same income as are the fathers.  These sources also show that in reality dead-beat "moms" are not "hunted down" nearly as intensely as the dads. Again, as per the chart above, many more  non=custodial mothers are not even ordered to pay child support.

Once again, we are forced to ask...where is the equal protection under the law?  Where is equal responsibility required for equal rights?  When the gender feminist demand this unfair treatment, are they not really saying women are not able to handle responsibility as well as men?  Ladies, I would be irate at this idea.   Is it not time to value ALL our people?


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