'THE FAMILY COURT IS NOT FIT FOR THE PURPOSE' Dr David Curl -ForKidsSake
IMPACT ON CHILDREN
According to the ABS suicide kills more than twice as many young people aged 15 to 24 as any other cause of death. In 2015 this was 391 young people.
Children who do not live with both of their parents have more than double the suicide rate according to a 9 year longitudinal study of 986,000 children by Swedish researchers Weitoft and others published in the highly regarded UK medical journal, 'The Lancet', in Jan 2003. The same study found that girls from separated families had a 21 % higher overall chance of chance of dying early and boys a 54 % higher overall chance of dying early.
Based on the above research and data from the US Department of Justice below it is likely that parental separation is leading to the loss of around 4 young Australian lives per week.
The worst form of direct violence a parent can commit against a child is to murder them.
There is unfortunately a misguided perception that if there are concerns about a child's safety that the child should automatically be removed from the father and placed in the care of the mother. Checking the validity of this hypothesis with published Australian data on parents who kill their children is not helpful as they mostly define new partners to be parents and the sample sizes are relatively small.
With the acrimony and high stakes generated by the adversarial Family Court system it is not unsurprising that high numbers of false allegations are routinely made. Professor Tommy McKay did a study of 107 children in UK family law contact and residence cases and found that in 70 % of cases the allegations of physical and sexual abuse were deemed false and in 24 % of cases the allegation was unsubstantiated leaving a very small percentage of abuse cases upheld. It was noted that, 'that false allegations increase substantially as cases become more contentious'. Professor McKay was particularly concerned at the severe damage to the mental health of children who were involved in the false allegation process.
CLICK ON GRAPHIC TO ENLARGE IT
The largest and most authoritative dataset available covers the 58 million children in America and is published by the US Department of Health and Human Services shows that over the 5 year period from 2011 to 2015 that 33 % of children who were killed by their parents were killed by their biological mother acting alone, whereas 18 % of children who were killed were killed by their biological father acting alone. If you include cases where each parent was assisted by another plus their new partners the total jumps to 52 % for mothers and 20 % for fathers. So children are more than twice as likely to be killed by their mothers as fathers. This is not to demonise mothers but to show that the reflex action by the authorities to place them with their mother for safety is ill informed and statistically placing them at more risk*.
The children who do not live with both their parents have double the rate of psychiatric disease per the above study by Weitoft & others.
According to data published by the US Department of Justice :
63 % of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
90 % of all homeless and runaway youths are from fatherless homes.
85 % of children who exhibit behavioural disorders are from fatherless homes.
71 % of high school drop-outs are from fatherless homes.
70 % of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes.
75 % of adolescent patients in substance abuse centres are from fatherless homes.
85 % of rapists motivated by displaced anger are from fatherless homes. (Page 11)
The Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect for US Congress in 2010 found the following (page 164):
A child living with a parent and a non biological partner was:
10 times more likely to suffer physical abuse
17 times more likely to suffer sexual abuse
8 times more likely to suffer emotional abuse
A child living with one parent and no partner was:
3 times more likely to suffer physical abuse
5 times more likely to suffer sexual abuse
3 times more likely to suffer emotional abuse.
According to a study by Weitoft and others, mothers who are living alone without their children have a 20 % higher incidence of death from Ischaemic heart disease and 250% higher incidence of suicide.
Fathers who are living alone without their children have a 290 % higher incidence of death from Ischaemic heart disease and 460 % higher incidence of suicide. Because many more mothers than fathers end up with sole custody it is likely that hundreds of fathers a year are dying because of our modern Family Law practices.
EDUCATION OF PROFESSIONALS
The Australian Psychological Association note on their website that, 'There is little to no research that answers the question of what is in the best interest of the child'.
The fact that no mention of research on outcomes for children is ever mentioned in any published Family Court cases should sound very big alarm bells to anyone who is interested in understanding the value of this process.
There are no known mainstream Australian educational courses for Psychologists, Lawyers and Judicial Officers about the damage to children from the acrimonial divorce process. Nor are there any Australian training programs or accreditation process to give them guidance on what they should do in Australia.
Most of our top PhD's, Psychiatrists, lawyers and Judges do not understand the ability of one parent to Alienate another child and get the custody recommendation exactly wrong as advised by Harvard Psychiatrist Dr Steven Miller:
The Family Court admits it awards custody to the worst parents, see the 2009 case of Wang and Dennison (para 77)
¼ of all children of separated families have no contact with one of their parents according to the ABS.
* A study of filicides published by the Australian Institute of Criminology published in 2019 found that over the a 12 year period ending 2012 child victims were killed by the following perpetrators: biological mother 47 % (134 out of 284), mother's partner 14 % (41 out of 284) and biological father 38 % (109 out of 284).
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