Thursday, February 4, 2010

In Wales ~ The reality that Domestic Abuse affects two genders sparks change

De Gwynedd domestic abuse service to include men

Thirty three men contacted the service last year
A Welsh women's aid branch is changing its name to reflect the fact it is helping an increasing number of men.

De Gwynedd Women's Aid is changing its name to De Gwynedd Domestic Abuse Service from April.

The service said there was a need for the change as no-one, irrespective of gender, should have to suffer domestic abuse.Welsh Women's Aid said all Women's Aid groups were autonomous and they respected their right to change.

"We've noticed that more men are coming to us for help, and we decided that we would open the service out to anyone who is suffering domestic violence," said Elwen Roberts from the De (south) Gwynedd group, which takes referrals from men from all over Gwynedd.

Ms Roberts said 33 men between April and December contacted the service - as part of an independent domestic violence advisor scheme - compared with 312 women.
I don't think anyone has done any research into this, especially here in rural Wales
Elwen Roberts, De Gwynedd Domestic Abuse Service
All of them were referrals from the police - which means they were cases where there had been at least three domestic abuse incidents in the household.

"We feel this is a high enough figure to justify the change, there is a need for a service for them," she said.

The service offered for men will be tailored for them, and staff will need to be trained to deal with it.

Screening will also be carried out to make sure the sufferer is genuine.

Although abuse suffered by men can be both physical and emotional, there was a tendency for more emotional abuse, she added.


"When we began women's aid in the 70s very few women initially came forward, and it will be interesting to see over the years how big this problem is," Ms Roberts said.

"I don't think anyone has done any research into this, especially here in rural Wales."
Ms Roberts also denied the change would mean the service was turning its back on its roots.

"I don't see it like that at all as, at the end of the day, any domestic abuse is unacceptable," she said.

Paula Hardy, chief executive officer of Welsh Women's Aid (WWA) said it was "disappointing" to lose De Gwynedd Women's Aid as a member group after many years of working together as part of the Women's Aid movement in Wales.

"However, all Women's Aid groups are autonomous organisations, and WWA recognise their right to move away from the feminist ethos of the movement, and make the decision to open their services up to men," she added.

According to Home Office figures, it is estimated domestic abuse will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime.

Caroline Overington in OZ really doesn't research well and is she guilty of plagiarism?

 A letter to the editor of "The Australian" Paper over a column Caroline Overington recently wrote, below,  on the death of two small children in Alberta whose mom, the alleged killer, is Australian. Overington is a pro-maternalist, pro-feminist journalist, whose knowledge of Canada is best summed up as illiterate.

This death is a tragedy but its another case of a biological Father ordered out of his home and required to pay all its expenses and child support even though they had been performing equal care of the children.

Its another case of a misandrist, chivalrous, eunuch judge targeting a man and ending up being a party to the death of two innocents. They don't get it!

Dear Editor:

Ms. Overington's biases are being worn on her sleeve again. She proffers  "HIS greatest fear was that his estranged wife would take his children from their home in a tiny, snowy town in Canada, and run away to Australia."  She is deriding small towns, snow and Canada all in one short sentence and implying some sympathy for the mom. Her maternal sympathies are not new.

She doesn't really know much about Canada as she indicates  "Canada has a shared parenting law similar to Australia's, although the role played by parents before separation carries greater weight."  In a previous column she described our geographical/political makeup as States rather than Provinces. Canada has no such shared parenting law but we are hopeful Bill C-422 will become so. Compared to Australia Canada is in the dark ages of family law reform. Ninety percent of physical custody is granted to moms and about 8% to dads.

I note she has not given credit for much of the column but it is almost verbatim in spots from Canadian press reports of the tragedy. Is plagiarism normally overlooked at the Australian.  I direct you to,

Australia is very advanced in coming to terms with the Family as the bed rock of a civilized society and should be proud of its achievements. We have much to learn from your 2006 initiatives and are watching the reaction to the recent reports on the Family Law reviews carefully.

Children deserve both fit parents in their lives after divorce just as they had them while married.

Mike Murphy

Dad finds children dead in bathtub

HIS greatest fear was that his estranged wife would take his children from their home in a tiny, snowy town in Canada, and run away to Australia. 

So scared was he of losing them, he'd taken their passports and hidden them away.

The effort was in vain: Curtis McConnell, 31, of Millet, near Edmonton in Alberta, on Tuesday entered the house he once shared with his infant children to find something so much worse.

According to local reports, his wife, Allyson Louise McConnell, formerly of Gosford on the NSW central coast, had not taken the children. She had allegedly drowned them in the bathtub and left their bodies in the water, for him to find. Mr McConnell pulled the children - Connor, 2, and Jayden, 10 months - from the tub.
He rushed blindly to a neighbour's house, but she could see that it was just too late.
Mrs McConnell, maiden name Meager, wasn't at the scene. According to reports, she had driven to a local Toys R Us, abandoned her husband's Chrysler sedan in the car park, and then thrown herself from an icy bridge on to a busy freeway. She survived and is being treated in hospital.

The couple had been involved in a bitter custody battle over the boys. Court documents revealed Mrs McConnell wanted to bring them to Australia to live with her mother, Helen, in Gosford. Mr McConnell wanted them to stay in Millet, population 2100, which is about 50km from Edmonton, where his family has lived for generations, and where the children were born.

In December, a judge had banned Mrs McConnell from leaving the country, and ruled that the children should stay in Canada on an interim basis, while the matter was being sorted out.

Canada has a shared parenting law similar to Australia's, although the role played by parents before separation carries greater weight.

An affidavit lodged with the Court of Queens Bench, Alberta, dated December 10 last year, says the couple met in Canada in November 2005, when Allyson was in Canada on a work visa. They married in NSW on Australia Day, 2007. Allyson got Canadian residency in April 2007 and the couple moved to a house on 52nd Street in Millet about a year ago. According to the affidavit, Mr McConnell "noticed our relationship began deteriorating in approximately September 2009 when the respondent told me that she was not happy. We attempted marriage counselling, but that was not successful.

"Notwithstanding, we have been parenting our children equally in the same household."

Until last month Mr McConnell was sleeping in the basement. He was paying $657 in monthly child support and, according to Curtis, he was as much responsible for caring for the children as his wife, waking them each morning and getting them ready for the day before he worked an afternoon shift at a hardware store.
"She has been threatening me that she wants to move back to Australia with our children," Mr McConnell said in his affidavit.

"I am completely opposed to this and I am fearful that she will attempt to do this without my consent or knowledge."

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie