Ben Clark has a great post up at The Standard, quoting heavily from Women’s Health Action and the Auckland Women’s Health Centre, about proposed changes to the Family Court which will basically make it more expensive, less supportive, and force families into pointless mandatory mediation, because when your partner has beaten you and your children but still insists on shared custody because they’ve got ownership/control issues, what you really need is a single hour of counselling and privatised mediation.
It’s based on changes already repealed in Australia which led to the death of at least one child.
Ben’s post lays out the arguments and asks people to submit on the Bill. And as of writing this post, it has 6 comments on it, compared to 31 on a caption competition.
Of those six comments? Three are people basically saying “I had a bad experience with the Family Court.” Two are thoroughly disprovable “waaaah the Family Court hates men waaaaah”. The commenters are good enough to leave “so I don’t care if it’s privatised and other families have to go through an even worse time than I had” unwritten. Thanks.
This is patriarchy, people. Because the majority of abusers are men, because women are largely expected to be the childcarers, the work of the Family Court predominantly (but as linked above, not because of gender bias) revolves around women and children. Which apparently means it’s part of the Grand Feminist Agenda to Steal Your Children (because of course they’re possessions which you deserve to control, you big ol’ manly man.)
Because we ring-fence domestic violence as “domestic”, as private, as something we don’t want to discuss (unless what we really want to say is “aren’t those brown people evil?”) the Family Court doesn’t get recognised as the vital public service it is.
And now it’s being gutted and its processes are being privatised. If it were a power generating company, there’d be screams of protest. If it were a national park, there’d be marching in the streets. If someone were suggesting the fucking Rugby Sevens be relocated to the Tron, there’d be barricades on Lambton Quay.
But it’s just the Family Court. So who cares, right?