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Dad domestic violence victim fears courts being used as a weapon

Stephanie Bedo, Gold Coast Bulletin
January 22, 2016 1:00am

A GOLD Coast dad, who believes false domestic violence allegations are often used to prevent fathers having access to their children, is calling for a change in the law.

The father of one, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been fighting for years to see his daughter amid “endless” accusations by his ex-partner.

He says the claims made by the woman include allegations of murder, sexual assault and having a gun, and were all aimed at keeping him from his child.

His call comes after retiring magistrate Ron Kilner last year said domestic violence laws were sometimes being used as a “weapon” to obtain favourable rulings in the Family Court.

The father is so fed up after spending thousands of dollars fighting temporary domestic violence orders he said police had been forced to take out on him because of the allegations, that he is pleading for the change.

The man has written to Fadden MP and Human Services Minister Stuart Robert seeking support for his Abolish Parental Alienation In Australia petition which has more than 700 signatures.

The petition calls for policies to stop children being victimised in any power play among aggrieved parents.

“The DV system is being used as a tool for custody,” he said. “To take away the most important thing in my life and use that as a weapon is the cruellest form of torture and the court system lets it happen.

“I call it legal harassment. It’s ridiculous.”

Mr Robert, however, said the court was a combative system and laws were in place for a reason.

“It’s not as simple as people using the courts as a weapon,” he said.

“People try manipulate all the time but I would rather courts operate in terms of protecting vulnerable people than loosening court protections that exist.”

The father said the DV focus in society was too much on women when men were often victims as well.

“I don’t want to be biased because it happens on both sides but it seems here in Australia it’s the fathers that get the raw end of the deal,” he said.

“My little girl, who loves and adores me — and vice versa — is miserable and I have to drag her through years of court just to try and see her.

“I’ve been physically and mentally abused for years by this woman and it just continues.”

DV Connect Di Mangan chief executive said with statistics showing one woman every week was murdered in Australia and three hospitalised from head injuries caused during domestic violence incidents, the focus could not be taken away from them.

“We can’t let the facts stop us from telling the story as we know it but we do want to acknowledge there’s some men who have protective concerns about their children and they have a right to be heard as well,” she said.

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