Fact Sheet #3: How the fathers’ rights movement undermines the protections available to victims of violence and protects the perpetrators of violence
Fathers’ rights groups have attempted to: Wind back the legal protections available to victims of violence; Wind back the legal sanctions imposed on perpetrators of violence.
While fathers’ rights groups often claim to speak on behalf of male victims of domestic violence, these efforts undermine the policies and services that would protect and gain justice for these same men.
Fathers’ rights advocates also: Make excuses for perpetrators; Act as direct advocates for perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of violence against women; Use abusive strategies themselves; Work to undermine and harass the services and institutions that work with the victims and survivors of violence.
The fathers’ rights movement is defined by the claim that fathers are deprived of their ‘rights’ and subjected to systematic discrimination as men and fathers, in a system biased towards women and dominated by feminists. Michael Flood provides a critical assessment of the impact of fathers' rights groups on family law and their claims regarding violence.
Men have responded in complex and contradictory ways to the profound changes of the last three decades, changes set in motion by the women’s movements, changes in family organisation, economic and social shifts and other forces. Small numbers of men have responded by mobilising in support of feminist goals, changing their own behaviour and working with women to shift gender relations in progressive directions. Yet other men have mobilised in opposition to feminism and the changes in gender with which it is associated, forming “men’s rights” and “fathers’ rights” groups. An organised backlash to feminism is now visible among men in Australia, as in most other Western capitalist countries.
This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report provides an assessment and critique of the claims made by fathers’ rights groups and others about ‘fatherlessness’ and ‘male role models’.Please see below for the attachment, in PDF.
Public attitudes towards fathers have shifted, but has fathers’ behaviour shifted too? Michael Flood describes the obstacles to paternal involvement, and the potential dangers in the new emphasis on fatherhood.
This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report discusses the problems with a rebuttable presumption of joint custody, and describes the broader context for these debates.See below for the attachment, in PDF.
This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report describes five steps to involved fatherhood.
While separated fathers often feel profound distress because of separation and loss of contact with children, the fathers' rights movement does little to help them heal. In fact, fathers' rights groups harm fathers' ongoing relationships with their children and fail to tackle the real obstacles to involved parenting.
The fathers’ rights movement is defined by the claim that fathers are deprived of their ‘rights’ and subjected to systematic discrimination as men and fathers, in a system biased towards women and dominated by feminists. Fathers’ rights groups overlap with men’s rights groups and both represent an organised backlash to feminism. Fathers’ rights and men’s rights groups can be seen as the anti-feminist wing of the men’s movement, the network of men’s groups and organisations mobilised on gender issues.
Please see below for the attachment, in Word.