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Family Violence Figures Misleading

"A reduction in applications for Domestic Protection Orders represents nothing more than a reduction in the popularity of this particular instrument for deliberately denying children the right to a relationship with one of their parents, usually their father" Darryl Ward, spokesperson for Families Apart Require Equality (FARE), said today.

"Applications for Domestic Protection Orders are down to 6581 in the year ended 30 June 2000, from 7911 four years earlier.

"It is well known that malicious allegations of violence are routinely used to deliberately manipulate custody and access proceedings, and to alienate children from one of their parents. Furthermore, the official definition of violence differs from what the public understands it to mean. Such heinous crimes as slamming a door or criticising one's mother-in-law are officially deemed domestic violence. Mere accusation of such acts can and do result in children being alienated from one parent on a regular basis. Such parental alienation is itself nothing short of violence against children.

"Regrettably, the Government's insistence on keeping the Family Court secret ensures these problems will remain hidden from public scrutiny.

"It also must be recognised that women are just as violent as men, but that it is not politically correct to admit this.

"We must also question the validity of the figures put out by Women's Refuges about the numbers of women and children who use their services. There is considerable evidence that a significant number of those who use such services do so because they need a roof over their heads, and not because they have necessarily recently been victims of violence. However, we can understand the refuge movement's reasons for inflating violence figures for funding purposes as well as for gaining public sympathy. But in doing so they are painting a very inaccurate picture of the day to day reality of family violence".

"The blight of family violence will never be removed from our society so long as its true nature remains inaccurately reported", concluded Ward.

ends

Enquiries to Darryl Ward 025 230 1667


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