During the past decade the Australian court system has supported the concept of joint custody as important in maintaining family life even after divorce. Mothers and their supporters hung the names of 22 children who were killed by their fathers during a visit to his home.A mother named Carolyn showed a photo of her two sons who were killed by their father on a visit. “When the police came to the door, I was the one who told them my boys were dead” since it was just a matter of time before her ex-husband resorted to violence. The rally was part of a national campaign to change the Family Law Act which critics believe places some children at risk due to its requirements that make easy a divorced father’s access to his children.
The issue of father or mother as being the violent one in a marriage is open to debate. Obviously, there are violent fathers but to conclude reducing their opportunities to remain part of their children’s lives is a mistake. As the parent who retained primary care of two children, it is clear there are times when circumstances require children to be in contact with both parents. Twenty-two deaths are terrible, but how many millions of children did not get killed is also the question.