Monday, February 12, 2007

Single parent custody: Seven years in the hole.

Today I am appalled by a particularly extreme case from Linz, Austria.  A lawyer mother, given full custody of her three daughters keeps her, get this, judge ex husband away from them for seven years.  What he doesn't know, although getting to court for access no less than nine times, is that she has locked the girls up in a dark room and left them to stew in their own filth, for seven years.  Finally, a neighbor has to threaten the local council with a lawsuit to get someone inside to see what's going on. 

The girls were 7, 11 and 13 when it started.  Now they're 14, 18 and 21.  It's too late for at least the oldest daughter - it sounds like she's permanently catatonic. All three are scarred for life.  They speak their own language, for pity's sake.

Funny thing, the case has only just come to light, but the three children were finally discovered over a year ago.  It seems reasonable to suppose that the authorities who allowed such an appalling mess have probably been conspiring to hide their embarrassment.  I've found it reported in several locations, but media interest seems pretty thin. 

What is wrong with us?  Why do we have this horrible attitude to children of divorce?  A JUDGE has to go to court NINE TIMES over SEVEN YEARS to get access to his own THREE CHILDREN who are suffering ONGOING ABUSE of the most horrendous kind and FAILS?  No-one, not even the neighbors, has seen them for YEARS.  Could there be any more condemning example of complete and total institutional incompetence?  Could there be any clearer an example of what can happen with the blind, pathological application of single-custody parenting, allowing one parent totalitarian control and granting the other nothing?  Is this "in the best interest of the children"?  Where is the outrage?  Who gives a good God-damn?

I am sickened.


Anonymous said...

Disgusting. I appreciate the way your blog brings terrible bias to light. Sometimes I cringe when it feels like you might tip over the edge and bash women for the sake of it... but I must say... you are refreshingly balanced about the whole topic.

I am dating a man who hasn't seen his children in years. They are older teens now, and my heart breaks every time he sees a family and remembers the one he lost. I told him about your site, and one day, he and I will work together to reunite him with his children.

John Doe said...

Hawa, thank you for your comment. If I do tip over that edge, I trust that you will set me straight. Somewhere along the unhappy road I have been forced to walk, I remember reading that many men who lose their children to injustice end up having "problems with women", which was clearly code for "become misogynists". Frankly, I am not surprised, since much of what they experience feels very much like a betrayal by and for women. But that would be a mistake, many of the causes of these injustices have been set in place and are enforced by men as well as by women.

And not all women are so inclined. Some, despite loathing their ex partners, still believe it is best for their children to encourage a relationship with them. Also, as I have often pointed out, it is not just fathers who become disenfranchised, there are mothers shoved out into the cold too.

Nevertheless, this is beside the point. If I were to tip over that edge and become misogynist, then I could not cry "misandry!" and "patriphobia!" without hypocrisy and therefore I would be no better than they are.