They're back! The guys who think good parenting starts with disturbing the peace.
So time maybe for a recap on their aims and what is so horribly wrong with them.
(from their own site)
Early Interventions & Mandatory Mediation
Before couples seek legal recourse, the government must recognise that ALL couples should be bound to enter into mandatory mediation, with appropriately trained mediators."
This is what we would all commonly call bullying. Mediation is and always has been available to those who wish to make use of it. Making it compulsory means that women who have been victims of physical or psychological abuse during their relationships are forced to either accept the demands of the father of their children or face intimidation and a risk of further abuse in the mediation process. Everybody and anybody in a legal situation has the right to take the matter directly to court. Anyway who are these mediators and who is going to train them?
"Presumption of Contact & Shared Parenting
The best parent is both parents. The starting point after separation should be to maintain where possible what the status quo was before separation. Children currently have no right in law to see their parents. The principle of shared parenting creates a level playing field where conflict can be reduced, as opposed to the current "winner takes all" scenario which generates maximum conflict."
The advantages of raising a child in a two-parent family are more than 80% explained financially. So if F4J really cared about children they would be campaigning to force absent fathers to contribute more to their child's maintenance.
Maintaining the status quo after separation is obviously not possible when one partner has moved out. The principle of shared parenting would mean that most children in separated families would spend 3 nights per week at one house and 4 at another. Evidence suggests this is hugely destructive to children's well-being.
One in four women in the UK is a victim of domestic violence at some point in her life. Of course some men are also victims of domestic violence, although the numbers are much lower. No parent should be expected to hand their children over to someone who is or has been violent towards them.
Raising children is hard work. Very few women would refuse genuine well-intended help from someone they considered trust-worthy with their children. By the time you get to courts, you have already fallen at that hurdle.
Last time around in the UK Fiona Bruce did a great job of tackling them head on and actually got them to close down for a while after it was revealed that a large number of their key spokespeople had convictions for domestic violence. At the time Matt O'Connor insisted that he did not encourage his members to intimidate court officials and legal professionals. This time around doing so is one of their stated aims!