There appears to be much more at play in this story than what is being reported but it is clear there is mutual violence between the parties. That salient point didn't make it into the headline which should have read "Children being returned to New Zealand, to be reunited with their father who has not harmed them. Studies show the female can initiate Intimate Partner Violence in upwards of 70% of cases. Is this violence less impactful on the children who observe it.
It appears the mom is regurgitating info from an OZ DV shelter. I've heard similar stuff from women in Canada who are indoctrinated to leave the marriage rather than be referred to non-sexist family counselling as the ideology propounded in these shelters is strictly one sided. Man is bad ~ woman is benign.
How a 13 year old could be involved sexually with a then 20 year old and then move in with him at age 14 is of interest in terms of New Zealand's social services and criminal law. Its clear her mother had problems and was her biological father driven out of her life at an early age? It is important to understand she sought his protection in OZ not her mother's wherever she is. Chances are pretty good she is an addict or alcoholic who did not protect her daughter. The whole shabby affair may be another good reason to ensure the biological father stays in the child's life through share parenting not the other way around as Overington wants to portray it.
Overington is a shallow and sexist reporter.MJM
- From: The Australian
- March 17, 2010
A 19-YEAR-OLD Maori woman who abducted her two children from New Zealand has lost her bid to keep them in Australia after the Family Court rejected her claim that the children are at "grave risk" from their violent father.The woman, who cannot be named, told Australian authorities the father had started a sexual relationship with her when she was 13, and that she had begun living with him a year later.
She fled to Sydney last June after a violent assault in front of one of the children. Her biological father lives in Sydney and she has been staying with him.
But judge Stewart Austin, in the Sydney branch of the Family Court, ruled that the woman must return the children to New Zealand, saying it would be "presumptuous and offensive to the extreme" to assume New Zealand did not have a court and welfare system able to support her.
The father made his application to have the children returned under the Hague Convention on international child abductions, which provides for the rapid return of children from one signatory country to another, except where there is risk of harm.
The mother, known in court documents as Ms Morton, argued that she and the children were at "grave risk if forced to return to New Zealand" because her relationship had been "punctuated by domestic violence".
In May last year, there was a "violent incident" in the home in front of the children. The father was convicted and sentenced to 50 hours of community service. In June, the mother fled on one-way tickets purchased by a friend.
She told Justice Austin she was "particularly vulnerable" to the man because he had been having sex with her since she was a child and because she had whanau (friends) but no family in the small town where they lived.
The judge agreed there was "an imbalance of power" in the relationship, since the father is seven years older and owns property in the area.
But the mother had been able to "muster the courage to sever her relationship with the father" when she fled from New Zealand, and she was "beginning to realise that a relationship at that age (13) was inappropriate". With that knowledge, she might be able to resist slipping back into the relationship.
The judge said the father must agree not to "assault, molest, harass or otherwise interfere" with the mother, or come within 100m of her home.
The father did not deny assaulting the woman, telling welfare agencies he had "whacked her in front of the children", but he said the mother was violent towards him, and that they "willingly engaged in heated arguments and intimidated one another".
Justice Austin agreed there was "little doubt" the children had been exposed to domestic violence between their parents, but said the children "were never physically assaulted" by the father.
"I therefore conclude there is little or no risk of the children being exposed to physical harm if they return to New Zealand."