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  • Caroline

It's not me, it's you



A self-represented family court litigant with a confessed history of physical and emotional abuse against his wife claimed that the police and his psychiatrist agreed that he was the victim in his marriage. Judge Jarrett wrote:


“How it can be said that [the father] was the victim when he was the one who held one hand around the mother’s throat whilst he held a knife to her throat with the other is beyond me.” Blaine & Rodelgo [2017] FCCA 1641 at [35].


What’s striking about this observation is how victims of family violence are so often blamed by the perpetrator. What’s heartening is that a family court judge observed this truth.


Even more hopeful is that in April 2019, the full court in Brisbane rejected the father’s appeal against the judgment.


Why?


Primarily because, in the court’s view, the father’s submissions were largely “a re-agitation of complaints about the mother”. Rodelgo & Blaine [2019] FamCAFC 73 at [36].


Facing family court is stressful and daunting. However, it's encouraging that the courts can recognise and respond to the dynamics of coercion and control within an abusive relationship.


Solo Legal practices trauma-informed family law in Queensland, Australia www.solo-legal.com


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