Senator Pauline Hanson, freshly appointed co-chair of the Family Law Inquiry announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday, has told RN Breakfast that women are fabricating stories of domestic violence in the family law courts.
“There are people out there, who are nothing but liars and will use that in the court system. You can’t defend these people and I will not defend them,” she told Hamish Macdonald. “But I am looking at what is fair and just. What do you say to the fathers, or even women out there, who are faced with domestic violence orders against them – don’t forget that.”
— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) September 17, 2019
When Macdonald asked what message she was sending to women being abused when making “broad statements that women are making up violence accusations in the courts” she was forthright.
“I’m not saying anything about those women who are legitimately being domestic violence against them, physical, but I’m saying to those women out there, don’t throw domestic violence orders at your ex-partners just to further your case or get control of the children, it is not fair or right and when you actually go out and you accuse your ex-partner of sexual molestation of that child, which is untrue, which they are using, and I’ve heard that from even lawyers, that it is cases being used like that, incidences, or stalking, that you know, these things are not true.”
Hanson says mothers make up allegations of domestic violence and she has evidence but she's not going to discuss it on air. "It comes across our desk on a weekly basis". p
— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) September 17, 2019
When pressed for evidence to support her assertion that this is a significant issue, Hanson said both her own son’s experience made her aware of the problem and that complaints were coming across her desk ‘weekly if not daily’.
She suggested Macdonald speak to some men’s groups to hear their experience of this issue.
“So don’t shut me down because I dare speak about this like many issues,” Hanson said.
‘This is not shutting down…this is teasing out the detail,’ Macdonald responded.
“You are. You are actually saying… I am a female and I am not going to use my gender. And I am not against the male, and I am not against the female. I am looking for the answers and at the end of the day, I want to see the children have access to both parents to see them, and you only ever have one mum and dad and these people need to move on with their lives, get on with their hate and their pain of a break up. It is about working together to find the answers to this and that is my job now, as a member of parliament, in this inquiry, to push for.”
When Macdonald asked for evidence again, Hanson commented that the rate of male suicide is proof there is a problem in Australia’s family law system.
“Why do you think we have 3 men suiciding a day and we’ve got one woman being murdered a week?” she asked.
It is not the first time a member from the One Nation party has made this argument. In 2017 The Conversation fact checked the assertion that ’21 men suicide per week because of the family breakdown nationally’.
The verdict was the claims were unsubstantiated: “National statistics do not provide detail to show whether men who have died by suicide were fathers.”
They also cautioned against attributing causation to family breakdown when it wasn’t clear this was the case.
Can’t wait for @ScottMorrisonMP to tell us concerns Pauline Hanson -running a family law inquiry is a “Canberra bubble concern”
Will that happen this morning? Or not until he lands in the US for state dinner with an accused rapist? https://t.co/trx0LimMyH
— 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕒 𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 (@samanthamaiden) September 17, 2019
Macdonald responded by stating that one woman being killed each week at the hands of either a former or current partner is something we shouldn’t lose sight of Hanson said she wants to remove gender from the equation.
“I am not going to be shut down from speaking about a topic or an issue because it may offend some people, or upset people, but the whole fact needs to be looked at holistically, and that is what I want this inquiry to cover,” she said.
Frankly, it was disappointing enough to learn that the Prime Minister Scott Morrison was commissioning another family law inquiry. As Women’s Safety NSW CEO Hayley Foster observes, we have had enough reports. “In truth, we don’t need another inquiry, we need action,” she writes.
The news early on Tuesday morning that Morrison has appointed Senator Pauline Hanson as co-chair of the inquiry was salt in the wound.
This is a sick joke. https://t.co/eoH9Hzix8v
— Jess Hill (@jessradio) September 17, 2019
That she proceeded to use a national media platform to assert that women fabricating stories of domestic violence and manipulating the court process as a major problem – without any evidence to back it up – is beyond shocking.
— Dr Julia Baird (@bairdjulia) September 17, 2019
In the past 48 hours two Australian women have been confirmed murdered, with their former partners either charged or responsible. It means 39 women have now been killed violently in Australia this year.
That isn’t a hunch: it is a tragically substantiated fact. It doesn’t need another inquiry. It needs action and reform.
It’s hard to imagine a more insulting course of action than appointing Pauline Hanson to oversee an inquiry experts say we don’t need.