If a woman is being beaten up by her husband, she goes to a solicitor and he can arrange
to apply to the court for a barring order. If a barring order is granted the husband cannot
go back to the house for any reason and will be imprisoned if he does. The law is extremely
forceful on this point. No evidence of any kind is needed and an allegation will do.
One will not find many occurrences under the law in which a person can be brutally
punished because of an allegation. The woman does not need to claim that she was actually
hurt. She can simply say that she is likely to be hurt. If the husband owned the house
when he was single, that makes no difference. If they were married for only a very short
time, that makes no difference either.
The woman can also claim that it is an emergency so there can be an 'ex-partie' hearing.
That means that the case goes ahead and the husband isn't informed of it.
It is quite common for a husband to be told that the case is over,
that he has been tried and was found guilty and that his clothes are all in his car.
Again, he will be imprisoned if he breaks this order by going home. We
even have a case in which a husband was tried and found guilty, but because of the type
of work he did, the court couldn't get word to him that he had been found guilty and barred
from his home. Therefore he arrived home that evening and was promptly arrested and
imprisoned for breaking the barring order which he didn't know existed. These courts are called
'in camera'courts. That means that the public cannot go in to see them but it also means that no real
notes are taken of the proceedings and therefore it can be impossible to work out in full
what was actually said during the hearing when the original barring order was granted.
Typically a woman goes to a solicitor and says that she wants to get rid of her husband
and is told something like, "We'll have him back and living with his parents before the day
is out. He'll send you half of his wages until you are on the state pension or he'll face
Any person who stands accused in a court of murder, of sexual harassment, drug pushing,
rape or any other crime is entitled to a fair trial in our system, and rightly so. We live
in a democracy. That person might be innocent and needs a fair opportunity to prove it.
He will know when the case is being held. He will know what evidence is to be produced
against him. The court is open, notes are taken and the judge must be careful to consider
all the available evidence. A person is entitled to be treated as innocent until proven
guilty. None of that applies to a father. These are special courts and evidence is not
Ironically, a married father will find himself in a worse position than a
single father. A single father can be barred from a house only if he has been resident
for a certain number of months in the past year. A married man can be barred from anywhere
at any time. If a single father has put his girlfriend's name on the deeds of a house
which he bought, he can claim it back but if he is married, he has no right to regain his
property. A single father must pay maintenance until a child is raised, a married father
must also support his wife and if she doesn't want to work, he must maintain her until
she goes onto the state pension.
One very common occurrence is for the wife to have the husband barred and then
telephone him to say that she wants to talk to him or that his children miss him. He calls
up in all innocence and she calls the Police while he is there and he is imprisoned.
If a wife doesn't want to apply for a barring order, or feels that she has no grounds and
won't be given one, she can just lock the father out anyway. She cannot be charged with
any offence (he'd be imprisoned if he locked her out). He cannot go to the courts to ask for
his right of entry to his home to be protected by law - there is no such law, he won't
even get past the applications hatch. He cannot even ask for the telephone number to
talk to his children. In this particular case he has, of course, the right to take a
sledge hammer and smash the door down but he might not want to do that and in any case
he would have to repair any damage and she could just lock him out again the following
The wife doesn't have to make an allegation of violence. If she doesn't want him
there, then the case is closed. If he owned the house when he was single, that's not
relevant. If the wife immediately moves her new boyfriend into the house (as is frequently
the case) the husband has no right to complain. He cannot reopen the case because of it
and cannot ask the court to prevent it. There is no such law. If the woman never wants to
work again for the rest of her life, the husband will be forced to pay maintenance to her.
and husbands are frequently imprisoned for failing. There is no law saying that she has
to work. All of this even though a woman is eleven times more likely to be injured by a new
live-in boyfriend than by the man who married her and a child is thirty three times more
likely to be injured by the mother's new boyfriend than by his natural father.
Parents' Groups give information to fathers who have been separated from their children by
relationship or marriage breakdown. We have seen men torn apart with virtually no contact
with their children, often for years at a time while the wife lives in the family home with
her new boyfriend. Frequently, men freely admit to us that they have been violent with
their wives. This is indefensible and fully deserves the barring order or worse -
imprisonment. It does not, however give the ex-wife the right to deprive the father
of his children or the children of their father. Many men come to us devastated over
false allegations made in court by their wives. Many others say that their wives have
been violent with them, often injuring them severely. A small number have approached
Police or courts for help, generally to no avail. Sadly, in most cases, however, that
father's reaction has been to go to the pub, tell his best friends that he hurt himself
in the garden or playing sport. The recurring tendency in all such cases is the reluctance
of the father to report the case and the frustration of those fathers who have tried.
In many cases the judge will say to a father that he will not be barred if he gives an
undertaking not to go into the house and an incredibly high number of fathers fall for
this and agree not to go in, knowing that they will be barred if they do. This is crazy
and deceitful on the part of the courts. This is a barring order in all but name and
recently in Ireland the courts announced that there had been 12,000 applications for
barring orders and only 5,000 had been granted. That doesn't mean that the other 7,000
can go home. If they do the will be barred too. In general, if a wife has decided that
she doesn't want the husband there he has no real hope of seeing his home again.
With all of the protection which exists for women there is no equivalent protection for
men. Men who look for barring orders don't normally get them even if the father is
looking for one against a wife who may be a danger to the children when the father is
in work. We have one case of a husband who tried very hard to have his alcoholic wife
barred from the house. The Health Board said that she always seemed to be perfectly sober
when they arrived. He asked if they had ever arrived unannounced and they said that they
hadn't. He asked if they could come on a Friday or a Saturday night and they said that
only worked nine to five.
One man in Dundalk tried on many occasions to get a barring order against his alcoholic
wife and was turned down every time. One day he was putting groceries onto a top shelf
and he felt a thump at his back. She had rammed a steak knife into him. She was finally
arrested and charged with attempted murder. After several weeks and having been on a
life-support machine and having lost part of his lower lung, he pulled through.
He finally got a barring order but she served no time in prison for the assault.
It goes without saying that if a husband inflicted similiar injuries on a wife he
would be jailed for a very long time indeed.
Domestic violence laws, however well intentioned, are very easily and frequently abused.
I shall now quote "The Booming Domestic Violence Industry", August 2, 1999, John McGuire,
(In America a restraining order is called a '209A' )
"The legislature has loosened the standard. Now the person seeking the order need only
state he or she is "in fear" of the other person. It doesn't take a cynic to point out
that when a woman is getting a divorce, what she may truly fear is not violence, but
losing the house. Under 209A, if she's willing to fib to the judge and say she is "in fear"
of her children's father, she will get custody and money and probably the house."
Long-term emotional damage to children's fathers -- surely not good for children --
often begins with a restraining order,.
"A man against whom a frivolous 209A has been brought starts to lose any power in his
divorce proceeding. They do start decompensating, and they do start to have emotional
issues, and they do start developing post-traumatic stress disorders. They keep replaying
in their minds the tape of what happened to them in court. It starts this whole vicious
downward cycle. They've been embarrassed and shamed in front of their family and friends,
unjustly, and they totally lose any sense of self-control and self-respect. They may
indeed become verbally abusive. It's difficult for the court to see where that person
was prior to the restraining order."
This is a different era from the 1950s, she points out, and many fathers are very close
to their children, and bond closely with them from an early age. "In this day and age,
we have fathers who take an extremely active role in parenting -- sometimes more than the
"I call them mother-dads," she says. In many restraining-order cases, she says,
"These fathers are completely frustrated because they can't co-parent their child because
of a restraining order. They have been raped of their parenting relationship with their
While Friend and others see false restraining orders as enormously destructive, and
permanently traumatizing, the multi million dollar domestic violence industry is built on the
restraining order. Most of the activities that people get paid for in the domestic
violence industry cannot start until a restraining order has been issued.
[False charges whether they are Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Child Sexual Abuse
cases in divorce and custody proceedings are widespread and rampant. Women are the
OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of those who employ false charges, add to these the trauma
and emotional damage to children, women emerge as the most likely to abuse a child
for their own personal gain.]
I shall now quote from "An epidemic of lies", Backlash Magazine, U.S.A., August 1999,
The use of false allegations in divorce is rapidly becoming an epidemic which is
spreading throughout the world. According to the National Shared Parenting Association
(Saskatchewan Chapter), in Canada a Children's Aid Society study showed that of 1200
complaints of abuse, 900 involved custody disputes. Of those 900 allegations, two
thirds (600) were found to be false.