Dr Steven Pretorius, Founder and Chairman of Fathers-4-Justice South Africa writes:
Our children are our biggest assets. We at F4J passionately believe that the interests of our children should be paramount in all decisions that affect their lives.
It is a tragedy, but 52% of all first marriages end in divorce. Some sources state that as much as 60% of all 2nd marriages end in divorce. Yet, we all continue to fall in love...and out of love again.
And that is where the tragedy for our children begins. It is not until you are faced with this situation yourself, that you find yourself up against a whole range of false assumptions as to the "best interest of the child". These may be well meaning, but by depriving the child of the opportunity to maintain a full relationship with both parents, they set the scene for heightening the anger, depression and deep sense of loss for both the child and the "absent" parent.
The traditional divorce arrangement of custody to one parent (almost always the mother) and 4-6 days per month visitation with the other, is not healthy for children, and is in fact psychologically damaging to most children. This view is supported by a growing body of evidence.
Even our hardenend inmates in our prisons get more "visitation rights" with their families, who can visit EVERY weekend. But somehow it is presumed in the best interest of a child for a loving father to only visit every 2nd weekend!
Arguments about conflict between the parents, and disruption of the routine of the child, are used by spiteful parents, to deny the other meaningful contact with the child. Even false charges of abuse are laid against the other parent to bedevil contact. This is all a power struggle between the parents fanned on by our litigious justice system, and the child is ultimately the one that pays the price and suffers most.
We at F4J believe in "the child's right to equal access and opportunity with both parents, the right to be guided and nurtured by both parents, the right to have major decisions made by the application of both parents' wisdom, judgement and experience. The child does not forfeit these rights when the parents divorce".
If your life has been affected by being deprived of meaningful loving contact with your children or grandchildren, we urge you to contact us, and support this important cause. We are not a "men's movement", and welcome support from mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends. Together, we can and will make a difference.
I have all but given up my career as a medical doctor, and will dedicate the rest of my life to the fight for the cause of our children...and my beautiful little angel, Marié.
We will expose the wrongs of every single person involved in this wrotten multi-billion rand divorce industry, and strive to correct the injustices of the system in South Africa.
We will demand transparency and accountability of every single person involved in family law decisions.
We will fight for Truth, Justice and Equality in Family Law.
And we will finish what we have begun...for our children!
Justice will be our sword, and the truth our shield.
Justice is coming...
Dr Steven Pretorius (Dip Pharm; MBChB; IME)