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Unveiling the Unjust: Navigating False Protection Orders in the South African Justice System

In the tumultuous landscape of the South African justice system, a disconcerting reality emerges: a system seemingly skewed against fathers, with protection orders wielded as a potent weapon. It is the considered opinion of Fathers 4 Justice that false protection orders (allegedly between 52% and 90%) are used as a weapon or silver bullet to destroy the relationship between the child and the targeted parent, where no just cause or reason existed in the first instance. Given the high rate of domestic abuse in South Africa, we believe that the issuance of false protection orders is placing an unnecessary burden on the justice system and denying those who are indeed in need of state intervention their right to justice. The issuance of false protection orders is further institutionalising child abuse. We demand that judges and magistrates bring the full might of the law against the individual or individuals, lawyers, and other professional advisers to bear and to root out this blatant miscarriage of justice. Therefore, we delve into the intricate web of issues surrounding false protection orders, shedding light on their impact and outlining a comprehensive guide for those unfairly ensnared in this legal quagmire.

The Menace of False Protection Orders

Protection orders, initially designed to safeguard individuals from harm, have morphed into tools capable of tearing fathers away from their children. Shockingly, it’s purported that a substantial percentage, ranging from 52% to 90%, of these orders are issued based on falsified or non-existent evidence.

Lawyers deliberately advise mothers to fabricate allegations of rape, abuse, or domestic violence, strategically aiming to sever the paternal bond between father and child. This strategy often propels fathers into a harrowing two-year legal battle, only for the false protection order to be dropped without repercussions for the accuser and the lawyer.

The financial aftermath is staggering, as fathers shoulder the costs of defending against baseless accusations and are subsequently burdened with the expenses of reunification, reintegration, or similar therapy. Judges and magistrates are under severe strain as so-called social workers, in collusion with lawyers, take no cognizance of when the relationship was summarily severed between father and child or the effect it has on the child and father. Now the father must pay to be reunited with his child. One would naturally assume the lawyers, social workers, and mother would automatically assume this financial cost, but not so. Notwithstanding, when false allegations of rape or molestation are made, the child is sexually traumatized and abused by the investigation. Coupled with the above, the unnecessary financial strain can amount to hundreds of thousands of rands, a heavy toll imposed through no fault of the father.

Disturbing Legal Discrepancies

Adding to the disquiet, a disconcerting revelation is the mere 3% probability required for a magistrate to issue a protection order, leaving a 97% margin for error. The Department of Women, Children, and Persons with Disabilities compounds the issue by allegedly being in the process of establishing a department with an openly hostile gender-biased agenda, aiming to dismantle men financially, legally, and emotionally. The Department of Women, Children, and Persons with Disabilities purported that it is only men and men alone who are capable of violence and abuse. This department is now setting up another department that is nothing more than a vanity project to be seen as doing something about nothing and creating jobs for pals – See F4J SA presentation to the parliamentary committee in this regard.

Contrary to the department’s assertions, statistics challenge the narrative that only men perpetrate violence. Studies indicate that women initiate 83% of domestic violence cases, emphasizing that domestic violence transcends gender and is closely linked to alcohol abuse.

Dr Hines’s samples of men for her research were from the United States, England, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Scotland and Wales. Her 2021 study revealed men’s experiences to be:

  • Severe psychological abuse (91 per cent)
  • Controlling behaviours (88.4 per cent)
  • Threatened legal or administrative (77.6 per cent)
  • Minor physical abuse (95.3 per cent)
  • Severe physical abuse (85.5 per cent)
  • Any physical abuse (96.5 per cent)
  • Very severe physical abuse (63 per cent)
  • Minor injury (75.1 per cent)
  • Severe injury (59 per cent)
  • Any injury (81.4 per cent)
    Why men didn’t seek help owing to barriers when it comes to police:
  • Falsely accused of domestic violence (35.3 per cent)
  • The police wouldn’t consider it important (29.4 per cent)
  • Don’t want the partner in trouble (27.9 per cent)
  • Fear of revenge (26.9 per cent)
  • Don’t want the hassle of dealing with police (25.4 per cent)

    Why men didn’t seek help owing to barriers when it comes to legal professionals:
  • Falsely accused by partner (28.7 per cent)
  • Committed to relationship (23.7 per cent)
  • I would lose everything (22.4 per cent)
  • Don’t want to get partner in legal trouble (22.4 per cent)
  • Fear of revenge (21.8 per cent)
  • Would cause me legal trouble (21.5 per cent)

The notion that men are the problem, the whole problem nothing but the problem is simply not true. Domestic violence has been widely proven to be perpetrated on a 50/50 or equal basis by both men and women in over 200 research since the 1980s, yet governments and agencies like the meaningless Department of Women, children and Persons with Disabilities perpetuate the blatant lie.

Unveiling the True Victims

Contrary to stereotypes, men emerge as victims in 70% of all violence and abuse cases. Shockingly, 41% of teenage boys raped in the Western Cape fall victim to female perpetrators. Unravelling the truth becomes an uphill battle, as the difficulty in proving perjury makes legal consequences for false claims unlikely.

Fathers 4 Justice Advocacy

Fathers 4 Justice contends that false protection orders are wielded as silver bullets, decimating the parent-child relationship without just cause. This misuse, they argue, burdens the justice system and perpetuates institutionalized child abuse. The advocacy group demands a robust response from judges and magistrates, urging them to combat this blatant miscarriage of justice.

Navigating the Legal Maze: Points on Issues and Procedures

Issues:

  1. Institutionalized Misuse: False protection orders contribute to institutionalized child abuse.
  2. Legal Burden: Fathers face an arduous minimum two-year legal battle to contest false protection orders.
  3. Financial Strain: Defending against baseless accusations incurs substantial financial costs.
  4. Magisterial Discretion: A mere 3% probability suffices for a magistrate to issue a protection order.
  5. Gender-Biased Department: The Department of Women, Children, and Persons with Disabilities deliberately pursues an agenda against men.
  6. Alcohol and Violence: Domestic violence is directly linked to alcohol abuse, irrespective of gender. The higher the rate of alcohol abuse, the higher the rate of domestic abuse
  7. Underreported Female Perpetrators: 42% of teenage boys raped in the Western Cape are victims of female perpetrators.

Procedures:

  1. Accuser’s Obligations: A comprehensive list of documentation must accompany the accuser’s statement.
  2. Distinction Between Abuse and Self-Defense: Clarify the difference between abuse and self-defence.
  3. Immediate Escalation: Escalate cases where police refuse to handle the situation.
  4. Seven-Day Defense Window: Respond promptly to defend interim protection orders within seven days.
  5. Demand for Automatic Withdrawal: If the necessary information is absent, demand the automatic withdrawal of protection orders.
  6. Ruling Against Accuser: Request a ruling against the accuser and their legal representatives for perjury.
  7. Documentation is key. Thoroughly document every step, as lack of documentation equates to nonexistence in legal terms.

In conclusion, F4J SA aims to unravel the complexities surrounding false protection orders in the South African justice system. It provides insights into the multifaceted issues faced by fathers and outlines a comprehensive guide for those navigating the treacherous legal terrain. Armed with knowledge, individuals can better protect their rights and challenge the systemic injustices prevalent in this domain.
F4J will be providing a how-to manual soon. Please keep an eye on our page for updates.