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Human Rights, Sex Bias, and Family Court

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Human Rights, Sex Bias, and Family Court

Carl Roberts

November 30, 2022

On December 10, persons around the world will be observing Human Rights Day, a day that is devoted to celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 7 of the Declaration states,

“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

So how well are family courts upholding this principle?

Extensive experience reveals a fundamental problem with the family court, child support, child welfare, and domestic violence systems is an unsupported bias and belief that men are less safe than women. Even though these biases are contrary to the data and wealth of available social science(1), policy and system practices persist to unjustly deny children healthy relationships with their fathers.

Fatherlessness is a public health crisis disproportionately impacting communities of color(2). When fathers are absent, children are at greater risk of all other societal ills(2). From gun & criminal violence, suicide & mental health issues, child poverty and homelessness, to everything in between and beyond, children without a father in their life have life’s odds stacked against them. Still, fathers are treated as second class citizens and pushed out of their children’s lives. Often, simply at the whim of the mother.

Unfortunately, well-meaning policymakers are similarly misled and uninformed of the data and social science regarding domestic violence (DV)(3), intimate partner violence (IPV)(4), and child abuse(5). Their instinct is to protect women and children from what they perceive as more dangerous men. So all it takes is a single allegation of abuse to invoke the implicit or explicit bias of the judge, or person in position of authority, who wants to err on the side of caution to protect the child.

Stated another way, men are presumed guilty until proven innocent.  In many cases, the allegation is not adjudicated, but the seed of a false claim has its intended effect. To harm, impair, or sever a child’s relationship with their father.

Criminal law is based on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Family law has no presumption that a parent is fit until shown otherwise. Without a presumption that can be overcome with a preponderance of evidence, parents can allege whatever they want, without accountability, to invoke the favor of a judge. Unscrupulous family law attorneys advise their clients on this strategy because it works, there is no downside, and it increases revenue.

Many feminists seek to deny their children a relationship with their father. Gender biased domestic violence advocates argue that they shouldn’t have to prove abuse. They argue they should just be believed because only men are perpetrators, never women.

Mothers AND fathers are equally as important.  Children have a right to being raised, loved, and cared for by their moms AND their dads. A child’s right to having healthy relationships with both parents must be protected by presuming that each parent is good unless proven that either parent is unsafe or unfit.

Family courts and related systems diminish child health, safety, and family resilience because they operate on the basis of gender bias to presume fathers are less safe and push them away.

This widespread form of child abuse and parental alienation must stop!


  1. References Examining Assaults by Women on Their Spouses or Male Partners: An Updated Annotated Bibliography. Martin S. Fiebert – A compilation of 343 scholarly investigations (270 empirical studies and 73 reviews) demonstrating that women are as physically aggressive as men (or more) in their relationships with their spouses or opposite-sex partners.
  2. Father Facts 8 (8th Edition – 2019) – National Fatherhood Initiative –
  3. Seven Key Facts About Domestic Violence Prepared by: Coalition to End Domestic Violence ( Fact #1: Each year, men are more likely than women to be victims of domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  4. Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project Findings At-a-Glance summarizes the results of the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project, a comprehensive, 2,300- page review of the domestic violence research literature.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief – Updated Release, Atlanta, Georgia. Tables 9 and 11.