The Australian Family Law act requires divorcing couples to undertake mediation; and thus free up the court system. There are a couple of exceptions; one of them being the case of domestic violence. I choose to go ahead with the mediation because I felt it was safer for me to do that; with a facilitator; then what it would have been in any face to face negotiation.
During that time; I challenged the facilitator about the lack of services and options that his company provided for male victims of DV. I have blogged about this before. Last week I received a phone call from the centre wanting to do a questionnaire with me about their services and how effective I found them.
I told her that I was extremely dissatisfied. That the process had empowered my ex’s abuse; and that I was really peeved that when entering the office, the walls were plastered with posters about dv being a crime and that all the public pamphlets in that office were to do with women being assaulted and they had nothing on display for men. Further more I told the lady about my questioning the facilitator about this and he went to look for some information for me and came back with a pamphlet from a mob who do general counselling…
To the credit of this lady on the phone; she seemed a little shocked. And she asked me if it was OK for her to put some stuff together and send it to me. I said thank you. Two days later I get a bulky envelope containing some brochures; fridge magnets, etc from various org’s. Such as Dad’s in Distress, Men’s Line, Catholic Care, Father’s Support Service and as well a photocopied list of various specific services; with the ones specific for men highlighted. She had also hand written some numbers on this paper with the name and number of someone from the Salvation Army.
I cried when I got this information. And while I still hold my reservations about the overall mediation experience; I say to this lady “Well done and thank you!”