Here are some excellent Australian support groups for men going through the painful process of divorce. No man is an island. By supporting single dads, we also support their children, their new romantic partners and other family members.
We all need friends. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “No man is useless while he has a friend.” Sadly, many men feel bereft of friends, especially if they are single dads going through a marriage breakup.
We get calls all the time from single dads going through the nightmare of the legal system which has an undoubted bias against the male of the species. We try to listen, provide encouragement, sometimes say a prayer and point these men in the right direction.
Many times, we get calls from mothers, grandmothers, and partners of the men in the middle of the nightmare, asking for help. Sometimes even the children reach out to us. They are profoundly disturbed by the venom that is poured out on the men in their lives and rightly so.
I am sure, as a reader of this newsletter, you get asked for advice from men going through the meat grinder — that is, the family law system. As an act of service for your friends, let me give you the names of five great groups that provide service to men and fathers in our nation in different ways.
Lone Fathers: https://lonefathers.com.au
Barry Williams founded the Lone Fathers Association, based in Canberra, in 1973. I was speaking to him yesterday. We have been friends for twenty years. Lone Fathers are the longest-standing fatherhood group in Australia and from my point of view, Barry Williams should receive the Victoria Cross and every other medal that is possible.
Barry and his team have singlehandedly saved the lives of thousands of men.
They have self-supporting chapters in various parts of Australia and in most states.
Reach them on 02 6239 4650 and yes, as the sign says, they are always open.
Men’s Rights Agency: https://mensrights.com.au
Sue Price founded the Men’s Rights Agency 27 years ago. I have known her for almost twenty years. She too is a living legend and like Barry has saved the lives of countless men over the years. Sue’s website says it all:
“In today’s world, no matter where one lives, men and boys face increasing hostility just because they are male. Fairness and equal treatment for both genders, the original aim of the women’s movement has been lost as society is encouraged to view men as perpetrators of evil and women as only victims.
Feminist jurisprudence, the perversion of legislation to provide advantages to one gender over the other, contrary to human rights considerations is creating a two-tier society, with men and boys relegated to second class citizen status.
MRA strategies provide a better chance for a more equitable outcome, especially for children, who should be able to spend time with both parents. Children need both a mum and a dad.”
Dads in Distress: https://parentsbeyondbreakup.com/dids
I have known Tony Miller for almost twenty years, and he too is a national hero. Like Barry, he and his team have saved the lives of thousands of men, and that is without exaggeration. See this early video.
Tony Miller has handed Dads in Distress on to others who renamed it Parents Without Partners in 2017, although thankfully, the Dads in Distress brand lives on thankfully. They have single father support groups all over Australia.
Two decades on, Dads in Distress have expanded their services to include a telephone helpline, LiveChat helpline, online forum and local ‘one-to-one’ mentors.
Their core ethos remains today to provide free support, and to utilise where possible only peer volunteers, all of whom have been through it themselves. This makes all the difference when you’re all out of money, and trust. Phone the helpline 1300 853 437 from 8:30AM – 5PM Monday to Saturday AEST.
Brotherhood of Fathers: https://theabf.com.au
The title of this article is the title of this organisation. Leith Erikson started the Australian Brotherhood of Fathers in 2013. They are based in Robina, Queensland. They are doing some great work for single dads.
The ABF have legal and financial services associated with the charity and run both in-person and for digital men’s groups. The ABF team run campaigns to lobby the government for better policies for families. Watch Leith giving testimony in front of a Parliamentary Committee here:
The Brotherhood of Fathers website tells the story well.
“The treatment of Australian families dealing with child access issues after separation is shameful and in many instances gender-biased. We are seeking better outcomes — it’s time for change.
The ABF is committed to fixing policy relating to family access after separation, to provide fair access outcomes for fathers, their children and their families.
Kids need both parents and society deserves better outcomes from the family law system and social policy. Our children deserve the very best outcomes which include access to both parents. Together we can bring positive reforms to child access after separation.”
Call them on 1300 008 602.
Mothers of Sons: https://www.mothersofsons.info
Their website says it all:
“Our sons have fought mighty battles for justice in family, magistrates and other criminal courts that no longer offer men fair treatment. Women need no evidence to make accusations of violence or sexual abuse that deprive men of their children, their homes, careers, and futures.
Some of us have spent our life savings protecting sons from false sexual assault allegations, paying a huge mental and financial toll to prove the charges had no substance.
Other sons are experiencing discrimination in the workplace or in educational institutions where advancement can be based on gender rather than merit. Some face #MeToo accusations, where unproven allegations can undermine a lifetime’s achievement and cause loss of career and reputation.
Some of our sons are victims, physically and emotionally abused by their partners — yet they are offered no protection or support and are often disbelieved.”
Email Contact: email@example.com
All the above groups are doing a great job for men and fathers, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the work of One in Three who are advocating for the one in three victims of family violence who are male.
Greg Andresen started One in Three on International Men’s Day, 19 November 2009. Greg is a good friend and probably one of the best campaigners in this area in the nation. Very gracious and very balanced, with great academic support and research.
Hopefully, you will never need any of the services of the above organisations, but now you know where to go, and you can help your friends get there. We all need friends, and we are all part of the Brotherhood. Let’s support each other. As Robert Louis Stephenson said, “No man is useless while he has a friend!”
Yours for the Brotherhood of Fathers,