Tom was 10 years old and had disclosed that his father was physically assaulting him during contact visits. The mother reported her concerns to child safety and police. Both the State departments told t–he mother that it was out of there jurisdiction as they were State authorities and this was a family matter and would need to go into the Federal Family Court.
Tom was scared of his father and after he disclosed abuse the mother ceased contact between Tom and his father and took it before the federal family court.
“An ICL was appointed to represent my child’s best interests. The ICL met with my son and my son disclosed to her why he didn’t want to spend time with his father. The ICL told him she would relay this information to the judge but she would make no promises to him.
Tom left the consultation room after meeting with the ICL and he said my lawyer listened to me and said she would tell the judge about the bad things my dad has done to me.
It appeared that a weight was lifted from him and it was the first night he had slept well in months.
However the ICL did not tell the Judge what Tom had said, she did not provide information from her conversation to other people assigned to assess the case through the court system, instead she submitted that Tom live with the father as she believed that I would not facilitate a meaningful relationship between the father and Tom.
The ICL was bias and did not care that my son was in danger. My child was scared of his father and she failed in her duty to protect him.
I tried to dismiss the ICL and have a new one appointed. I was told that I needed to either make a complaint to Legal Aide or put in an application to have her dismissed. I tried both, it was concluded that “The ICL has the best interests for Tom.”
Tom was court ordered to live with his father and is only to see his mother supervised.
“I have made several complaints and attempted to appeal the decision through the appeal process. I have spent over $100,000 just trying to protect my little boy from harm but to no avail. Complaining just made the ICL angry.
“I can’t understand why my son was not given a voice and why the ICL didn’t make a recommendation to keep him safe from harm”.
“When I see my son under strict supervision, all he wants to do is hold me and cuddle me. I feel the supervisors look down at me and treat me like i am a bad mother, when I am not”.