My brain sometimes becomes overloaded with all the information, data, views, opinions, beliefs, reviews, reports and judgments that circulate around in life generally and more specifically within the family court sphere. It seems that there are so many views and opinions that are divisive and create discord, acrimony and rancor which are significant boundaries to achieving balanced, proportionate and co-operative approaches to challenging and ultimately resolving differences.
My head hurts, my teeth itch and I don’t understand why everything has got to be so “either/or.”
I get that there is much dissatisfaction with the family court process, unfair judgments, lack of scrutiny and often unsafe orders made particularly relating to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, coercive control and stalking. However I also understand that McKenzie Friends need to ensure that they promote a professional response and engagement with litigants in person both inside and OUTSIDE the court process. It is essential that McKenzie friends not only understand the issues relating to any client but the context of their experience and the system’s based approach to their work. It is important to remain supportive and objective, validatory and boundaried; caring and analytic, impartial and ready to fight a clients corner; to be proportionate in assistance but have fire and energy in developing that response and assistance. I could go on and on and it could read as boring so I will post some more pictures………………………………………………
I am a McKenzie friend who choses to support women through the family courts, this does not mean I do not acknowledge that men also go through the family courts.
It so happens that my career has been in supporting women in our communities and within crisis. It does not mean that I do not recognise that men also experience crisis.
I have been trained as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate working with women at high risk of injury and homicide. I do not deny that men also experience domestic abuse.
What I do know is that when I offer assistance and support as a McKenzie Friend I do so in a holistic manner, utilizing a trauma informed framework and ensuring I have all the necessary platforms in place such as professional indemnity insurance, registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office, written terms and conditions, a confidentiality policy and membership with the Society of Professional McKenzie Friends.
I feel I am now just talking to myself, but I hope at least this is proportionate and balanced. I am a Libran. The sign of the zodiac is the scales. Libra in Latin means scales. My logo justly reflects the scales. I think scales look fabulous when they are balanced but look just as great when they tilt and shift, able to move freely one way or the other and return to their balanced state- “not either/or.”