An Australian woman attempted to drown her two sons last week. The woman, who is not named in the press for an unclear reason, told police that she “had to drown my babies”. The oldest child survived, but his younger brother did not. According to reports:
Police alleged the woman took her children to the Murray River and told her eldest son, 9, to get into water before she tried to drown him.
Detective Sergeant Trent Swinton told the court the younger son, 5, was screaming during the incident. The older boy managed to struggle free when the woman turned to the younger boy. He was last seen drifting facedown in the water.
After escaping from his mum, the older boy was “savagely mauled” by a dog.
Screams were heard by people on the riverbank but they did not witness the incident, the court was told on Friday.
The woman turned herself in to police after she was attack by a dog. It is unclear whether this was a different animal, although the report states that it happened at the river. The woman apparently admitted the crimes and did not seek bail.
The boys lived with their grandmother, and there were repeated reports to the authorities about the mother’s potential violence toward her sons. The authorities ignored these reports, instead telling the grandmother that:
she would have to “put up” with her daughter living at her house until alternative arrangements were made.
The child services department claims that the accusations are false:
Michelle Micallef, acting assistant commissioner for Community Corrections, said she strongly denied most of the serious allegations against her staff.
“It appears our staff took reasonable steps to put appropriate services in place and to make alternative accommodation arrangements. We could not have foreseen this shocking outcome,” she said.
“We have conducted an initial review of the claims, and found no evidence for most of them. Some are still being investigated.”
That response is hardly atypical. One would expect the authorities to wash their hands of any responsibility for failing to prevent this travesty.
What is quite atypical is an anti-domestic violence group attacking the father of the victims. The Red Heart Campaign, a feminist-run domestic violence group, released a statement regarding the father.
The father of the children, who cannot be identified, has spoken of his heartache and shock over the tragedy.
Posting a picture of his sons online, he wrote: “Love them to bits”.
“I’m in shock,” he said. “I’ve had tears on and off all day.
“Hasn’t really sunk in for me. It’s like a dream.”
The dad, who now lives in Queensland, admitted he had not seen the eldest boy for almost six years, and never met the youngest, splitting from their mother before he was born.
“What hurts most is I’ve never met (the youngest). Now I’ll never meet him,” he said.
“I don’t want to bury him, he’s meant to bury me.”
He said he was desperate to get to his eldest son’s bedside to make sure he is OK.
I was unable to find any other information about the man. None of the articles I read give any reason for why the man had not seen his eldest son for six years or why he had never met his youngest. That did not stop people from assuming the worst about him, particularly when he set up a GoFundMe campaign asking for $5,000 to get him to the hospital to see his son.
Several people responded negatively on his page:
“I wouldn’t donate my toenail clippings to you. You didn’t bother about ever seeing your son in the time he was alive and now you need $5000 to go and say goodbye to him,” she wrote.
“That dear little boy needed a dad when he was alive… Give respect to your son and stay away from his funeral and as for your son in hospital how often did you see him? Obviously not in the time your baby was alive. You are a disgrace as a father.”
Another woman called him “despicable”.
“You may be called other names, but father is not one of them. These two boys weren’t even acknowledged by you until they made the headlines. You are a despicable human being.”
This is despite none of them knowing the situation between this man and the woman. One would think they would exercise caution in concluding that he is a deadbeat father given that the woman killed and attempted to kill her two sons. This is likely not a person who would make it easy for this man to see his sons. The GoFundMe page is now gone.
Yet most shocking was The Red Heart Campaign’s response:
The Red Heart Campaign, a platform for survivors of domestic violence and familial child abuse, has also taken to its Facebook page to encourage people to think twice before donating.
“It does not cost $5000 to fly anywhere in Australia, we know the little lad’s funeral will be covered by the State Government funeral fund or Share The Dignity’s Because We Care program, the father has not indicated that this money will be used to support the victim’s brother, he acknowledges he has no relationship with the children and we’d feel more comfortable if the people behind the Fund are the children’s legal guardians,” the organisation wrote.
“We encourage everyone to think twice before donating.”
How dare you. You do not know anything about this man. You do not know anything about the woman. You do not know the circumstances of their relationship, whether the woman allowed the man to see his sons, or whether they had some agreement to prohibit contact after they separate.
Yet with the utmost ignorance in hand you presume to attack this man’s character, insinuating that he will steal the money for himself?
Yes, you are correct that it does not cost $5,000 to fly from Queensland to New South Wales. However, it may cost that much for him to stay in New South Wales for several weeks to visit his son in the hospital, to purchase clothes to wear to his youngest son’s funeral, and to buy gifts to give to his still living child. Since we have no further information about the man and his situation, he would certainly need the money if he received custody of his son.
How dare you.
How dare you impugn this man without knowing a thing about him.
Of course, what could one expect from an organization that only acknowledges female victims of abuse and states on its Facebook page:
THE TOLL OF VIOLENCE
We believe that 23 men, 11 women and two children have allegedly been killed by men in Australia in 2017. Three men, one woman and two children have allegedly been killed by women this year.
You are keeping a tally of the reported rate of homicides based on sex? And you “believe”? Where are you getting these numbers from?
To better understand these people’s depravity, they showed more compassion for the pit bull who mauled the nine-year-old and was to be put down (police now believe the dog was trying to save the boy) than they did his grieving father.
This is what feminism looks like. This is what ideology does to people. This father may be a deadbeat trying to exploit his sons’s tragedy for himself. Or he could be a grieving father trying to get enough money to stay as long as he can in another city with his injured son. We do not know, and until we do, we should not accuse the man of scheming or anything else.
Let us take him at his word until we have reason not to.