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Family Court:
Girl ordered to live in 'cult' with father
news.ninemsn.com.au
December 27, 2010

Source

A 14-year-old girl has been ordered to live with her father in a "destructive cult" that exposes her to harm, her mother claims.

The Family Court yesterday ruled that the teen must continue to live in the religious community that her parents joined 30 years ago.

The Family Court yesterday ruled that the 14-year-old girl would continue to live in the community her parents joined 30 years ago.

The father said it was a nurturing community which teaches Christian ideals but her mother said it was controlled by a "self-proclaimed prophet" and rife with psychological abuse, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The girl's mother has since left the community and moved in with a new partner and the girl has been dividing her time between her parents. Both parents were applying for sole custody.

A Sydney judge ruled it unnecessary to remove the girl into the mother's care and instead ruled that she would live with her father and regularly visit her mother.

"I am unable to accept the mother's assertion that either the leader of the community as a whole have a culture which is physically, psychologically and emotionally abusive," Justice Gary Watts said.

The mother said leaving the child in her father's care risked exposing her to violence and harmful teachings.

She said the community accepted polygamy and women were taught their main purpose was to serve their husband and have children.

The girl was home schooled and year nine tests showed her numeracy and writing skills were well below average. No girls in the community have attained year 12 or tertiary education.

Justice Watts said the decision took into account the girl's wishes and the family consultant's opinion that removing her would probably be distressful.

The girl has been ordered to attend a mainstream school, undergo counselling and speak to the leader of the community so he could reaffirm that the Bible did not authorise physical discipline.

 

 


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