What is Dads in Distress?
Dads in Distress is an organisation dedicated to supporting men who are experiencing difficulties in relation to family law parenting matters. According to their website ("https://parentsbeyondbreakup.com/dids/"), Dads In Distress aims to support fathers experiencing trauma as a result of family breakdown and separation anxiety. Dads in Distress also acknowledges the specific issue of father-child custody or contact and the issue of ‘parental alienation’.
Dads in Distress provides support group services in both an online format and in person. Free seminars are regularly offered on topics including family law and child support, with bookings and contact details available on the Dads in Distress website (they also have a Facebook page "@DadsInDistress"). The Dads in Distress organisation provides services including a national suicide prevention helpline, physical and online peer support groups, social media messaging service and e-mail support, and an online parent’s forum.
There is a related group known as "Mums in Distress" that aims to provide similar services for mothers.
Alternative mens rights groups
While Dads in Distress might be the most well known of the fathers' support groups, there are several other groups with a similar focus (supporting fathers who are experiencing difficulties in family law).
"Fathers4Equality" (Facebook page - @fathers4equality), "Dads against Discrimination Support" (DADS - www.dadsagainstdiscriminationsupport.com.au), Men's Right Agency (www.mensrights.com.au) and "Dadsrights" (www.dadsrights.org) are a few of the additional groups with a similar apparent focus to Dads in Distress.
Much of the attraction of the various father support groups is a perception that men face an inherent bias when appearing in family law courts. There is a statistical basis that may lend weight to such views, with women on average receiving an average of 10% more than men in property proceedings (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2001, "Division of Matrimonial Property") and the mother achieving sole custody in 45% of defended court proceedings compared with only 11% of fathers (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019, "Parenting arrangements after separation"). Inferring that the sole reason for these statistical gender disparities are a result of an underlying anti-male bias may be mistaking cause for correlation.