Karen Woodall: Gender based Family Services – killing children in the UK

[Note: the material on this blog piece was later published, on 27.1.14, by ‘A Voice for Men’:


The comment stream is worth reading, as usual with AVfM.]

Karen Woodall is a highly-respected British family counsellor who has worked with vulnerable children and their families since 1991. Her personal profile:


Our thanks to T for pointing us to a piece published by Karen a couple of months ago.


The piece relates primarily to the killing of children by their (biological) mothers, which happens in the UK on the same scale as the killing of children by their (biological) fathers. The difference is that when women kill their own children, it’s assumed (by social workers, the media…) that there must be external explanations – abuse by a male partner, severe mental health issues… – so these women are untypical of women in general. In stark contrast, when men kill their own children, no external explanations are necessary – they’re typical of men in general.

Some extracts from Karen’s piece, which take up the remainder of this blog piece:

The reports of Filicide, the murder by a mother of her child, are all over the news this week.

Baby P, Daniel Pelka, Hamzah Khan, Keanu Williams being just four names that are engraved upon our consciousness, not just because of their untimely deaths, but because of the nature of the suffering inflicted upon them before they died.

Collective handwringing is in evidence up and down the land and who is to blame is being widely discussed.  The sight of the Head of Birmingham Children’s Safeguarding Board attempting to squirm out of the reality of her responsibility for allowing yet another death of a child to happen on her watch, was excruciating on the BBC news last night.  Her words, in a statement released this week scream out the reality of why children are dying.

‘I wish, on behalf of all the statutory agencies who sit on the Board to express very deep regret and distress about Keanu’s death. We apologise unequivocally for what were totally unacceptable and unnecessary failures both collectively and individually in every organisation which had contact with Keanu. We fully accept all the findings of the Serious Case Review and the recommendations made.

Keanu died because there was failure across every agency to see, hear and respond to him in the context of what he was experiencing at any one point in time. Staff were distracted by his mother’s needs and by taking what she was telling them at face value.’

‘Staff were distracted by his baby’s) mother’s needs and by taking what she was telling them at face value.’ In other words, a systemic use of gender biased practise which focuses practitioners not on the needs of children, but on the needs and rights of women. If ever there was proof needed that social work and our children and family services are, as a very senior social worker said recently, a ‘feminist industry’, this is it. Gender biases family services, upholding the rights and needs of women above those of children, are killing those children in a neighbourhood near you and until we name it, we are never going to stop it…

Gender biased family services kill kids by working from the feminist perspective of seeing a woman who is vulnerable instead of a woman who is dangerous to her children. Gender biased family services kill kids by refusing to look the reality in the face, that mothers can and do kill their children and intervention to prevent it starts with believing it.  Gender biased services kill kids because they spend too much time looking for a man to blame and seeing domestic violence as the root cause of all dangers to children.

The children who die at the hands of their mothers are the vulnerable ones, not the other way around and we should be acting to support them first before we analyse and excuse maternal responsibility.  I have no doubt whatsoever that women, like men who kill their children, need an awful lot of work doing to reverse the impact of being so divorced from their own humanity, that they can act without thinking and often without remorse.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Jericho One

    Another alarming example of what happens when a congenital pro-female bias and anti-male prejudice becomes institutionalised or politicised.

  • I’m mainly involved in the sexual assault area. The almost invariable descriptions of female sexual abusers of children as “vulnerable” enrage me. They are, by definition, never as vulnerable as their victims.

    I’ve written frequently that in any instance of sexual impropriety any woman involved is the default victim, even where they are the perpetrators. I see now that this applies far more broadly.

  • Reblogged this on Los españoles se merecen saberlo, por la Paz y la verdadera Igualdad en España! and commented:
    “Karen Woodall: Servicios para la Familia basada en el género – matar a niños en el Reino Unido”