China Elevator Stories

I did not get a hearing in the child custody trial

My appeal has been declined.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


The way I remember Austria is as a society that does not have too much of a gender gap. We certainly had a gender gap, but it didn’t use to be too bad. At least, this is how I remember it.

In these last few years, I have found that Austria is (or has become) a very extreme patriarchal society.

When I talk about this with other women, some report the same.

Female politicians in Germany report that they are more often devalued and shouted at – as well as being treated disrespectfully – at meetings by male politicians than they used to be.

I have observed this same trend in the general population in Austria.

What does this mean with regards to going to court?

It means that women like me usually have to deal with patriarchal, sexist or even misogynistic judges, both male and female alike.

The same is the case with lawyers or Vienna child protective service.

My former friend, who turned on me by becoming my ex-husband’s lawyer, is a good example of this. During the divorce, he tried to coerce me into agreeing into an unfair settlement where I would not have had a chance of ever parenting my own children again.

He painted me as a bad woman, who is an evil human being, and not as the person I actually am. He was already brainwashed by my ex-husband at that time, but he is also sexist, and it probably didn’t take too much for my ex-husband to paint me as the devil and for his lawyer to want to believe this about me. I also believe that people are responsible for their own actions, and that as a grown-up, my former friend could have chosen to stay neutral and to not turn on me.

This lawyer is originally from Upper Austria, just like me. He is a member of the Austrian Freedom Party. Members of the Austrian Freedom Party are generally known to have outdated views on gender roles, and I have observed that a few of his thoughts are rather outdated viewpoints where women are considered to be below men – both with regards to intelligence, as well as with regards to women having rights.

In my experience, some members of the Austrian Freedom Party are so racist they would rather have Austrian-Chinese children stay in China than have the Austrian population ‘be contaminated’ by mixed-children. I have experienced that rightists often view my children as less than non-mixed children who only have Austrian roots. Think: Hitler’s beliefs about Aryans being the master race and others being inferior to them.

No hearing has been set during the child custody case.

I will mention this here, so it does not get mixed-up: My ex-husband’s lawyer has not been involved in the child custody case so far other than sending my ex-husband court documents.

He has been trying to triangulate people during the divorce trial though and if you ask me, my divorce or custody trial should be none of his business. There was a line that was being crossed that should have never been crossed.

No hearing has been set during both stages of the trial, and my right to a fair trial has been violated by the court, among other rights.

The appeal has been declined for re-appeal. Any court order has been made without me and my ex-husband appearing at court for a trial, which I believe was an action on part of the court so they could make sure I would not be allowed to parent my own children.

I have been judged harshly for the actions of my ex-husband, which has not been fun.

Just imagine: Someone took away your children, and you were being punished for it!

I am not the only woman who has experienced institutional violence in Austria.

Women who fight back against abuse are commonly painted to be unstable human beings who cannot parent their own children. It may then be portrayed by the courts that children don’t need a mother. In the worst case the court will punish the person that is trying to protect her children from abuse¬†by issuing court orders that tell her that she has no right to parent her own children.

This happens even when the mother is a good mother who took good care of her children.

Whoops! Gone are my children. Thanks, dear judges!

Are you living in a patriarchal society?

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