A family court judge who has written a play about a baby being shaken and sustaining injuries by his parents, has said child protection-experienced families are welcome to attend the play’s live screening.
Responding in an email to a court-experienced mother who lost her son to the care system and wanted to attend the screening, Judge Stephen Wildblood said: “It’s great that you want to join this. You will be very welcome to attend.”
“The whole idea is to show people what it is really like for some families. I have tried to make this play as authentic as I can,” he added.
Wildblood then goes on to invite the mother to share the play’s screening details, and asks her to tell others who would like to attend in her circle to log on at 6.45pm so that any difficulties accessing the seminar online can be addressed before the play starts at 7pm.
According to Wildblood’s email, more than 300 people have already signed up to watch the play. He told the mother that if capacity for the screening was reached on the day (Microsoft teams allows up to 1,000 people to join a call), he would show the play again, on another day.
The play is based on a controversial theory that suggests non accidental injuries stemming from shaking babies can be identified through a “triad” of injuries associated with violent shaking of small children. The theory has been largely discredited by prominent medical professionals and scientists.
In our post on the play, published on Tuesday, we questioned whether the play — and subsequent experts called on to speak about these kinds of injuries — would be able to offer a nuanced enough picture of these cases. We were also concerned that parents could be demonised in the play, and by professionals speaking at the event.
Check out yesterday’s post here for more details about the play, how to attend, the concerns around shaken baby syndrome and some background on Judge Wildblood.
- Diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome under scrutiny after charges against Gold Coast fathers dropped (September, 2021)
- Shaken Baby Syndrome Hypothesis Has Never Been Scientifically Validated
- New projects on predicting which babies and children are at risk of head injuries
- Trends in shaken baby syndrome diagnosis codes among young children hospitalized for abuse
Many thanks to Tum Mum for allowing us to share extracts of her email from Judge Wildblood.