Calls for Family Court Changes to Support Domestic Abuse Victims

The Government recently held a public consultation exercise over its approach to dealing with domestic abuse in advance of its proposed Domestic Abuse Bill. 

Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid was one of the respondents to the consultation. Its response was based on the results of a survey it conducted amongst domestic abuse survivors to find out what would make a real difference to their lives.

Key changes the survey respondents said they would like the Government to make included:

  • ending the assumption of contact with both parents in cases where children are at risk of domestic abuse (mentioned by 89%);
  • banning unsupervised contact for a parent waiting for trial, on bail, or in criminal proceedings for domestic abuse-related offences (84%); and
  • ensuring that there are specialist support services for children experiencing domestic abuse (82%).

“We want this Bill to put survivors’ safety and needs at its heart,” explained Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid. “That’s why we asked survivors what would make a real difference for them and many said that the Bill must bring about much-need change in the family courts to help protect their children.”

“From our work with survivors, we know that perpetrators of domestic abuse are using child contact applications to continue to control and abuse them, and that the family court is enabling that abuse by not effectively safeguarding survivors during the court process; this is resulting in unsafe contact decisions being made that is putting children’s wellbeing and safety at risk,” she said.

“We want a family court system where survivors can access justice free from abuse and for children’s safety to be put at the heart of all decisions made by the family court,” she added.

Contact Lindsay Jones Specialist Divorce and Family Lawyer, Altrincham

When you entrust your family life with me, you can be sure I will treat you circumstances in strict confidence and always keep you informed of how your case is progressing. To discuss your case with me, call today on 07917711887. I look forward to helping you find peace of mind.

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