System retraumatises victims of abuse in England and Wales and puts children’s safety at risk, report says.
The family courts are putting the safety of children at risk by failing to deal effectively with domestic abuse, a report says.
The domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, calls in the report for urgent reforms to a family justice system that she says retraumatises victims, minimises abuse and fails to hear the voice of the child.
Jacobs is calling on the government to abolish means testing for legal aid for all victims of domestic abuse and to provide funding so that every survivor has a specialist domestic abuse support worker.
She said: “I have heard from hundreds of victims of and survivors. They tell me how they have been retraumatised by private family law children proceedings and left fearing for their children’s safety.”
A survey of 138 legal practitioners found 80% felt that the family courts were likely to retraumatise those who had experienced domestic abuse.
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