I used to wonder during my working life where I regularly meet mothers’ and their children who have experienced domestic abuse why I was always left with so many unanswered questions. I could not fathom out how having been through the court system and having raised allegations of domestic abuse/violence, why perpetrators of abuse are able to use the courts and the outcome of the hearings to continue their abuse through contact arrangements and the ongoing court process. I could not understand why this was happening. I was led to believe that the family courts were about protecting victims and ensuring a child was safe. I was wrong.
I couldn’t understand why in the 21st century this is still happening and why there was a cloud of secrecy about it. Once allegations of domestic violence and a child were involved and this went into the family court domain, mothers became silent.
I became an unwitting observer of how the Police, Cafcass, Social workers, Solicitors, Barristers, the Family courts and most notably the Judiciary handle contact and residency and how outdated and out of touch they are.
Attitudes I came across from the justice system, social services, Cafcass and the police were pre-conceived, prejudiced, victimising and biased