Separate court entrances for domestic abuse victims:
An expert-led review has given way to the Ministry of Justice pledging a ‘major overhaul’ of family courts. The review generated a report that shows the risk of harm to children and parents in private law children cases, it has been said that the report highlights many long-standing failings.
One of the key findings is the fear that many mothers suffer when visiting court, that they will be confronted by their abuser. With one case detailing an attack that took place on one mother’s lawyer, despite this being reported the judge was said to have set it aside. It is important to remember that fears exist for both mothers and fathers.
With the report also highlighting how many parents were made to feel dehumanised and humiliated after reliving their abuse, to receive little signs of respect or care from judges and magistrates.
With fathers also telling the panel that they could not always afford legal representation, leaving them to conduct the case themselves, which left them feeling like a nuisance for requesting special measures.
With many more findings being reported, the Ministry have begun to give what changes will be put in place to the courts. With separate entrances and waiting rooms, as well as protective screens to shield victims from their alleged abuser in court all being announced. Judges will also be more easily able to issue barring orders preventing abusive ex-partners from repeatedly dragging their victims back to court. With presumption of ‘parental involvement’ encouraging a child’s relationship with both parents also set for review.