Policy, Guidance & Law Safeguarding

Domestic Violence and the Impact on Contact Re-examined

Source: Family Law Week

Author: Cris McCurley, Partner in Ben Hoare Bell LLP and advisory board member of Rights of Women and Women’s Aid.

In this article Cris McCurley considers recent developments concerning contact where there has been evidence of domestic violence, and the events which have led to them.

In 2004 Women’s Aid published a report which changed the face of child contact where there was evidence of domestic violence between the parties. The report – Twenty-nine child homicides: lessons still to be learnt on domestic violence and child protection (Saunders H. 2004 Women’s Aid) – spanned a period of 10 years, and the murder of 29 children in 13 families, by their fathers who had been found to be violent to their mother, many of them significantly so, but whom the family court had deemed safe to have contact with their children. In three of the cases reviewed, the court had granted unsupervised contact to a father known to be very violent (and in one case the father was granted residence) but did so against professional advice.

Read the full piece at source: Domestic Violence and the Impact on Contact Re-examined

Related publications

APPG Domestic Abuse, Child Contact and the Family Courts – All-Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Violence Parliamentary Briefing

Women’s Aid (2014) Twenty-nine child homicides: Lessons still to be learnt on domestic violence and child protection

Women’s Aid (2016) Nineteen Child Homicides – What must change so children are put firrst in child contact arrangements and the family courts

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