Family courts pilot to provide more support to domestic violence victims
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The anxiety that victims of domestic violence feel could be exacerbated by attending a court hearing with their abuser. The government announced a pilot in March intended to support victims and help them without the victims having to relive traumatic experiences.
This is an extension of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the government’s plan to reform the family courts. The pilot has been introduced in the family courts in North Wales and Dorset to attempt to better assist victims of domestic violence, according to the Ministry of Justice’s announcement on 8th March 2022. This objective is to be achieved by:
Further, the pilot provides children a voice at every stage of the process and so they are not reliant on Courtroom input. Judges can assess a child’s situation prior and request more information should they require.
Elsewhere, victims are cross-examined by their ex-partner or ex-partner’s legal representative about alleged instances of domestic violence.
Women’s Aid published a report in 2018, “What About My Right Not To Be Abused”, which outlined victims’ experiences. Several ladies stated that the cross-examination process was humiliating, demeaning, and frightening. More assistance for victims was recommended, as well as a “complete examination of the culture, practice, and outcomes of family courts in child contact cases when there are accusations of domestic violence.”
This pilot could be the conduit to ensure that victims are supported by the courts rather than put off.
“This government is doing everything we can to protect victims, make them feel safer, and give them greater confidence in the justice system.
These pilots will help ensure victims of domestic abuse aren’t further traumatised by the court process and that better decisions are made about their and their children’s lives.
This alongside our landmark Domestic Abuse Act, will ensure that victims are loudly heard and fully supported.”
At Oracle we provide confidential advice to every client, including for all domestic problems/disputes. Our team has expertise in Family Law and can handle any type of family-related concerns. Oracles Solicitors, 020 3051 5060 or [email protected], is our family law team’s contact details.
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