Open Letter to the Government – Calling for Recourse

21st August 2020

Dear Rt Hon Robert Buckland

We, the undersigned, are writing as concerned individuals and organisations regarding matters in Family Court, and the Review into the Family Court in Private Law Domestic Abuse cases. We are calling for urgent redress to be provided for victims of Domestic Abuse affected by the harm in Family Court, confirmed by the review granted in 2019.

It is imperative that victims have access to the following:

  • An immediate case review into Domestic Abuse cases in England & Wales that have been affected by this issue.
  • Poor decisions leading to children being placed with known perpetrators of abuse should be reversed, and children returned to safety. Unsafe contact orders in place also need to be made safe for children.

Currently in the Family Court it is ‘business as usual’ which means that whilst the Ministry of Justice delivered a commendable review, the poor decisions in Domestic Abuse cases are continuing. Victims currently have no way of reliably reversing miscarriages of justice or unsafe decisions due to the absence of meaningful recourse, even if their cases are current. We urgently need to establish a fair system where those who have been affected by the harm in Family Court have a way of accessing justice. Poor decisions in Family Court have lifelong catastrophic effects on victims and children. The government needs to help put things right.

We want the abuse to stop.

Yours faithfully,

Natalie Page (#thecourtsaid)

Victoria Hudson (#getmhome)

Safelives

Claire Waxman (Victims Commissioner, London)

Dr Adrienne Barnett (Brunel University)

Rachel Horman-Brown (Paladin)

Welsh Women’s Aid

Anthea Sully (White Ribbon)

Vivien Bickham MBE

Teresa Whittaker

Helen Mary Jones (Plaid Cymru)

Prof. Shazia Choudhry (Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London)

Cardiff Women’s Aid

Clare Walker Consultancy

Dr Jessica Taylor (VictimFocus)

Vivien Hayes (Women’s Resource Centre)

Rachel Williams (SUTDA)

FiLiA

Zoe Dronfield (IWMM)

David Challen

Sammy Woodhouse

WEN Wales

SODA

Rockpool

Rachel Holliday (Women Out West)

Cardiff Women’s Centre

Abuse Free life – John Trott

Rise UK

The Asian Feminist

Jane Gregory (Salford Survivor Project)

Bristol Women’s Voice

Kim Fawcett (Globalarrk)

Preston Domestic Violence Services

Katherine Araniello

Men Against VAWG

Susan Dolan (The People’s Hub)

Poonam Joshi

Indian Ladies UK

Rachel Riley

Pash Kovalev

Cathy Press (Escape the Trap)

YES Matters UK

Sarah Wigley Associates

Empower the Invisible Project C.I.C

Sam Taylor

Lizzie Godfrey

Jenny Godfrey

Nicola Brown

Flag DV

Charlotte Kneer (RBWA)

Legal Action for Women

Tracey Norton (Support Not Separation)

Gemma Aitchison (YES Matters UK)

Charlotte Budd (#JusticeForFCChildren)

SEEDS Wales

Jennifer Gilmour (#Abusetalk)

Women Against Rape

Womanchester

Global Women’s Strike

Louise Reay (The Doormat Recreation Society)

Ursula Lindenberg FRSA, VOICES Bath

Peter Brandt Dip SW, PC.dp, CIS LI, FCMI, VOICES Bath

cc- Rt Hon Robert Buckland, Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Rt Hon Priti Patel, Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs.

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