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Domestic abuse claims in two thirds of all child contact hearings

Close to two thirds of family court applications concerning living arrangements for children feature allegations of domestic abuse new research suggests.

According to a new report from Cafcass and Women’s Aid, 62 per cent of all such cases included claims that one partner had been abusive. And the great majority of those cases containing allegations of violence – no less than 89 per cent – also featured other welfare concerns, such as parents with poor mental health or drug addictions.

In nearly a quarter of the cases involving allegations, unsupervised contact with the other parent was ordered at the first hearing and some contact in 44 per cent of the cases.

The findings are based on an analysis of 216 child arrangements orders.

Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas CBE said:

“This research highlights the complexity for the courts faced with making a safe decision for children against a backdrop of disputed allegations and multiple safeguarding concerns.”

He added:

“We have looked into those cases where unsupervised contact was ordered… we were satisfied that in each case action had been taken to manage risk relating to domestic abuse.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Mr T says:

    Just shows how many disordered \ controlling women there are out there. Most of them have probably already phoned the CMS. Money greed not both sides. It’s sickening.

  2. Andrew says:

    Call me suspicious, call me sarcastic, call me anything you like as you don’t call me late for lunch – but could it just possibly be because a DV allegation is the passport to legal aid?

    • Stitchedup says:

      Being a passport to legal aid has exacerbated the issue but women and their lawyers have been using allegations of domestic abuse to get upper hand long before legal aid was removed for family law cases. It has long been the silver bullet in the gamesmanship of divorce and separation and has resulted in gross injustice to countless numbers of men/fathers and their children…. It’s a national disgrace. Somebody needs to hit the reset pretty bloody quickly before even more damage is done, not just to the men, fathers and children involved, but also to the reputation of the justice system and those bodies involved including the Government, Judiciary, MoJ, CPS/DPP, Police, lawyers, CFCASS, Social Services etc etc.. For god sake all of you, get your heads of your backsides and put an end to this feminist bull shit madness!!!

    • spin says:

      I think you are both suspicious and sarcastic as there is no way on earth that because the only way to receive legal aid is a DV allegation, women often make up DV allegations, often with the help of corrupt solicitors who themselves clearly would have absolutely no motivation to do that, beyond financial obviously.

  3. Lee says:

    Let me guess, I wager that the vast majority of the claims are from women/Mothers? So what we are implying in reality, is that nearly two thirds of men who go for contact with their children after a split, are violent and abusive?! Seriously?! Or is that that a lot of these women want rid of the Father from their lives and have worked out (with the help of some dodgy immoral solicitors) that making these types of claims then gets them legal aid, which they can then be used to frustrate and deny contact with the Father in the hope he will disappear!?

  4. Lee says:

    I believe the reality of what should be reported, is that cuts in legal aid meaning it can only be obtained in family cases if there are allegations of domestic abuse, is therefore causing a rise in false allegations in family cases to obtain legal aid. I do not believe that all of a sudden, there are a load more abusive Fathers trying to maintain a relationship with their children, as Women’s Aid and Cafcass would like everyone to believe!

  5. Paul says:

    Now how about looking into cases where contact was stopped and ask if domestic abuse actually took place?
    Out of those 62% id say no more than 2% are likely to be genuine high risk or genunie cases of domestic violence.
    In the society we live in to day people with a capacity for violence are rare. Don’t get me wrong. They are out their. There are sociopaths and psyco paths. But the people who are drawn to violence and take part in violence against women are rare.
    If people involved in a case have no previous violent history. If there have been no alegations of DV before or after the case was heard then you can be pretty sure that person was not at all guilty.
    Destroying 60% of familys is not an acceptible trade off to protect 2% from domestic violence.
    It makes no sense at all.

  6. Paul says:

    I think a man would have got life here what do you guys think ? What possible grounds for leaniency did the court have ?
    If these two had got to family court this man would have had weekend visits and probably am anti mol order. Young child would be at the mercy of this killer.
    Im sure the guys court application was just an extension of harassment.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Good point Paul, but life sentences don’t always actually mean ‘for life’. Some people get out in a decade after ‘life’ sentences

      • Paul says:

        Of course. Life is generally reguarded as been 25 years. I bet if you look at the number of men who complete their full sentance and the number of women who complete their full sentance i bet I can guess whom they are most lenient with. We will never have true gender equallity until their are equal amounts of men and women in the prison system. At the moment it is predominantly male behaviour that is criminalised. Not something you will find femanists campaigning for is it ?

  7. Andre says:

    Call me cynical…

    The men of the UK must be the best at abusing their female partners. There are millions of cases. All with the level of abuse being so light only hundreds of women are actually hurt. Yet the level of abuse is significant enough for millions of cases still qualifying for legal aid or much more importantly – safeguarding measures are triggered.

    • spin says:

      It’s abuse of fathers and their children with the full support and cooperation of the evil English family courts and their facilitators, lawyers.

  8. Paul says:

    Theres a new upto date Manopoly set coming out with some new rules. Jail: if you are a male player you must stay their for three turns unless you can throw a double six on two dice at the end of your turn. If you are a female player you must stay in jail for two turns unless you can throw any double on two dice at the end of the turn.
    Community Chest Card : CSA payments if you are a man you only receive £100 when you pass go. If you are a woman you receive £300 when you pass go. For the rest of the game.
    Chance Card: Domestic Abuse allegation. Play this card on any male player to send him directly to jail. He does not pass go and does not receive £200.
    Community Chest: Harassment notice. If you are a woman play this card on a male player. If his peice lands on the same square as you then he goes directly to jail. Does not pass go does not receive £200.
    Chance card: Non Molestation order. For the rest of the game. If you land on the same square as any female players play peice you go directly to jail.
    Community Chest: Progressive femanism pay equality. If a male player receives any money/rent payment through game play. All female players must draw an equal amount of money from the bank. Anything else just is not fair.

  9. Julie Jones says:

    Please bear in mind that 19 children died at the hands of fathers. The judges ruled that children should have contact with abusive fathers. It’s extremely hard to get legal aid. You have to have proof that would stand up in court. Many women are denied justice and suffer in silence. Britain has a huge problem with domestic violence. Please remember that it was ok for a man to rape his wife in 1990, until the law was changed.

    • Stitchedup says:

      “Please bear in mind that 19 children died at the hands of fathers”… And how many have died at the hands of mothers?

    • Paul says:

      So that gives you the right to treat us all as potential killers ? – In this country you are supposed to be innocent until proven otherwise. You tarnish us all with this brush. Presume us all as potential killers ?
      I have a 100% clean criminal record ive never harmed nobody. I would never harm a hair in my childrens head.
      How many of those fathers feared been discriminated against in the family court. Felt like they would lose their kids ? – feared there exwife would take the kids and they would not see the kids again.
      They are not excuses. But they are ‘triggers’ flash points. When people are backed in a corner and feel they are been bullied and manipulated by the system. It drives them to extremes.
      The perceived bias of the system could well be what tips these people over the edge.
      Injustice drives people to extremes. If our courts fulfilled an impartial roll and ensured there was always a presumption of contact. Even if it was managed and controled then I beleive these situations would occour much less. Help people maintain good contact.
      Stop people manopolizing contact. Its worth pointing out that these situations still occour even since this system is in place. This system has NOT stopped these harrowing cases. They still occour regularly. What is the point of thos system if its not preventing this ? People who are capable of this will not be stopped by a notice from the police on a piece of paper.
      There are really ill people out their. But tjat does not mean we should assume a fathers are.

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