The number of domestic violence victims who do not have legal representation in the family courts has doubled in the last five years.
In the first nine months of this year, as many as 3,234 people who had allegedly been victims of domestic abuse attended at least one family court hearing as a litigant in person. This represents a huge increase as there were only 1,309 people in the same situation during the first nine months of 2012.
Shadow Justice Minister Gloria de Piero claimed these figures revealed “the shocking effect of the government’s cavalier changes to legal aid”. She said that victims of violence in the home are increasingly “being forced to represent themselves in court against their abuser to seek protection for themselves and their children”.
Earlier this month, the government announced plans to loosen the restrictions on legal aid for victims of domestic abuse in 2018. However, de Piero said this was not enough and demanded that the government take immediate steps “to ensure no victim of domestic violence is forced to go to court without representation”.
Many of Stowe Family Law’s solicitors have experience with cases involving domestic violence or abuse. If you have been affected and want legal advice or representation from someone who will really listen to you, please get in touch. We can put you in contact with a solicitor from an office near you with the necessary experience to guide you through this extremely difficult situation.
Photo by waferboard via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.