Consultation response: Children and Adoption Act 2006 – Court Rules 23.06.08
Women's Aid have responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation entitled, Children and Adoption Act 2006 – Court Rules. Amendments to the Family Proceedings Rules 1991.
Extract from Women's Aid response:
"Women's Aid are concerned:
- About the safety of children, when child contact or residence is contested, and there is domestic violence . 65% of member services responded to a Women’s Aid survey said that family courts still do not take adequate account of safety when making contact/residence orders, and that there is considerable inconsistency in practice. There is also concern about the continuing use of mediation where there is domestic violence
- It is for these reasons that significant consideration needs to be given within this consultation to the safety needs of children in contact or residence cases where there may be domestic violence.
- That forced contact activity be it parenting programmes or class or attending information sessions is not necessarily the best place to address domestic violence concerns. The safety of the survivor (usually the mother) and the children needs to be paramount."