We very much welcome Dr Elizabeth Dalgarno’s new research showing the devastating impacts of family court orders on mothers and children who had fled domestic violence and/or child abuse. It confirms our years of collective self-help and campaigning with mothers under attack for trying to protect their children.
The research found that:
– 43 of 45 violent fathers had been given child contact/residence, despite some having criminal convictions for domestic violence or child abuse.
– 39 of the 45 mothers had been accused of “parental alienation”. –
– 5 mothers had died as a result of the biased and traumatic family court process, including 3 who committed suicide.
Finally the mainstream media, including notably the BBC, is publicising some of the horrendous treatment mothers are being subjected to behind the closed doors of family court.
We’ve been saying for many years that the family court, including CAFCASS, which is supposed to represent the interest of the child, the President of the Family Division, McFarlane, and other judges collude with the misogynist fathers’ lobby which denies domestic violence. This is despite the fact that every week 2-3 women, many of them mothers, are murdered by a partner or ex-partner. Family courts are routinely removing children from their mothers after accusing them of the discredited “parental alienation”. Terrified children are forced to have contact or even live with abusive fathers or into largely privatised foster care or children’s homes making money of trauma. This is despite well-documented devastating consequences – including 69 children killed by parents/fathers and 450 children who died in care in 10 years.
Our monthly family court picket is now in its seventh year and calls on the government to recognise the bond between mothers and children and stop taking kids from loving mums. Children need the protection of their mothers and are vulnerable to every abuse without it.
Give us the financial and other support we’re entitled to under Section 17 of the Children Act and the Care Act if we have disabilities; abolish the “presumption of contact” with fathers regardless of their violence; end the use of “parental alienation” in family court; protect domestic violence victims from perpetrators; end the secrecy and open the family courts to public scrutiny. Mothers are entitled to a care income to protect their children, not persecution and even death.
Support not Separation (SNS) is a national and international multiracial coalition of organisations and individuals to end the unwarranted and damaging separation of children from their mother or other primary carer. It is coordinated by Legal Action for Women (LAW) and includes Women Against Rape (WAR).
Our information below is based on years campaigning and collective self-help with 100s of mothers fleeing domestic violence and/or child abuse, and opposing family court orders for child contact and custody. Our experience highlights the sexism, racism, class bias and other discrimination in the family court process.
SNS, LAW & WAR 2017 Open Letter to CAFCASS & NSPCC calling out their collaboration with Families Need Fathers, invited speakers at FNF‘s conference, which we picketed.
SNS & WAR 2021 Briefing to House of Lords on Domestic Abuse Act: Stop the Fathers lobby introducing parental alienation into the Act, and end the presumption of contact for all parents.
SNS 2021 research presents statistics on our cases, with brief case studies.
SNS & WAR statement 2022 on the corrupt collaboration between the president of the Family Court and CAFCASS, invited speakers at FNF’s 2022 conference.
SNS 2023 evidence to the UN Special Rapporteur for her international investigation into parental alienation.
SNS 2023 evidence to the Presumption of Contact Review
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