ALL family & magistrates courts to employ IDVA's (independent domestic violence advisor)
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I call upon the government, APPG on Domestic violence and Theresa May MP to implement IDVA's in ALL family & magistrates courts.
Currently the courts judicuary are UNTRAINED in most areas of domestic abuse. COERCIVE CONTROL being one of them and although now illegal it is very misunderstood and often diminished. This in turn has a huge impact on survivors and children where abusers can use the court systems to further abuse their victims and children. Huge failures in the family court continue daily.
Some criminal courts already have their own Domestic violence court but sadly not in the family or magistrates. Putting IDVA's in each family and magistrates court would help the judicuary to finally make INFORMED decisions on each and every case involving domestic abuse as they are highly qualified in ALL areas of domestic abuse and violence. They understand the patterns and behaviours of an abuser plus the effects this can have on the survivors.
This is the only way other than training the whole system as over 70% of family court and CAFCASS cases involve domestic abuse.
1 in 3 women, 1 in 5 children and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse and it costs the economy 66 billion pounds a year. The number remains of 2 women a week being killed by a partner or ex in England and wales a week. Lets change that.
It is VITAL to have a fair and informed system that makes decisions with knowledge as these decisions effect thousands of lives including child contact with abusers. I believe having independent Domestic Violence Advisors involved with all cases would encourage MORE survivors to also come forward knowing they will FINALLY be heard.
I have been on both sides of this being removed as a child from domestic violence and then in my adult life a relationship for many years with an abuser and have now been going through the family court system for 2 years...it saddens me that i actually feel lucky that my ex was violent and has convictions against me, so many i have met who have suffered the same emotional abuse, gas lighting and coercive control as i but not the violence have NOT been heard.
I am limited on what i can say about my case as family court is a closed court which again creates a lack of voice when we struggle to find ours already.
Here is some of my story: http://nofourthriver.com/VickieRobertson
The scars you cant see are the ones that actually have the lasting effect and is what needs addressing in court. This abuse also has a pattern and happens gradually sometimes over many years... which can be hard to prove when many cases after the previous year of the court case any evidence can be classed as historical and not allowed.
Having an IDVA would help eleviate all the current problems faced in courts by survivors and children as they are able to recognise all behaviours and symptoms along with the evidence and give informed and specialist advice. This would benefit the court and Cafcass also when making their decisions and recommendations using the expertise of the IDVA to benefit all.
This link below shows the problem and written exactly what sadly most of us have experienced, the APPG highlights much of this in their report also below.
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