Save removal of children by lying professionals!!!
Save removal of children by lying professionals!!!
Why this petition matters
We need to stop governing bodies from removing children from parents with their fabricated lies.
Family courts, Local Authorities, Cafcass are all primarily in it for the money and not in the best interest of the children.
Children are our biggest advocates in speaking up when they know something is fundamentally wrong as they are brought up to speak up if they are worried.
However when you have governing bodies refusing to listen to children and then pathologically lie in their reports that the child has been alienated despite children declaring their own concerns the governing bodies need to take a step back and actually listen to the child.
Local authorities are the biggest abusers of children as the are supposed to act in the best interest of children however they fundamentally are the biggest abusers due to their total disregard of the truth.
There is a study been released by the AVA Project called Staying Mum which is A review on the literature on domestic abuse, mothering and child removal.
‘Staying Mum’ was a two-year project run by AVA and funded by the John Ellerman foundation. The project focused on women facing multiple disadvantage and their experiences of child removal. It aimed to develop professionals’ understanding and responses to mothers facing domestic abuse and other forms of disadvantage, in recognition of the fact that child removal increases trauma for both mother and child.
• There is a lack of multi-agency working in the context of supporting mothers facing domestic abuse. Where multi-agency work is set up, it is disjointed with different or conflicting demands made on mothers.
• There is a lack of specialist support services, which leaves mothers facing the removal of their children without the adequate support to leave abusive situations or enter recovery processes.
• Mothers are often held solely responsible for child care and protection and end up being perceived as failing to protect their children in cases of domestic abuse.
Women’s Aid in their 2017 analysis of 216 child contact cases found more than two thirds of the cases in their sample involved allegations of domestic abuse. Findings and estimates from other domestic studies show that the prevalence of domestic abuse in private law children cases is higher than in the general population, with allegations of domestic abuse ranging from 49% to 62%.
The family courts in England strongly promote ongoing relationships between children and both their parents following separation, even if there is evidence of domestic abuse. Literature overwhelmingly suggests that the domestic abuse in the family courts proceedings is often marginalised, misunderstood or even downgraded within private law children cases, which may put children even at a greater risk of harm or even homicide.
Any dispute relating to children or family matters takes place in the Family Courts. Family courts are distinct from criminal courts, whereby judges and professionals are supposed to undergo special training, and protection for individuals contesting one another is not in place to the same degree.
There are two types of dispute in family courts – public and private law. The former involves cases brought by Local Authorities and private cases generally involve divorce or parental separation. In the latter, child removal is also a real possibility, and many cases involving divorce can lead to child removal from one parent.
Neale and Lopez (2017) suggest that mothers who have experienced domestic abuse and are involved in custody cases in the family courts (whether in the context of a public or private law case), face particular challenges, including:
• downplaying the father’s mistreatment of the mother, describing it as allegations of violence “between the parties” rather than by the father against the mother;
• drawing adverse conclusions when the mother delayed reporting rape or domestic violence, or withdrew her report even though there were entirely valid reasons for her having done so. Figures show that on average a woman is assaulted 35 times before she first reports to the police;
• separating the man’s violent temper from the kind of father he is likely to be;
• ignoring that mothers do their best to protect their children and how difficult it is to function in a violent home;
• accusing the mother of “failing to protect” the children without considering her reasons for staying such as fear of reprisals, nowhere to go, no money, or that she may have sought help and been refused;
• accusing her of causing “emotional harm” to the children if she escapes with them and refuses to force them to see their father against their will;
• accusing her of “alienating” the children from their father whenever she raises his abusive or coercive behaviour;
• insisting that she must maintain/enable the father’s contact with the children regardless of his violent history.
Evidence suggests that the gendered nature of intervention explored plays out in such a way that the victim of abuse is blamed for the abuse, in particular, for ‘failing to protect’ her child/ren and fathers are effectively absolved.
Landsman and Hartley (2007), for example, found the responsibility of child protection is placed on the mother in a number of scenarios in which she is encountering domestic abuse, even where the father is maltreating the children. Mothers are instead accused of failing to protect their children. Where domestic abuse is identified ‘the problem is defined in relation to what the mother failed to do, rather than in terms of what the father did’. This victim blaming can be direct, but also emerges in the form of microaggressions, such as tone of voice, and being made to feel ‘problematic’.
The factors impacting whether mothers facing domestic abuse are able to keep their children are therefore found to regularly occur along problematic lines. These decisions often hinge on a perception of a mother as ‘willing’ to place the needs of her children before her own through leaving a perpetrator; signifying a lack of understanding regarding the dynamics of abuse and the fact that many mothers are either afraid or unable to leave.
Women facing multiple disadvantage report additional judgement and blame from child protection professionals, especially where drug and alcohol use is apparent or when mothers themselves have been in care.
The impact of domestic abuse on mothers is extensive. Many women suffer physical harm, which can have fatal consequences. Besides the obvious physical injuries, abused women are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating problems and post traumatic disorder. Sustained abuse may also trigger suicide attempts or psychotic episodes.
Women who suffer domestic abuse are four times more likely to have anxiety disorders, seven times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and two times more likely to suffer from depression. A significant number of survivors have been shown to turn to substances to cope with the impact of enduring trauma and the mental health consequences of abuse. Where mothers face multiple disadvantage, substance misuse, mental ill- health, and domestic abuse may additionally impact their ability to care for their child/children.
Evidence also suggests that perpetrators of abuse make mothering more difficult; both by virtue of the impact of abuse incurred, and through abuse tactics adopted to directly interfere with mothering and child-parent relationships. For example, abuse often leads victims to focus on controlling the domestic environment so that a perpetrator’s needs are prioritised, not those of the child. This may lead a mother to neglect her child in the face of attempts to mitigate direct harm to themselves or children. Mothers may also be left struggling, whether physically or mentally, limiting their ability to provide physical or emotional care.
Research also suggests perpetrators intentionally try to undermine the mother-child relationship as a tactic of abuse. Perpetrators will abuse mothers in front of their children (often through degradation or insults), encouraging children to participate in the abuse, and/or playing the ‘admirable father’ role through gifting and treating in order to manipulate.
This impact on mothers’ confidence in their parenting ability often leave them feeling emotionally drained and distant, and feeling inconsequential or like they have little to give to their children. Research also suggests mothers are prevented from spending time with or attending to their children, as well as being held to impossible standards of childcare and housework. This will have further negative implications on their self-esteem and confidence.
The type of abuse directed at the mother-child relationship frequently continues post-separation. Literature suggests there is substantial evidence of post-separation abuse, with many fathers performing the role of an ‘admirable’ father to professionals in such a way as to make ex- partners seem like deficient mothers or, in some cases, perpetrators. On-going post- separation abuse can leave mothers in a continued state of fear and can substantially hinder their recovery and ability to regain their confidence and parenting capacities and support their children’s recovery.
Furthermore, the literature evidences how perpetrators use both the threat of child removal, or the risk of direct harm to child/children to keep mothers from reporting abuse or leaving abusive situations. This is a very real threat, evidenced by the fact that victims and their children are at significantly increased risk of homicide after leaving a partner. For example, just under four out of five women killed by their partner (76%) are killed in the first year following separation while just under 50% of all child homicides, as documented by Women’s Aid between 2005-2015, happened in the process of post-separation abuse.
Sadly it is a very documented and very highlighted fact that Children are removed from Mothers when Domestic Abuse has been presented as Mother’s are seen to be problematic and presenting with a heightened level of anxiety.
Things need to change.
The Domestic Abuse Bill was put together to support victims of abuse however it is not even being recognised or seen.
Perpetrators of abuse are highly clever individuals and lure professionals into a false belief that they are actually the victim however behind closed doors they are actually masterminding their continued attack and control on the actually victim.
We need to fight to raise awareness that governing bodies, family courts and judges are being blinded and refusing to acknowledge Domestic Abuse actually exists. Coercive and controlling behaviour is not recognised and not believed on the impact it can have on a victim. These actions can and do result in making a victim be a completely different person to what they used to be and this needs to be recognised in the Courts.
Children’s voices are not being listened to and they are the biggest advocates to abuse for they witness everything despite trying to protect them. And yet Local Authorities refuse to acknowledge this.
We need to raise awareness to governing bodies the removal of children fundamentally causes more abuse and harm and does not address what the genuine issue is.
Your acceptance and reading of this partition and signing it will hopefully bring to light the damage to our children that is being carried out and will highlight the change needed to actually listen to children and acknowledge that Domestic Abuse exists.