According to new guidelines introduced by senior Judge Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the High Court, children must not be permitted to have contact with a parent if there is a risk of psychological or physical abuse. The guidelines go so far as to recommend that there should not even be supervised contact in such circumstances. Introduction of the guidelines follows a campaign by domestic violence groups in response to cases where children were harmed or killed during contact with a parent.
Putting the ‘Child First’ – Women’s Aid campaign
A campaign introduced by Women’s Aid called “Child First” is aimed at ending avoidable child deaths and improve safety for women and children in family disputes. The campaign highlighted stories of 19 children and two women killed by perpetrators of domestic abuse in situations related to unsafe child contact over a ten year period. The chief executive of Women’s Aid said “For far too long children have been put at risk as a result of poor decisions made by Judges in child contact cases. In some cases perpetrators of domestic abuse were even given the opportunity to take away innocent lives”.
Special protection measures should also be put in place by the Courts so that victims and their children are safe when attending Court.
If you have any questions relating to child contact issues or parenting plans in general, please contact our family team to discuss your options on 01908 660966 or 01604 828282 for a confidential conversation on how we can help.