This report was published by the The Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales on July 18, 2023.

“This report will outline the key issues victims and survivors face when they come into contact with the Family Court and describe how these failings enable the Family Court to become a tool of postseparation coercive control and abuse for a perpetrator. A key issue is the lack of transparency of court proceedings, which makes it difficult to fully understand the volume of identified inconsistencies and failures in practice and in applying guidance within the Family Court.

The report will also discuss the lack of understanding of domestic abuse in the Family Court, leading to the minimisation of domestic abuse and with it, the re-traumatisation of many adult and child victims and survivors. Importantly, the report raises the lack of consideration of the voice of the child and the harm caused to children through unsafe contact orders in private law children proceedings, particularly when allegations of so-called ‘parental alienation’ are raised. Addressing the range of issues identified requires a commitment to embed and sustain wholesale cultural change in the Family Court, as recommended in the Harm Panel report.”

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