“Within the context of child custody cases there exists multi-layered violence that has yet to enter the collective conscience of the international community; it is perpetuated primarily against a group of women, namely mothers – whose concerns this Council does not address as often as it perhaps should,” said Reem Alsalem, UN expert on violence against women.

In her latest report to the Human Rights Council, Alsalem highlights the deeply entrenched gender bias that permeates family court systems worldwide, resulting in immense suffering and violence for women and children. Indigenous women, migrant women and women with disabilities are at particular risk of such violence, the expert pointed out.

At the Council, Alsalem denounced the alarming tendency of family courts to dismiss the history of domestic violence and abuse in custody cases, particularly when mothers and/or children present credible allegations of such abuse, including coercive control and physical or sexual violence. She emphasized that such practices are widespread, unacceptable and called for urgent action.

Continue to full article via the United Nations (Published June 30, 2023)