Judge urges safety first on violent fathers

The family justice system should abandon any feeling that a man who is violent to the mother of his children can be a good father, a top judge has concluded.

In a report into child homicide after court contact orders, Lord Justice Wall called for a “more rigorous approach to safety” where a parent has been violent to their partner but not to the child.

It concluded no judge should sit for the first time in private family law proceedings without having domestic violence training.

The Family Justice Council, which advises on reforms to the system, will now consider what approach courts should take on proposed consent orders in contact cases where domestic violence is an issue.

Women’s Aid said the report would make domestic violence victims more confident that judges were aware of the risks involved.

Anthony Douglas, chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, said the report would reinforce the emphasis on safety planning.


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