UK Courts End Practice of Allowing Abusive Fathers Access to their Children

A recent ruling in the UK courts could positively impact the lives of women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Courts have ruled that there will no longer be a presumption of contact between abusive fathers and their children after a number of British children were killed by their fathers – presumably in a post-divorce scenario. According to the UK Guardian:

Senior judges are taking steps to end the presumption that a father must have contact with a child where there is evidence of domestic abuse that would put the child or mother at risk.

The reforms are to be introduced in the family courts after campaigning by the charity Women’s Aid, which identified that 19 children have been killed in the last 10 years by their violent fathers after being given contact with them by judges.

The changes include a demand from one of the most senior family court judges for all the judiciary to have further training on domestic violence and to act to ensure women and children are protected.

Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is limited to Britain. And of course, mothers can, and have, also abused and murdered their children in some cases.

The idea is that where domestic violence is demonstrated, courts will have to do further digging and exploration in making visitation and custodial orders. And this seems to be a wise step in the right direction. Kudos to the British courts for coming to their senses on this issue.