Image of two people arguing in front of a child

Judge orders victim to negotiate childcare directly with rapist ex-husband

A Judge from the family courts has been criticised for directing a rape victim to “directly arrange childcare with an ex-husband” who exposed her to domestic abuse and rape, as reported in the Independent.

The judge also ruled that the man should be allowed to have “unsupervised contact” their son despite the ex-husband had “subjected her to domestic abuse which involved physical abuse, emotional abuse and elements of controlling and coercive behaviour”.

District judge Alan Jenkins asked the pair to negotiate directly on child contact arrangements and postponed the hearing so they could discuss the issue further with themselves.

In the same article, writing in the appeal judgement, Judge Nott stated:

“I accept entirely [the] mother’s statement that she was intimidated by and felt distressed by – and therefore felt she was not able properly to represent her views – her direct dealings with father.

It was inappropriate in my view for the mother to be directed to negotiate directly with father about the issue of contact.”

Recent figures revealed that the Home Office announced a £39 million package of new measures aiming to “weed out” domestic abuse and stalking across England and Wales.

More on this, 50 projects will be rolled out over the next two years with the intention of stopping abusers from repeatedly targeting victims and terrorising vulnerable people.

Barrister Charlotte Proudman, who led the appeal in the family courts, told The Independent that “the man submitted intimate images of his ex-wife to the court and had been reported to the police for doing so”.

She added:

“The judge asked the rapist and victim to speak to each other. I think it is appalling that happened.

It shows unfortunately the family courts are still not implementing special measures for victims of rape and other forms of domestic abuse consistently in every case, and that can result in victims feeling intimidated, distressed, and suffering emotionally.

The way the trial judge spoke to the mother was not acceptable. He shut down any explanation she tried to give and dismissed her concerns about contact with a rapist and her child.”

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