The Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales said children witnessing domestic violence would be unlikely to get the support they needed because of significant gaps in children’s services, in a socially distanced House of Commons discussion about the Domestic Abuse Bill held in June.
Nicole Jacobs, who is the UK’s first Domestic Abuse Commissioner, was responding to a question by Shadow Home Office Minister and Labour MP for Birmingham, Yardley, Jess Phillips.
In her answer, Jacobs explained that children living with domestic violence would be unlikely to meet the threshold for support, which she said would surprise members of the public.
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner went on to criticise the family courts for failing to understand domestic abuse, despite playing a pivotal role in handling such cases.
On the family court’s current working methods for processing domestic abuse cases she said, “I would not like someone to make decisions about my children based on very little evidence and a short assessment, but that is what we often ask the family courts to do, in respect of cross-examination or any number of things that will happen.”
” I just worry that we need a much broader ambition for our family courts to really understand exactly the breadth of what is happening, and not confine them to wanting domestic abuse to be proven in a particular way,” she added.
[Name Withheld] said:
Social Services made up that my children had witnessed DV to the could get their care order.