A demonstration taking place today outside the London Family Court in High Holborn hopes to raise awareness about the way mothers experiencing poverty are discriminated against inside Britain’s family courts.
The demo, which has been launched by Support Not Separation (SNS), a movement created by support service Legal Action for Women (LAW), takes place on the first Wednesday of every month.
LAW says women living under the poverty line are targeted by social services who remove a disproportionate number of children from their care, on grounds which are often questionable. The organisation says the incidence of removal increases when a mother experiences intimate partner violence (domestic abuse).
LAW has found that children in these cases are frequently placed with the abusive parent, against the wishes of the child who is either fearful for their own safety or the safety of the non-abusive parent.
The press release for the demonstration notes that 290,000 children in England and Wales will fall below the poverty line, adding to the 4.3m already living in poverty.
The release adds that children placed on child protection plans are rarely those suffering from abuse, but rather neglect, which encompasses poverty-related problems rather than concerns about a parent’s fitness to care for their child.
LAW says families who reach out to their local authorities for help to tackle poverty-created deficits lose their children to care rather than receive the support they have asked for, and need.
The demonstration takes place today from 12.30pm – 1.30pm, outside the London Family Court: First Ave House, 42-49 High Holborn, WC1V 6NP. Twitter users can engage with the demonstration by following and tweeting @NotSeparation.