Stop sexism and racism in family courts

As a member of the Support Not Separation coalition we campaign to end sexism and racism in family courts.

The most common reason children are removed from their mother by family courts is domestic abuse. A mother can be blamed for failing to protect a child, even though she was the victim of that violence.

The father’s right to child contact trumps every other consideration - even safety and the child’s expressed wishes. Mothers who object to contact with violent fathers often find their reports of violence are disbelieved or dismissed as irrelevant. A common tactic by fathers is to accuse mothers of ‘parental alienation’, invoking a discredited junk science that claims women and children lie about abuse in order to exclude a father from their life. Children’s objections and fears are commonly dismissed.  They can even be removed and forced to live with an abuser, fostered or adopted.

Most of the mothers we are in touch with are women of colour and immigrant, who face structural prejudices. A 2020 government Review of the family courts found sexism, racism, disability and class discrimination are rife.

Campaigning with mothers

  • Monthly protests at the Central Family Court (on twitter during COVID). Stop giving our children to violent men! Stop racism and sexism in family courts! The first Wednesday of every month.
  • Supporting mothers with their cases using the principles of self-help. See self-help Guide.
  • Building a network of self-help support groups, academics, lawyers, social workers and other professionals.

Read more at Support Not Separation Coalition blog.

Contact sns@legalactionforwomen.net

What you can do . . .

  • Get involved in or organise protests.
  • Set up your own mothers’ self-help support group.
  • Write to the media to expose the injustices against mothers and children in family courts. (Don’t identify people as it puts child and mother at risk.)

Domestic Abuse Bill must tackle family courts