Victims of domestic violence continue to be cross-examined by their abusers in family courts despite the government the then justice secretary, Liz Truss, pledging in February 2017 to ban the “humiliating and appalling” practice, a report by Women’s Aid and Queen Mary University of London has found.
Survivors reported they were repeatedly not believed, blamed for experiencing abuse, and seen as unstable by judges, barristers and Cafcass officers. One woman said her abusive ex-partner was able to cross-examine her about her sexual history during child contact proceedings.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We will legislate to ban the unacceptable practice of abusers cross-examining their victims in the family court as soon as possible. The law is clear that the child’s welfare is paramount, and it is for judges to determine what is best for the child after careful consideration of the facts in each case.”
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