I’ve seen abusers use family courts to control and torment victims – but change is coming

Posted: 29th March 2023

Source: The Guardian

A pilot scheme is inviting journalists into England and Wales’s most private courtrooms. This can expose those who use litigation as a weapon

  • Charlotte Proudman is a barrister specialising in violence against women and girls

What happens in the family courts stays in the family courts. That has been my experience over more than 10 years as a barrister specialising in family law. Every single day, family judges hear cases of domestic abuse that are damaging the lives of women and children. Yet these stories are hidden from public scrutiny, shrouded in mystery and secrecy.

Now, a long-awaited pilot scheme that aims to improve transparency in the justice system will open up family courts to journalists in three locations in England and Wales. And it’s about time. For too long, shadowy reporting restrictions have been masking a widespread problem that pervades the family courts: coercive and controlling behaviour.

Categories: News