A woman’s charity is demanding an independent inquiry in to how family courts handle domestic abuse after revealing shocking attitudes in its latest research including one solicitor telling her client to “man up”.

In its latest Report, Women Aid state that a quarter of survivors said they had been cross examined by their abusive ex-partner.

One interviewee told the charity

“it was horrible, I mean it was the worst thing I have ever had to do in my life, I mean the cross examination was just disgusting.  The Judge stepped in twice and stopped him.  Questions were all about my sex life and previous boyfriends and who was going in my house.”

Last year, the government pledged to end such cross examination under the Prisons and Court bill  

A Ministry of Justice Spokesperson said

“domestic abuse destroys lives and children’s futures.  Which is why the Government has set out measures to better protect victims and bring more offenders to justice.  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 Judges to determine what is best for the child after careful consideration of the facts in each case”.

The Ministry also added that since November, Court rules require Judges to decide whether an individual requires a particular in court measure to help them participate in proceedings to give evidence effectively such as protective screen or video link.

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