Family Mediation and Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is defined as:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”

It covers a wide spectrum of behaviour whether a “one off” incident or an ongoing pattern of abuse.  It includes threats of violence as well as actual violence.

In most family cases, for example financial cases or those relating to children, a person will be expected to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to explore whether mediation is a suitable alternative to Court proceedings.

The MIAM is an individual, face to face meeting with the Family Mediator.  The meeting is confidential and gives the participant the opportunity to explain what has happened.

The Family Mediator can then consider whether Mediation will be suitable.

Mediation will not be suitable if there is already a Court Order in place (an Injunction) preventing contact between the parties.  To take part in Mediation in these circumstances would breach the Court Order which is an extremely serious matter.

The same would apply if there are ongoing criminal proceedings relating to the parties and bail conditions are in force preventing any contact.

If there are no such proceedings and, notwithstanding any abuse, Mediation is suitable, the Mediator will ensure that this takes place in a safe environment and in some cases “shuttle mediation” can take place where the participants remain in separate rooms and the Mediator works between them.  Again, this is something that the Mediator will explore at the MIAM.

Where the Mediator deems that Mediation is unsuitable, the client will be “signposted” to other appropriate sources of support. For example; domestic violence organisations, Legal Advisors.

Victims of domestic abuse can be both male and female.

If it emerges that a child or children are at risk of immediate harm, the Mediator will consider what action should be taken.

Sometimes it is necessary for the Mediator to break the usual duty of confidentiality to ensure safety of the child.

Ringrose Family Mediation Service can offer Mediation in Boston, Grantham, Sleaford, Lincoln and Newark.

Family Mediation and Domestic Abuse

If you would like to explore Family Mediation then please contact the Family Mediation Team call 01205 311511.

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