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To: Secretary of State for Justice, Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk MP

Child First: Safe Child Contact Saves Lives

We are calling on the Government and family courts to ensure there are no further avoidable child deaths as a result of unsafe child contact with a perpetrator of domestic abuse.

In order for this to happen the family courts must not allow known abusers to continue their abuse either in family courts or through decisions taken by family courts that put children and women's lives in danger.

Why is this important?

No parent should have to hold their children and comfort them as they die, or be told that their child has been harmed by someone who is supposed to love them. But that’s exactly what I had to experience 10 years ago when my sons Jack and Paul were killed by their father after a family court judge granted him unsupervised contact with them, despite my warnings.

For the past nine years, I’ve been campaigning with Women’s Aid to ensure children are at the heart of every decision made in the family courts and their voices, wishes and feelings are heard. I’ve been to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament to help get key changes through in the Domestic Abuse Act. In 2017, we saw new guidance published for judges making decisions about child contact in cases of domestic abuse. And in 2020, the Government committed to make the family courts safer for adult and child survivors. But years later, we’re still waiting for true reform to keep children safe now and for generations to come. 

That’s why I’m calling on the Government and family courts to ensure, once and for all, that decisions made about parental contact do not allow known abusers to have unsafe contact with children that puts their lives at risk.




2023-10-24 12:51:56 +0100

Seven years on from the launch of this petition, family court reform is stalling – and in some cases, progress is even being reversed.

We are still hearing from survivors that they are being disbelieved and retraumatised and that children’s safety is being put at risk.

The Government’s plans to introduce compulsory mediation before family court could make the situation worse, risking the safety of both adult and child survivors.

We are pushing to reach 100,000 signatures and deliver this petition to the Justice Secretary, sending a clear message that children’s safety must be a government priority.

2020-10-22 18:35:10 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2016-01-25 17:11:33 +0000

20,000 signatures reached

2016-01-21 17:19:31 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2016-01-21 06:06:55 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2016-01-20 16:48:38 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2016-01-20 13:52:30 +0000

500 signatures reached

2016-01-20 10:13:52 +0000

100 signatures reached

2016-01-20 09:25:45 +0000

50 signatures reached

2016-01-20 08:32:54 +0000

25 signatures reached

2016-01-20 07:42:37 +0000

10 signatures reached