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AIBU To think the Family Court is not fit for purpose?

(262 Posts)
Notwiththeseknees Fri 04-Jan-19 11:06:29

The Judge has seen fit to name Ellie Yarrow, the mother who has fled with her three year old son. Reading the heartbreaking letter from Ellie that her sister posted on Facebook, AIBU to think that this secretive court who are responsible for some dreadful decisions, is no longer fit for purpose.

EREBUS26 Thu 07-Nov-19 16:20:50

Just wondering if anyone can help currently going through court proceedings with my ex and cafcass has just had a meeting with him... he has rang me and informed that they have been asking him questions about my physical and sexual abuse history with a partner before him... is this allowed has dont feel comfortable having this discussed with him and his mum

Notwiththeseknees Fri 15-Mar-19 22:15:17

Thank you smile. I'm away & not following UK news at the moment so missed this. I hope it all works out well got her and her son.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Fri 15-Mar-19 09:44:34

Doyoumind Fri 15-Mar-19 09:32:51

It was on the BBC news app that I saw it.

Notwiththeseknees Fri 15-Mar-19 08:20:08


Do you have any links? I hope they are okay and the Judge stands by his word.

Doyoumind Thu 14-Mar-19 23:41:34

Resurrecting the thread as I've just read that her whereabouts are now known and the case is set to continue.

MissMalice Thu 10-Jan-19 16:30:18

seems to me that Munby's words are still falling on deaf ears and that the family courts are a real lottery.

My understanding is this is because the government won’t listen and obviously won’t fund any positive change. It’s truly a disgrace.

Eatmycheese Thu 10-Jan-19 16:17:13

It seems to me that Munby's words are still falling on deaf ears and that the family courts are a real lottery.
Something really drastic does indeed need to happen. Not just in court with fusty, cantankerous judges but amongst CAFCASS, the social services, multi agency working and of course the police and the CPS. Currently, emotional abusive and coercive control are not properly understood and professionals are some several steps if not w country mile behind these perpetrators, masquerading as wolves in sheeps clothing. They, we know, are not the real victims here.

Frankly it is just another element of society in which women and children are fucked over.
It is not acceptable and something serious needs doing to ensure legislation is not paralysed by a lack of capacity and capability in the relevant systems.

I hope this young woman and her son find peace and justice but feat this will not be so.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 10-Jan-19 16:02:59

Strivingforjustice it is now EA for her son since Police got involved and freaked him out. I agree, I would do the same as you, I told her, but she is just so scared, and has been scarred by the FC system. Strivingfor I would be happy to help where I can, and to support any petition for change for this archaeic and misogenistic system.

Notwiththeseknees Thu 10-Jan-19 15:57:48

@strivingforjustice I would be happy to help you if you want support in getting the idea of reform into the public domain.

strivingforjustice Wed 09-Jan-19 18:09:50

MissMalice thank you for clarifying , lets hope Andrew McFarlane has the good sense and commitment to use his position wisely and instigate and influence a radical reform & an overhaul of this awful system

strivingforjustice Wed 09-Jan-19 15:02:37

RB68 , badlydrawnperson , Aeroflotgirl I feel the only way to change the law is to petition & take action to highlight this archaic, misogynistic system. To afford change in practise , law and the way vulnerable women are treated in the family court.

The same principles apply as to the criminal court in that allegations have to be proved but not beyond all reasonable doubt but on the balance of probabilities but a frightened woman who has faced any type of abuse is as you rightly say brought literally face to face with her abuser in what is little more than an arena, where the referees are non existent, so little chance to adequately.
It is not humane or adequate enough.
If we look at the changes in the tide against women protecting their children and mothers being vilified as little more than hysterical , emotional vindictive women by the Fathers For Justice movement.
If this movement garnered so much publicity and change in attitude than a fair representation of the facts by public pressure should...
We only have to look at the #METOO movement and what that has begun to achieve.
The Duchess of Cornwall had spoken openly about domestic abuse and I feel if someone prominent where to be the face of a campaign it would garner attention the right way.
I have some ideas...

MissMalice Wed 09-Jan-19 14:53:33

Also Wall retired in 2012 and didn’t die until 2017.

MissMalice Wed 09-Jan-19 14:51:55

Munby replaced Wall, not the other way round.

The current President of the Family Division is Sir Andrew McFarlane. Munby retired as president on 27th July 2018.

strivingforjustice Wed 09-Jan-19 14:49:30

Aeroflotgirl I read the guardian article regarding James Munby it is now 2 years old , I ahv looked into him as I wanted to write directly to contribute myself, however he retired and was replaced by Sir Nicholas Wall who committed suicide over a year ago as he had a form of prefrontal lobe dementia he had been keeping secret!

Terribly sad but how anybody can be fit to make decisions regarding family law and domestic violence suffering from this condition I don't know! But he advocated reform in the courts and particularly the effects of domestic abuse on children.
Who replaced him I don't know , J12 was in practise when I was going through the courts, yet my cross examination was my abusive ex putting his cross examination questions to the lead magistrate who merely repeated them to me , not an hour after he admitted assaulting me.
This simply must change , Ellie Yarrow knew what she was going to face too...

Regarding your friend, you mention sexual & emotional abuse to her 10 son by the father since the court hearing & judgement, in any circumstance contact should be stopped, distate for the family court system or not, any responsible mother must protect their child, no matter how exhausting, frustrating or frightneing it is. That is just my view.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 14:27:52

All Family Court judges need to be trained in DV, the forms it takes, and coercive control, and how to recognise it.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 14:17:17

In the Family Court system, there needs to be more transparency, a proper complaints procedure, and regular auditing and monitoring of cases and Judges. Judges should be made accountable for their decisions. Yes definitely the cross examination of the abused mother by their abuser, needs to stop. Until this happens properly, the Family Court system is unfit for purpose.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 13:52:15

Because it is done with secrecy, meaning abused mothers cannnot speak out, the FC can do what the hell they want, in a way that the criminal courts cannot.

badlydrawnperson Tue 08-Jan-19 13:33:34

YANBU OP I have personal experience of family court, although not of the same issues (no DV) as highlighted on this thread.

The whole "justice" system serves users very badly indeed and seems to be be paralysed and unable to improve. This is just one branch of it, but there are many others.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 13:28:35

His abuse to ds now, as ds spoke to the Police about his sexually abusive behaviour (which was not taken further) has now taken an emotional turn, so EA towards the son, not sexual how it was before.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 13:26:39

Her ds is 10, there will be a time soon, whereby he will decide whether he wan't contact or now, the decision of the courts will be not as influential.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 13:25:33

Thanks Strivingforjustice, my friend has had such a bad experience of the FC system, that she does not want anything to do with court now, it has really damaged her. She is waiting until ex gets bored, and contact is starting now to become less and less over the years. She is a lovely lady, and her son is like her thank goodness, her wonderful parenting is shining through to her son. He has good measure of his father, hopefully soon contact will stop on it's own because ex has become bored. He uses it as a form of control, as abusive men do.

RB68 Tue 08-Jan-19 13:24:16

I would agree I have a good friend going through just this at the moment she is made to face her rapist and abuser every court session, she is made to listen to "tellings off and dressing downs" for not speaking to her ex and sorting out care for her DD. Thank God her DD is older and can have her voice heard.

I would be happy to join, help out or be part of any sort of movement to address things for women who suffer coercive control and financial control and are trying to restart their life and their ex partner is using the court process to continue to abuse them

Aeroflotgirl Tue 08-Jan-19 13:22:11

It has also sparked James Mumby to make recommendations for the FC, which they are yet to change.

Very interesting article, that sheds light onto the FC situation.

strivingforjustice Tue 08-Jan-19 13:13:53

Aeroflotgirl I am so sorry for your friends plight. If it were me I would break the agreement and the onus is on the father to then take her back to court, where she may be able to have her evidence re submitted, if the contact since the hearing has adversely affected her child . It is all a risk and all very difficult.
Womens Aid is amazing and I did not become aware of them until I was already in the court system but because I did much of the work myself I found their booklet very useful in explaining terminology and certain processes, however nothing can prepare you for it.

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