‘The Court Said’ Protest, Parliament Square
Kaleidoscopic UK were among many organisations and hundreds of people who attended ‘The Court Said’ event in London. The event was to highlight the family court system and how abusers are using it to further abuse. It was to highlight the need for training and a better understanding of all areas of abuse, and the current failings of the system that sadly occur today.
As an organisation of survivors, we have all experienced the court systems and sadly not all positively. We want to see changes in how abuse is handled by many services but specifically the family courts. According to the APPG report, between 70 – 90% of family court cases involve domestic abuse. We would like to see progress and steps put in place to go much further to support families, especially children, and safeguard them as they are designed to do. Contact at all costs has become the norm. Our founder, Vickie Robertson, gave an amazing speech along with many others in the industry from survivors including infamous Maralee McClean from America, professionals and organisation’s.
Vickie’s speech received huge roars, cheers and whistles of appreciation including when she said “we are not saying NO to fathers just NO to abusive ones.” That is also true for any abusive parent.
Watch the BBC’s coverage of the protest
We would like to see PD12J used in all courts and available for anyone experiencing abuse as standard , not like currently special measures which in a lot of courts remain unavailable.
We would like powers of arrest attached to non-molestation orders automatically for the safety of all.
Vickie’s idea of having a pair of shoes to represent each life lost to abuse was such an eye opener and started off many conversations with the public. Thank you to all who donated the hundreds of shoes needed to us, these were then donated to local charities.
Coming together to make our voices heard is essential.
We have a current petition to sign that would make use an Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor(highly trained in all aspects of abuse) in all cases in the family court where abuse is claimed. They would view evidence and court bundles before recommending their plan to court for safe contact of the children with both parties and any safeguarding issues being raised, patterns of abuse or anything they see as problematic. This would give the untrained judiciary the ability to make informed decisions during child care arrangements and also likely to decrease the amount of false submissions and cases.
We also performed our single live called “Tell me why” with Pop star Ewelina Flinta to end the protest on a high, this went down well as it is an uplifting song and the words describe the journey through abuse and the questions we all ask perfectly.