Mother appeals against family court ruling saying she must subsidise a former partner who raped her to see their child
A woman is set to appeal against a court ruling which states she must subsidise the contact costs of a former partner who was found to have raped her.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and her former partner are currently in the family courts in a dispute centred on their child.
Court documents show that the judge concluded she has been a victim of domestic rape after hearing and considering her allegations about his behaviour.
Court documents show that the judge concluded she has been a victim of domestic rape after hearing and considering her allegations about his behaviour
Their child is currently living with the woman, and her former partner is having regular supervised contact while litigation continues.
The judge has concluded that the pair should share the cost of hiring a contact centre, and a staff member who supervises the man’s contact with the child.
A lawyer representing her has said they are hopeful the ruling could be overturned.
The woman, who works in London, told the PA news agency: ‘I’ve been a victim of rape – the judge has ruled that he raped me when we were together.
‘But I’m having to share the cost of him having contact with our child.
‘The victim is subsidising her abuser.’
As a result, she has spent hundreds of pounds funding contact, she added.
She is aiming to appeal the decision.
Claire Waxman, London’s Independent Victims; Commissioner raised concerns about a ‘pro-contact’ culture in January.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, plans to appeal the decision
‘The family courts system is letting down children and survivors of abuse,’ she said in a statement.
‘I am deeply worried by the severe lack of understanding of domestic abuse and trauma in the courts, and the fact that courts persist in prioritising contact between a parent and child – even when there are cases of domestic and sexual abuse.
‘Survivors and children are being put at risk due to this pro-contact culture.’
She added: ‘Pro-contact culture also means allegations of domestic abuse are being minimised and treated as irrelevant.’
She is not alone – last year, barrister Charlotte Proudman, who specialises in family court litigation told The Guardian newspaper: ‘I’m seeing more and more that victims of domestic abuse are being ordered to pay 50 per cent of child contact costs to alleged perpetrators.’