Domestic Abuse, Family Justice and Hate Laws 2020: A Summary

Royal Courts of Justice, London

Aside: I promised I would not usurp this site to post my book reviews any more. However, for those who may be interested, my book reviews can now be found on my technical site. The latest is Martin Chuzzlewit.

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There has been such a lot of legislative/judicial activity on domestic abuse, family justice and hate crime laws in the last six months of 2020 that it has been difficult to keep up – and prohibitively difficult for individuals to read, digest and critique all of it. Here I pull together a summary of sources.

Domestic Abuse

The Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21 has completed its passage through the House of Commons. It had its first reading in the Lords on 7th July but still awaits scheduling of its second reading as I write (12/12/20). As it stands now it is here.

The Bill has a long history. It’s second reading in the Commons was way back in October 2019, and the prelude to the Bill was the consultation initiated in March 2018.

You can read my precis of key parts of this long Bill here, with an update here.

All Bill documents can be found here, and in particular the 95 submissions to the Public Bill Committee in 2020. Ten of these were male-friendly, the other 85 were overwhelmingly feminist (with a few nominally neutral). The male-friendly ones were,

The 10% representation by male-friendly voices in written submissions to the Committee may seem poor, but it was infinitely better than the 0% invited to give evidence in person. The Public Bill Committee took evidence from, and only from, the following,

  • Nicole Jacobs, Designate DA Commissioner
  • Southall Black Sisters
  • Latin American Women’s Rights Service
  • Somiya Basar / Saliha Rashid
  • Women’s Aid Federation of England
  • End Violence Against Women Coalition
  • Refuge
  • Safelives
  • Hestia 
  • Gisela Valle, Step Up
  • Migrant Women UK
  • Dame Vera Baird QC, Commissioner for Victims & Witnesses
  • Local Government Association
  • Welsh Women’s Aid
  • Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS)

The Draft Statutory Guidance Framework associated with the Domestic Abuse Bill was published in July’20.

One rare potential gain for fathers is in the “Examples of controlling or coercive behaviour” which includes, “parental alienation, including preventing children from spending time with one parent or grandparents”. This is very welcome, but it remains to be seen if it is retained longer term, bearing in mind that the Guidance can be amended unilaterally by the Home Office at any time.

Another potentially useful clause in the draft Guidance is: “Domestic abuse perpetrators can be particularly adept at manipulating professionals, agencies and systems and may use a range of tactics in order to perpetuate contact with and control over the victim. These can include causing or creating vexation or using the system against the victim by making false or vexatious allegations”. The phrasing clearly has in mind an abusive man wanting to maintain “contact and control” over his female (ex)partner. But we may reinterpret it alternatively as, “Domestic abuse perpetrators can be particularly adept at manipulating professionals, agencies and systems and may use a range of tactics in order to perpetuate frustration of contact with, and monopolise control over, the children. These can include causing or creating vexation or using the system against the victim by making false or vexatious allegations”.  

This detailed deconstruction of the Guidance was sent to the Home Office by GenderParityUK.

Family Justice Review 2020

The composition of the Panel conducting the Ministry of Justice’s Family Justice Review caused some consternation when it was announced in 2019. I can’t imagine why; it was every bit as balanced as the other panels & groups you will find listed here. The panel was chaired by MOJ and consisted of,

  • Melissa Case & Nicola Hewer, Joint Directors of Family and Criminal Justice Policy, MOJ (Chair)
  • Professor Rosemary Hunter FAcSS, University of Kent
  • Professor Mandy Burton, University of Leicester
  • Professor Liz Trinder, University of Exeter
  • Neil Blacklock, Development Director, Respect
  • Eleri Butler, former Chief Executive at Welsh Women’s Aid
  • Lorraine Cavanagh QC & Dierdre Fottrell QC (joint representatives), Association of Lawyers for Children
  • Mr Justice Stephen Cobb, Judiciary
  • Nicki Norman, Acting Co-Chief Executive, Women’s Aid
  • District Judge Katherine Suh, Judiciary
  • Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for England (Children & Families)

Not listed above is Dr Adrienne Barnett, author of the Literature Review, whose works are critiqued here.

The review was (ostensibly) focussed on assessing the risk of harm to children and parents in private law children cases. The press releases following completion of the review are here and here. In particular the reports produced are,

So appalling is the bias, prejudice and outright dishonesty in the above reports that an application has been launched for a Judicial Review. Terry White must be congratulated on his energy and persistence in this matter. Key documents as they stand at the time of writing (12/12/20) are (noting that the MOJ is the Defendant in this context),

Meanwhile, the MOJ has started to progress the issues raised in their June Implementation Plan. On 9th November’20 it was announced that, under the title “Child protection at heart of courts review” that this latest review would examine how courts balance child safety and the right to family life. Specifically they state,

The review…will assess whether the right balance is being struck in private law cases between the risk of harm to a child and their right to have a relationship with both parents. Currently, the presumption of ‘parental involvement’ which the courts are required to follow in their judgements encourages a child’s relationship with both parents, unless the involvement would put the child at risk of harm. A recent review into harm in the family courts system found this presumption ‘detracted from the focus on a child’s welfare and safety – causing harm to children in some cases’.”

Does that sound like they have made up their minds already to you? And why is ‘parental involvement’ in scare quotes? The Advisory Group to the review consists of,

  • Rachel Thomas, Welsh Children’s Commissioner’s Office
  • Nicole Jacobs, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner
  • Peter Jackson LJ
  • HHJ Michelle Corbett
  • Jacky Tiotto, CEO Cafcass
  • Matthew Pinnell, Cafcass Cymru
  • Tammy Knox, Resolution
  • Michael Lewkowicz, Families Need Fathers

Not to be outdone, the judiciary themselves have their own process of reform of the same issues in play. The Private Law Working Group, chaired by the omnipresent Mr Justice Cobb, is the group which advises the President of the Family Division. The Family Solutions Group, formed this year, is a subgroup of the Private Law Working Group. Just three days after the MOJ launched its latest review, the Family Solutions Group published their report, “What about me? Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation”, with a Foreword by Mr Justice Cobb. Para 35 reads,

For cases that do not engage the court process, the starting point should be a presumption that involvement of a parent in the life of a child will further the child’s welfare, provided that parent can be involved in the child’s life in a way that does not put the child at risk of suffering harm. Where there is any allegation or admission of harm by domestic abuse to the child or a parent, or any evidence indicating such harm or risk of harm, then the presumption should not apply.19 (my emphasis)

Footnote 19 which is referenced above reads,

Where there are proceedings, Practice Direction 12J provides that, where such allegation or admission has been made, the court must consider carefully whether the statutory presumption applies. Since the MoJ ‘Risk of Harm’ Report found evidence that within court proceedings Practice Direction 12J is being implemented inconsistently (p6), we take the view that the presumption should not apply to cases that do not engage the court process where abuse is alleged or admitted.”

The ’Risk of Harm’ report referred to above is the MOJ’s June family justice review report, the very same for which there is an outstanding application for Judicial Review.  

Put the above stipulations together and you arrive at this summary: if there is an allegation then the presumption (that involvement of a parent in the life of a child will further the child’s welfare) is to be set aside. This sounds like an attempt to overturn primary legislation to me, but it is not the first time Cobb J has tried it (see here and here).

Membership of the Family Solutions Group is,

  • Helen Adam (Chair) – Mediator, Solicitor (non-practising)
  • Karen Barham – Mediator, Parent Coordinator, Solicitor
  • Caroline Bowden – Mediator, FMC board member, Solicitor (non-practising)
  • Charlotte Bradley – Solicitor, Mediator
  • Brian Cantwell – Family Therapist, Resolution Family Consultant
  • Elizabeth Coe – National Association of Child Contact Centres
  • Mike Coote – Cafcass Adrienne Cox – Mediator, former FMSB board member, Solicitor (non-practising)
  • HHJ Martin Dancey – Designated Family Judge for Dorset
  • Jan Ewing – University of Exeter
  • Claire Field – Parenting Apart Programme
  • Dickie James MBE – Staffordshire Women’s Aid
  • Mary Mullins – National Youth Advocacy Service (prior to August’20)
  • Patrick Myers – DWP Reducing Parental Conflict Programme
  • Chris Palmer – Ministry of Justice
  • Beverley Sayers – Mediator, FMC board member, Therapist
  • Anna Sinclair – Cafcass Cymru
  • Debbie Singleton – National Youth Advocacy Service
  • Judith Timms – National Youth Advocacy Service
  • Jane Wilson – Mediator, Solicitor-Advocate, FMC board member

Reassured?

There is also a higher level Statement from the Family Justice Board (the group that actually matters and to which the lower Groups report). The “Family Justice Board Statement: priorities for the family justice system” is supposed to be linked from here – but it isn’t as I write (appears to be a cock-up). I’ll insert the correct link as and when I find out what it is. However it does link to a document from the lower Private Law Advisory Group dated 9/12/20.

Nascent Hate Crime Legislation

I have posted previously on my response to the Law Commission’s Hate Crime Consultation. Philipp Tanzer’s detailed analysis of the Consultation report is here.

There is a private member’s Hate Crime (Misogyny) Bill, proposed by the ever-egalitarian Wera Hobhouse, currently scheduled for its second reading in the (Westmintser) House of Commons on 15th January 2021. There is also a Hate Crime (Misandry and Misogyny) Bill, proposed by Philip Hollobone, due for its second reading on the same day. That should be interesting, giving the usual culprits every opportunity to explain to us yet again why equal protection for both sexes is actually vile misogyny. (To avoid any doubt, I am equally opposed to both Bills, partly on principle because all so-called hate crime is thought crime and hence anathema, but also because the gender-inclusive approach will, in practice, be used only against men anyway).

There is also a Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill under consideration by the Scottish parliament. I have discussed this in a previous post. It does not include sex/gender but would give Scottish Ministers the power to do so (oddly bypassing their own Parliament).

In Northern Ireland, on 6 June 2019, the Department of Justice announced the commissioning of a (so-called) independent review into hate crime legislation in Northern Ireland to be conducted by Desmond Marrinan (a former judge). The review was published in November’20. I’ll not attempt a summary, but it recommends inclusion of sex/gender in a neutral manner (not specific to misogyny) and also recommends the creation of a Hate Crime Commissioner (a suggestion also raised in the English Consultation, but not within the Scottish Bill).

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I’ve avoided much in the way of commentary in the above summary of sources. However, it is fairly clear that the outcome can only be to further progress the feminist agenda – not surprisingly as all the initiatives originate from within that axis. We may have the odd small gain, but the overall picture is yet further deepening of male disadvantage, male social alienation and the destruction of fatherhood. Two thoughts on activism,

Despite being largely/entirely ignored, it is still worth pushing back against these authoritarian measures – on principle. To do nothing is to be complicit. Standing up and objecting is an obligation.

But do not expect such action to be the road to success. Our pressing obligation is to make young men aware of the traps lying ahead of them, before they find out the hard way.

14 thoughts on “Domestic Abuse, Family Justice and Hate Laws 2020: A Summary

  1. When does the madness end

    The insanity of the situation regarding domestic abuse was bought home to me when:

    My ex after 9 months of court proceedings “remembered she was raped” after not telling CAFCASS it any social workers previously and told the court a couple of days prior to court.

    In court, A Senior Social Worker said to the magistrates that she was worried about my daughter growing up without a dad and offered to sit in a park with me with my daughter. They said no and referred this on to a district judge who later advised my ex not to bring this to finding of fact as it wouldn’t be in her best interests.

    I was a 39 year old man, no criminal records; qualified school teacher, working in higher education with no non/molestation order who had never been in troupe with the police.

    How does this happen?

    Reply
  2. Spinflight

    “I have some glimmer of hope that a few politicians have started to pay some attention or express concern about “cultural marxism” (the process of diverting public policy by control of key parts of the salariat, bypassing the elected politicians).”

    Someone gets it!

    You might as well call it civil service marxism, as that is the new proletariat identifiedby the Frankfurt school when their preferred proletariat stubbornly refused to revolt.

    Key here though is the rules and regulations, which rarely receive as much attention as actual laws. You can’t do that Minister,it would be against health and safety…

    An interesting example recently with migrant channel crossings… Civil service briefed the Home Office that their hands were tied, SOLAS ( Sanctity of Life at Sea) compelled the Border Force or Royal Navy to aid refugees and give them asylum once on board.

    It even transpired that RN officers were given tests on such, a pass requiring an answer to help the refugee or migrant.

    Trouble is the treaty itself says no such thing. All warships and government operated non commercial vessels are explicitly excluded from it. Yet the impression was ingrained in generations of Naval Officers via subterfuge.

    When I pointed this out to the Home Office, and that by their actions they were guilty of human trafficking, they eventually had to concede the point but argued instead that it was (now) a tradition that they be picked up!

    There are many more examples of EU rules and regulations, which passed through Parliament with zero scrutiny or oversight, being used to undermine the democratic system and enable what is effectively rule by bureaucracy. Why buy a politician who could be voted out within a few years when ideologically compromising a civil servant grants you control of the leavers of power for decades?

    Sadly Habermas was rather a bright chap and dedicated his life to these sorts of shenanigans. Very effectively too.

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  3. AJ

    The documenst relating to the application for judicial review are both excellant and shocking in teh extent to which there is not just bias but a failure to follow any sort of systematic process in order to reach conclusions. However what I find most amazing and I struggle to comprehend is a judge of all people proposing to take such a significant step as to end involvement between a child and parent on a mere allegation.
    The entire rational for judges to exist is that we can’t rely on mere allegations and that a process which considers both sides must be followed for a judge to argue this is like a scientist arguing that there is no need for experimental evidence or a mathematician that there is no need to prove theorems. I suppose it shows how strong cognitive biases in favour of protecting women and ignoring risks to men but I am still left dumbfounded by it.

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  4. Sam Cooke

    What can us male victims do to get justice and fair legislation in all this?
    I had to really fight to get custody of my kids, despite recordings of their mother swearing to God she would kill them and describing how she would do it. Even with multiple recordings of her abuse, assaults against me, distress for the kids and breaches of court orders, it still took two years in the courts for the judge to finally rule against her. If I have behaved even a fraction as badly as she did, I would have been sent packing within months, not 2 very long years.
    Sam Cooke
    (Twitter: @Scookey2045)

    Reply
    1. William Collins Post author

      Unfortunately there are tens of thousands of cases like this in the UK every year, and this has been going on for forty years at least. After struggling with the question “what can we do about this” for many years, I’m afraid the answer is one that you may not like. Many of us expend a lot of effort trying to halt or reverse the prejudice at the family court level. But it isn’t working. So – what do you do if you’ve spent years fishing bodies out of a river? Eventually you have to take a walk upstream to try to stop them being chucked in. The equivalent here is to stop concentrating on all those cases, like yours, when it’s already all gone wrong and to start educating young men on the realities of fathering children. Only when the birth rate, and rates of marriage and cohabitation, have dropped through the floor – so that women themselves are affected – will anyone give a shit. Trashing men – and damaging children – is not enough in our gynocentric society.

      Reply
      1. Logan

        Abstaining won’t work. They can just import massive numbers of people from legitimately Patriarchal societies – which they’ve been doing for 20 years. If every man walked away from marriage, they would import 2 new men each of whom were entitled to two or more wives all of whom would have to stay home and have kids.

        I was going to post this before, but I thought it sounded too negative, but here it is anyway:

        “But do not expect such action to be the road to success. Our pressing obligation is to make young men aware of the traps lying ahead of them, before they find out the hard way.”

        You can tell them over and over again, but most won’t listen. My suggestion might be something like convert to Islam and then all of this ceases to matter. The Christian courts follow the religion of feminism.

        Women have to push back on this – in large numbers. Men’s voices carry almost no weight. However, that isn’t going to happen, as most women are happy with the status quo (total and unilateral power in relationships backed by the state at all times), and the few women that do can be dismissed as outliers by Politicians. So I feel very black-pilled about it all… it just seems like any society with lazy corrupt Politicians and hate-fueled agenda-driven movements who knowingly lie to gain more power and money all conspiring to change the rules to make it easier to penalise the innocent… deserves on some level to fail.

        Reply
        1. William Collins Post author

          Yes, I’m well aware that immigration would seem to neutralise any “marriage/fatherhood strike”. But there’s more to it. Young men need to find self-respect and self-worth quite independent of women in any case. This is a matter of making the positive the objective, rather than the negative of attempting to overthrow the unacceptable social structures. In the past men had to face the challenge of triumphing over adversity caused by the natural environment. Now they have the challenge of triumphing over the adversity caused by the constructed social environment. In both cases it is a matter of individual strength and effort, and swimming against a tide. Let the rest of the world sink or swim. I’m not so sure Western women are going to want to marry Muslim men in large numbers.

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          1. Groan

            Yes I’m pretty sure that the writers of the stream of “where have all the good men gone” pieces haven’t even a single thought of marrying Muslim, or indeed Sikh or hindu, nor any of the more firmly traditional Christian. “Good men” becoming a narrower and narrower field.
            Perhaps the turning point will be if there appear more articles about “why don’t I attract good men?” . I’m not expecting it soon.

          2. Logan

            I understand the need for positivity, but I’m very black-pilled about all of this. I think 20 years ago I had hope that things could change, but really not one thing hasn’t actually gotten worse since then.

            The only ‘light’ has been that there seems to be a slightly larger amount of voices online speaking about these things, but since the rules about ‘acceptable’ speech are about to become Soviet-level draconian, and the Tech giants of Silicon Valley are happy to enforce it – it is a small light indeed.

            As for wanting to marry Muslims, perhaps not, but I don’t think ‘want to’ really plays much of a part. I’ve never been entirely convinced that what half of all women wanted wasn’t simply whatever they were told to want. The rise in interracial relationships throughout the 80’s and 90’s and the subsequent ‘brown baby’ jokes in things like Harry Enfield occurred directly in parallel to the significant over representation of black men in the # 1 area of pop culture most important to teenage girls – music. I never saw it as a coincidence. I had a conversation with some girls when I was in my late teens and those girls expressed that they couldn’t understand anyone being attracted to Asian (Far East) men. I pointed out to them that if movies and music were filled with Asian men they would be tripping over themselves to obtain one, but they wouldn’t have it. Yet right now the major pinup acts are ‘K Pop’ and ‘J Pop’ ones – mediocre pop groups selling back to (ignorant) Western girls a poor watered-down version of what used to be home-grown, complete with multiple colours of hair to outwardly signal a kind of biodiversity the mono cultures that spawned them actually lack. I may be being ungenerous, but I honestly think there are a significant amount who will always simply go with the dominant ‘thing’ – whatever that may be.

        2. Shaun Buchanan

          Very true unfortunately there are male feminists involved in such legislation. Misandry has now be made legal through this outlandish Bill and Parental Alienation has been withdrawn.

          We need to organise put these people out of office and populate the parliament and the judiciary with people who have an analytical mind who makes judgements impartially based on evidence. Otherwise we are finished. It is time for radical action who is with me?

          Sign and share and together we can prevent this mockery of justice.

          https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-most-capable-parent-to-gain-full-custody-of-children-in-relationship-breakdown-preventing-parental-alienation

          https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-breach-of-equalities-act-2010-removing-misandrists-from-public-office

          Reply
      2. Groan

        The logic of the analysis of gynocentrism is indeed that change will come when sufficient women oppose feminism that men, or rather those in power, regard non feminist women are the voice of what women want. An evidence of this is the “trans” debate. 3 years ago it seemed all but inevitable that the anglosphere would follow Canada and Prof. Peterson. And then the fact that most “trans” were girls wanting to be men began to get out into public (the public that counts). And suddenly the issue started to falter and here in the UK one reading of the case just won, is that a gynocentric court found in favour of two women. And by association gives protection to boys though its primary purpose in its ruling is to protect girls.
        While the dominant view was that “trans” meant boys being castrated and given drugs to change their bodies……. well it was full steam ahead. As it transpired 70% of such confused children seeking treatment were in fact girls; the brakes began to be applied. And few articles I have read in the past couple of years have even mentioned boys.

        Reply
        1. Logan

          The Trans debate has always been a sideshow. As soon as it became clear that Trans-women were allowed to enter female spaces the anti-penis brigade who wield a lot of power in feminism turned against Trans-women. Encourage boys to wear dresses and play with dolls – fine, tell them to behave more like girls – fine, but as soon as their balls drop and they get chest hair – stay away from us you’re a predator.
          Couple that with the hardcore lesbian elements resenting girls wanting to become men, not to mention the harm these hormones do to girls (something they – as you pointed out – didn’t mind with boys) and you have a perfect storm of women-worsting that Trans will, in the long run, not be able to overcome.

          Reply
  5. Groan

    Thank you for this exellent analysis. The true success of the feminists is not in the noisey popular femists of the media that are generally a combination of “poor me” and “it’s all their fault” who anyway frequently are contradictory. It is in the influence in the key professions in political life and the family courts derived from a hold on University. As you so clearly point out the position as legal and social welfare “experts” within the machinery of these parts of governance bot influences legislation and more importantly “guidance”. Unless particularly hard working or astute politicians pay close attention to the workings of the civil servants and their favoured “experts” they simply preside over a process that frequently works in complete opposition to the stated policy aims of ministers. I have some glimmer of hope that a few politicians have started to pay some attention or express concern about “cultural marxism” (the process of diverting public policy by control of key parts of the salariat, bypassing the elected politicians). Along time coming as a remember reading a minister in the late ’80s recounting how his objective of encouraging responsible family formation in the welfare system was completely ignored as his civil servants and their favoured lobbyists created a system that paid people to separate and marginalised fathers. A process that is repeated in local government too as councillors are generally easily distracted from looking too closely at what their “officers” do and rarely obstruct anything if told its “government guidance” or “statutory duty”.
    So I thoroughly agree with your two conclusions. Engaging with the policy cartels is a long term project, very long term. Engaging with younger men and indeed women will at least “warn” young men, and this is tremendously important. However there is also glimmers of a bigger hope here. For the younger generation are far more likely to believe in equality (rather than the gynocentric “chivalry” or “benign sexism”). And so it seems less tolerant of the “cake and eat it ” feminist demands for both exalted Marian (virtuous motherhood) status and competion in the “public sphere” . More likely to notice the double standards and the direct discriminations, and perhaps less likely to accept men and women simply throwing men under the various buses that often trample their lives.
    The truth is the feminists have relied heavily on precisely the chivalry and competition between males for their success, that they soon keenly theorise against.

    Reply

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