Rights of Women held their Annual Conference on 8 October 2015. The conference was attended by professionals across the country who work to assist victims of domestic violence. This included representatives of women’s organisations, lawyers, journalists and academics.
I was invited to sit on a panel at the conference alongside a survivor of domestic violence and a representative from Women’s Aid to discuss the impact of the legal aid cuts and the Children and Family Law Act 2014. The conference also consisted of several workshops for delegates to consider the issues faced by victims of domestic violence in navigating the family justice system.
The legal aid cuts have seen many victims unable to access legal aid due to the stringent domestic violence evidential requirements. As a result victims of domestic violence are having to represent themselves within family proceedings.
To support survivors of domestic violence Rights of Women launched the Child Arrangements and Domestic Violence handbook at the conference. The handbook is a step by step guide of not only the law but also court procedure which can be a minefield for litigants in person.
Copies of the handbook are available from Rights of Women for £10 a copy or free for women who have called the advice line. To apply for a handbook please click here.