The aim of this research project is to find out more about the experiences of women survivors of domestic abuse of the family court system. The information collected as part of this research will help us to understand more about future improvements needed by the courts and the judiciary.
We are investigating key themes in the implementation of family law within the context of domestic abuse allegations and State obligations towards people who make allegations of domestic abuse. This project involves empirical research across four stakeholder groups: women survivors of domestic abuse, lawyers, judges and magistrates, and other court professionals who provide information on the child/family to the court. Thus, we aim to gain a comprehensive overview of the experiences of people who make allegations of domestic abuses and attitudes of key actors that work within the family law system. Seven countries have been selected based on the prevalence of domestic abuse, availability of the relevant data, academic and civil society engagement with the issue, ratification of the Istanbul Convention, among other reasons. These are: England and Wales, France, French speaking Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Denmark.
The research is funded by the Oak Foundation and considerable interest has been expressed from several organisations, in particular the Council of Europe and GREVIO regarding the development of common standards and guidance that could be adopted on a European wide basis.