Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

I welcome my hon. Friend’s statement. Focusing on what she said about delivering a stronger system, I wonder if I can urge her to speak with colleagues in other Departments, especially the Ministry of Justice, about the family court system. Today and yesterday, I have been dealing with constituents who have been subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour. They have finally fled their marriages, and children are involved. Unbelievably, one family court judge dismissed out of hand the coercive behaviour and said it was out of time, and then suggested that my constituent, who had to travel 130 miles to deliver custody of her daughter, could perhaps stay at his house overnight. Will my hon. Friend work with other Departments, because in delivering a stronger system we also have to address the fact that the family courts are really letting down women who have escaped dangerous, coercive and evil behaviour?