Domestic abuse: child contact and the courts in Scotland

A discussion with a panel of legal, policy and practice experts on child abuse.

There is compelling evidence that many perpetrators of domestic abuse use post-separation child contact arrangements as an opportunity for continuing to intimidate, control and abuse. Are children’s voices heard, and are their rights and safety taken seriously, in court mandated arrangements for contact? Are ex-partners of abusive men treated with respect and understanding? Are Sheriff Courts and Child Contact Centres fit for purpose on this issue; and if not, what needs to change? Speaker Tracy Hart with panel including Kay Steven, Dr Kirsteen Mackay, Janis Watson.

These urgent questions have come into sharp focus for Emma McDonald and her children. Emma will speak about her experience at the wrong end of the Scottish justice system, and what needs to change. There will be also input and discussion with a panel of legal, policy and practice experts: Kay Steven (Children’s Policy Worker, Scottish Women’s Aid), Dr Kirsteen Mackay (School of Law, University of Edinburgh) and Janis Watson (Children’s Rights Worker, West Lothian Council).

All welcome.