OPEN LETTER to CAFCASS and NSPCC re your PARTICIPATION in a conference run by FAMILIES NEED FATHERS (FNF)
on Saturday 14 October
We understand that you are speaking at this FNF conference on parental alienation. You must be aware that FNF have consistently attacked women.
Must we refresh your memory? As long ago as 1994, during a debate on the Child Support Agency, MP Glenda Jackson reported in Parliament that FNF advised fathers who were not allowed access to their children to ‘kidnap them. If that failed and nothing else could succeed, it advocated the murder of the mother.’ Recently we helped a father re-introduce contact with his child. He had previously gone to FNF and was horrified when their facilitators described the whole system as stacked against men, and
They kept referring to ‘feminist Nazis’. He said they promote and perpetuate misogyny and refused to go back.
FNF deny domestic violence, dismissing it as false allegations. They claim that ‘False and unfounded allegations poison proceedings when a non-resident parent is seeking parenting time with his children. Judges need to make findings of fact as soon as possible and to take false allegations into account when determining the best interests of the child.’ FNF claim that ‘there is widespread abuse of men and boys in the context of the family courts’ and accuse women of ‘making allegations’ as ‘a motorway to obtaining legal aid’.
Such claims are totally outrageous. Surely you know that:
- One in five women aged 16-59 have suffered sexual violence in England and Wales; two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner; one in four women have been subjected to domestic violence in their lifetime; 81% of victims of domestic violence are women; domestic violence has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime; 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed; 50% of rapes are domestic. The level of false allegations of rape is less than 1% and less than 0.5% for domestic violence, both are much lower than false allegations for other crimes.
- Family courts have allowed violent fathers (even when they have a criminal record for violence) to terrify, threaten and intimidate those they had victimised and who managed to escape them. These legal standards would never be tolerated in an open court. Judges have insisted on contact and even residence, dismissing what women and children were telling them. Nineteen children and two mothers were killed between 2005 and 2015 following court orders to allow fathers unsupervised contact. (Women’s Aid)
- FNF have the view that fathers who are estranged from their children have the same rights as mothers who do the daily work of caring and protecting them. That is the traditional patriarchal view by which children and their mothers are men’s property for them to do what they want with. No organisation or charity which gets public funds, especially ones that claim to speak for children, should give credence to such views.
We hope you will reconsider your participation in this conference.
Legal Action for Women and Women Against Rape