A SELF-HELP GUIDE: DEFENDING YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELF FROM UNWARRANTED SEPARATION

Click to download: Self-Help Children

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Charlie Gard’s case shows why our family courts must lift their secrecy

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/03/charlie-gard-case-family-courts-secrecy-child-protection

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Questions about your family situation

Please email your answers to law@legalactionforwomen.net to help us know what your situation is and the help you might need. Any information you send is confidential.

Do you live in London or outside?

How many children do you have?

Are your children living with you?  If not, where are they?

How old are they?

Are you a single parent?

Is the children’s father on their birth certificate?

When did your case start?

Have you suffered domestic violence?  Did you report it?  What was the outcome?

Do you or your children have a disability?

Are social services/CAFCASS involved in your case?

What stage is your case at now e.g. do you have any court cases, meetings with social services or CAFCAS coming up?

If so what date and what are they about?

Do you have a lawyer and if so what firm are they from and what are they saying they can do to help you?

Do you have other support from friends, family, carers?

What particular help do you need?

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Support not Separation launched at moving powerful meeting

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Thank you to all who attended the launch of the coalition Support not Separation (SnS) on 11 July. The room was packed. People spoke movingly and with great power from their own experience. Four MPs attended: Emma Lewell-Buck, shadow minister for children and families; Sarah Champion, shadow minister for women and equalities; shadow chancellor John McDonnell; and Mohammad Yasin, newly elected to represent Bedford.

The detailed report below has quotes from those who spoke and lists the proposals made; you can also watch the speeches.

If you would like to join or to be involved in other ways, including by helping with case work, please let us know. SnS’s statement of aims, members so far are on LAW’s website and you can download the dossier Suffer the little Children & their Mothers.

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27 July 2017 · 6:24 pm

JOIN FAMILY COURT PROTESTS IN LONDON 2 AUG & 5 SEP

FAMILY COURT ON TRIAL Aug Sept file-page1

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Protest outside Central Family Court: Value the world’s mothers and children – part of International Women’s Strike events on International Women’s Day 8 March 2017

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See video & article in The Independent here

 At the protest we handed in an Open Letter to Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England & Wales asking to meet with him to convey our concerns about the discrimination mothers face in the family court.  See our letter below:

Dear Sir James Munby,

Valuing Mothers and Children

We write to respectfully request a meeting with you.

We are mothers and organisations struggling against the unjust separation of children from their mothers, and today, International Women’s Day, we are protesting outside the Family Court. We are deeply concerned about the rise in the number of children being taken into care, forced to have contact or live with neglectful, vindictive and violent fathers, or adopted against the wishes of their mothers and of the children themselves. Continue reading

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SUPPORT  NOT  SEPARATION

A coalition to end the unwarranted and damaging separation

of children from their mother or other primary carer

 

LAUNCH:

Tuesday 11 July 6-8pm

Wilson Room in Portcullis House, Westminster,  SW1A 2JR

Westminster tube   Wheelchair accessible

(Please allow time to go through security.)

All welcome

SPEAKERS:

Organisations and individuals directly affected.

Hosted by Emma Lewell-Buck MP

For information contact: Legal Action for Women

law@allwomencount.net  020 7482 2496

The unwarranted removal of children is not an aberration of the past or The Handmaid’s Tale of the future. Thousands of mothers are being labelled ‘unfit’ and treated as mere surrogates right now.

 

Parliament, 18 Jan 2017

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VOTE TO END THE DELIBERATE POLICY OF DESTITUTION ON 8 JUNE

 Hundreds of people around the UK have written to prospective parliamentary candidates about ending the deliberate policy of destitution faced by people seeking asylum in Britain.  The responses show a big difference in the approach of the main political parties.

The Conservatives stood by their policy of deliberate destitution. One typical response justified the current weekly income of £36 per person for someone seeking asylum by saying

 “. . . research was undertaken into the actual cost of particular essential items including food stuff, clothing, toiletries, household cleaning stuff, non-prescription medication as well as travel and communication.  They even went on to claim that “ . . . asylum support payments provided to larger household groups comfortably exceeded what is necessary to meet essential living needs.”

Minimum income standards research shows that a single person needs £328 a week to cover material needs and allow participation in society.[i] Benefits for UK nationals of ​ £73.10 a week for a single person are “incapable of providing a healthy diet as well as​ other necessities.”[ii] People seeking asylum are living on half that amount. The assessment of “essential living expenses” referred to has been widely criticised as it did not allow for toys for children, assigned only £3 a week for travel and claimed that no money was needed to maintain a social life of any kind. Before the election was called, the Conservative government were to cut all support to “failed” asylum seekers including families.

 

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FAMILY COURT ON TRIAL FOR UNJUSTLY-page-002

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APPEAL from LEGAL ACTION FOR WOMEN
– a grassroots legal service

Are you a lawyer, a former social worker or legally trained? Can you help us to stop the unjust separation of children from their mothers?

Legal Action for Women’s new Dossier Suffer the Little Children & their Mothers, documenting women’s struggle for justice in the family courts in England, was launched in January at a packed meeting in the House of Commons.  Publicity about it in the Guardian sparked a correspondence over two days: CoramBAAF challenged Prof. Andy Bilson’sresearch quoted in the Dossier and this was followed by several responses supporting our findings.

We are now receiving calls and emails from all over the country from mums and couples who are fighting to stop adoptions, get children back from care and stop violent fathers having contact or residence of their children.

We are a grassroots legal service with a well-established track record. We are based on collective self-help, providing information and support so people can decide how they want to fight their case. As cases often involve more than one issue, we work with other organisations based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre, such as Black Women’s Rape Action Project, Women Against Rape, Single Mothers’ Self Defence and WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities). Our insistence that no case is “hopeless” and that something can always be done has won LAW recognition from lawyers, as well as civil rights and community organisations.

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