Dear Friends,

Coverage of Protest against CAFCASS and NSPCC participation in Families Need Fathers (FNF) conference last Saturday.

Ten people took part in the protest called by Legal Action for Women and Women Against Rape.  Watch it here:

FNF replied saying that they are a “reputable charity” but did not address domestic violence or any of the other issues raised.  A FNF man confronted the picket saying that ‘more children are killed by their mothers than by their fathers’.

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;[1] 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;[2] 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.[3]
  • 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

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Legal Action for Women at The World Transformed

Another Handmaid’s Tale

3-5pm on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at Komedia Studio 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UN

For tickets:

In poor communities, 45% of children are reported to social services. Poverty is used to allege ‘neglect,’ treat mothers as surrogates for fostering and adoption without consent, inflicting lifelong trauma on thousands of children. Single mothers are most at risk, especially if they report rape or domestic violence, are of colour, or have a disability. A growing movement is breaking the silence and picketing secretive family courts. It is reflected in Labour’s manifesto. Mothers, women’s organisations, professionals, MPs – and you – speak out.


Cristel Amiss, Black Women’s Rape Action Project

Selma James, Global Women’s Strike

Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Shadow Minister for Children & Families

Nina Lopez, Support Not Separation Coalition/Global Women’s Strike

Anne Neale, Legal Action for Women

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All African Women’s Group

Crossroads Women’s Centre  25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2DX

Tel: 0207 482 2496 email:



P1120140[736] (2)_LI

Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei:

Detained & facing removal, Thursday 14 September


Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei (Bibi) was detained at Yarl’s Wood IRC last Friday. Just the day before she performed to great acclaim the role of a judge in our play ‘WE ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE” at the DSEI – Stop the Arms Fair. The day’s theme was Free Movement for People not Weapons!  Now Judge Bibi, who has an appeal on 1 December, finds herself denied the right to a hearing  in front of a judge because the Home Office plans to deport her back to Cameroon!

Bibi Agyei is a kind and respected member of our group, the All African Women’s Group (AAWG), a self-help group of women seeking asylum which is based at the Crossroads Women Centre in London. Once a fortnight, 90-100 women from different countries come together to discuss our legal cases, share experience and support each other.  Bibi has helped other women to understand and fight their legal cases, especially those who do not speak English.

Bibi has been in the UK since 1996. Her children and partner all live here and are British citizens.  She has no-one in Cameroon and fears for her life if sent back there because of her political activities.  Her 22 year old son died in 2014 in tragic and still unclear circumstances on the M11 motorway, while returning to the Norwich School of Art, where he was studying Architecture. Bibi and her family weren’t even informed about the inquest into his death so could not attend — one example of the racism we face as people of colour.  Bibi is devastated at the thought that she would not be able to visit his grave if she were deported. These regular visits are the single biggest comfort she draws on to help her through this terrible loss.

Bibi is disadvantaged in fighting her deportation case because she was unjustly convicted of being in possession of someone else’s passport. The Home Office is using this to deny Bibi her right to appeal.  She wants to challenge this conviction and it is only fair that she gets the chance to do this.  Many of us are labelled criminal because we are forced into illegality to survive and support our children because the government makes us destitute.

Please write to demand that Bibi’s (Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei) flight tomorrow (Thursday 14th September) is stopped. Please see below a sample letter to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd.  Please send a copy to her member of parliament, Karen Buck MP and to us at


Rt Hon Amber Rudd, Home Secretary 

Home Office 

2 Marsham Street

London, SW1P 4DF 




EXTREMELY URGENT: Re Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei

Detained and facing removal on Thursday 14 Sept

DOB 20 May 1959, country of origin: Cameroon

H.O. Ref: K1740545

Dear Amber Rudd MP,

I write to call on you to please stop Ms Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei’s removal tomorrow evening (14 September).  Ms Agyei has compelling compassionate grounds to remain in the UK.  She has an appeal hearing on 1st December 2017 which will provide Ms Agyei and her family with their first chance to put detailed expert evidence about their situation to a judge.  This includes how much Ms Agyei depends on specialist support which would be denied to her if sent back.  Ms Agyei also fears her life is in danger if sent back because of her political activity.


The Supreme Court recently ruled that it was unlawful for those with Article 8 family life grounds, like Ms Agyei, to be told they can pursue their appeals from the countries that they have been returned to R (Kiarie; Byndloss) v SSHD [2017] UKSC 42.  This is because it has been found to be impossible for people to pursue their right of appeal once they have been removed from the UK.  Please do not deprive Ms Agyei of her fundamental right to an appeal hearing. Please ensure that Ms Agyei is released from detention and given a fair hearing.

Yours sincerely,



[Your name and address if possible]



Karen Buck MP

House of Commons

London, SW1A 0AA



Filed under Asylum

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Self-Help Tool 1 Questions for Case Summary

Case summary available in Self-Help Guide 

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Preparing for an appeal hearing

Self-help Tool 3 Appeal Hearing

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Help for victims fleeing rape

Self-help Tool 2 Grounds to Remain

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Vulnerable Witness Guidance

SELF HELP TOOL 4 Vulnerable Witness Guidance

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Challenging Home Office refusals

Self-help tool 5 Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim

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Click to download: Self-Help-Children9Aug

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Filed under Family Court Self-Help Guide

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

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