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2017 FNF Annual Conference

FNF Conference on the Future of Family Justice – Key Issues for Litigants

There are still some tickets left for the FNF 2017 Annual Conference in Bristol on Saturday 18th March 2017.  Click here for a last chance to book your places!

 


 

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  • This is a tragic story of coercive control of a young man by his girlfriend. It is shocking when such behaviour exists regardless of whether the perpetrator is a man or a woman. Domestic abuse against men is considered by many to be far more common than people think and under-reported. There are likely to be various reasons for this, but one that occurs frequently is the fear that they will lose access to their children. The Office for National Statistics says "The most common type of domestic abuse experienced in the last year was partner abuse, with 4.5% of adults reporting this type of abuse. Whilst a higher proportion of women reported experience of partner abuse in the last year than men (5.9% compared with 3%), similar proportions of men and women reported experience of family abuse". Please support us by liking, sharing and following us, making a donation, registering with us for free or becoming a member. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43799850
  • As the number of applications to family courts reached a new high of 52,168 last year, grandparents are also increasingly seeking to protect their relationships with their grandchildren. Not sure it needed 'experts' to confirm that most of these are paternal grandparents. Please support us by liking, sharing and following us, making a donation, registering with us for free or becoming a member. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/grandparents-go-court-custody-battles-grandchildren/
  • We often hear of fathers who are denied time with their children from day one. Sometimes they deny paternity, even when a child looks like their dad. Recently published US research, focusing on separated parents of infants, showed that not only did dads spend more time with their children when they looked like them and they were sure of their paternity, but increased fathers involvement and resulted in significantly better health of their children by the time they were one year old. Mums wishing the best for their children should think twice if they are considering restricting access by fathers to their babies without compelling, unselfish reasons. Please support us by sharing this, following us, liking, registering for free, on our website, donating or becoming a member of FNF. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5479377/Babies-look-like-dad-tend-healthier-study-finds.html
  • The crime wave on London’s streets is shocking. Who would have thought that London would ever surpass New York as a murder capital, even if only for the month of March 2018 (in general US figures remain far worse). The problems of violent crime are no-doubt many and complex. Socioeconomic factors pay a part, but one striking fact keeps cropping up – fatherlessness. Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, acknowledged this. David Lammy, an MP whose constituency has been badly affected by knife and other serious crime observed “I have sat with too many parents, usually mothers, who have lost their children to knife crime,” and “usually the child that has committed the offence comes from a background where the father has been absent.” Indeed, that is the case in the vast majority of cases where children lack positive paternal role models and these young people are nine times more likely to commit crimes. Other studies support this. One 2014 paper on The Effect of Single Parent Family on Child Delinquency, stated “A very real connection between delinquent behaviour, and single parent families in particular mother-only families, produce more delinquent children than two parent families.” The common assumption is that dads don’t want more involvement with their children, abandon them and are ‘deadbeats’. However, 2017 research by Dr John Barry of University College London suggests that “Men treasure fatherhood. Their sense of responsibility to their own children trumps all other concerns and their own fathers are the biggest influencers on their attitude”. Our experience mirrors this. Thousands each year contact us looking for support in maintaining those relationships after family separation or even when the parents never actually lived together. Some 35,000 family court applications a year are made by fathers who wish to retain their parental roles. They then go through a protracted and emotionally as well as financially expensive process, to get a Child Arrangements Order. Where they are successful it is because a judge has determined that the paternal relationship is in the best interest of the child. Yet when those orders are broken family courts rarely act to enforce their own orders in the 6,000 applications to do so each year. Many other parents give up before getting to this stage. Ministerial assurances that 'judges have the powers' are simply not good enough as, for various reason, courts are not applying them. Ministers demonstrate, at best, an ignorance of the problem and at worst wilful negligence and dicing with children's lives – and it seems with the lives of those affected by the most recent wave of knife and gun crime in London. Support FNF by sharing this, liking our page, following us, registering for free, donating or joining.
  • Isn't it about time in the modern world that we stopped making separate rules for men and for women? Judges already have the discretion to take into account any mitigating circumstances such as child care - when sentencing men AND women. Women want to be believed when they make accusations. Women don't want to be cross-examined by their alleged perpetrators and now they want to be treated differently when they are being sentenced. The CSJ is recommending spending less on (women's) prisons and giving the money instead to services specifically provided for women (usually by women's groups too). It seems, from this report that only vulnerable women deserve more to be spent on them. But there are many more men in prison than women, and whatever we may believe about the gender vulnerability gap, that must mean there are likely to be many more vulnerable men than vulnerable women in prison in total. Assuming they want to, judges are perfectly enabled to being fair to all people already, irrespective of gender, based on evidence. In this day and age, the last thing we want is to promote further discrimination between genders. For the record, abused men also want to be believed in court, nor do they feel safe being cross-examined by their exes, and many men would benefit from constructive alternatives to prison - that's almost a no-brainer. And on the subject of government gender pay gaps - let's have an up to date comparison between the resources provided for helping vulnerable men and resources provided for helping vulnerable women. Let's see someone demonstrate that less than 100 times more is currently being spent on women than on men. Although many more men ask for our support than women (ask yourselves why), we are a gender-inclusive charity, but we have to speak up at some recent trends to ignore such a large part of the population. When they try to make a case for treating women better than men, are the CSJ suggesting women should be given the whole cake and eat it? https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/library/a-woman-centred-approach-freeing-vulnerable-women-revolving-door-crime
  • Research in one US state shows how judges were more likely to exercise gender bias than the public in determining shared parenting arrangements. All other things being equal, just 3% awarded more parenting time to dads than mums. Support FNF by sharing this, liking our page, following us, registering for free, donating or joining. http://www.spsp.org/news-center/press-releases/gender-judicial-bias

FNF HSSF Kite Mark Award

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel

 

Upcoming Events

21/04/2018 Sat: Harrow Branch Meetings
23/04/2018 Mon: London Central Meeting
24/04/2018 Tue: Harrow Branch Meetings
25/04/2018 Wed: Cambridge Meeting
26/04/2018 Thu: London East (Tower Hamlets)
26/04/2018 Thu: Exeter Meeting
30/04/2018 Mon: Reading Meeting
1/05/2018 Tue: Leeds Central Meeting
1/05/2018 Tue: Newcastle Meeting
1/05/2018 Tue: Oxford Meeting (check day with branch)
1/05/2018 Tue: Northampton Meeting
2/05/2018 Wed: Manchester Meeting
2/05/2018 Wed: Epsom Meeting
2/05/2018 Wed: London West Meeting & Solicitor Clinic
3/05/2018 Thu: Solent Meeting
3/05/2018 Thu: Liverpool-Wirral Meeting
7/05/2018 Mon: London Central Solicitor's Clinic