Dr Rob Dover provides evidence to Parliament about domestic abuse

Dr Rob Dover from our School of History, Politics and International Relations has provided evidence as part of a Parliamentary inquiry into domestic abuse and how the Government can provide better support to victims.

As part of his evidence to a Home Affairs Committee on 10 July, Dr Dover highlighted that one under-explored area of domestic abuse exists is how the courts and other statutory bodies can inadvertently facilitate abusive behaviour, with research suggesting that the family courts system is routinely used by perpetrators of domestic abuse to continue and even to escalate their offending behaviours against their victims – which often goes undocumented.

He also discussed how perpetrators of domestic abuse can in many instances still gain regular access to their biological children and can use emotionally manipulative techniques to advance abuse against their former partners via their children.

He acknowledges that while the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) is under-resourced and over-worked, a more robust complaints procedure should be put in place outside of the Service, staffed by qualified social workers, domestic abuse professionals and lay members.