Domestic Abuse and Child Contact: The Interface Between Criminal and Civil Proceedings

Scottish Civil Justice Hub Projects

Project Overview

This project aims to examine the processes of child contact proceedings, particularly child welfare hearings, and their interaction with criminal proceedings in the context of domestic abuse. The information collected and analysed will provide high quality evidence about the current justice system and produce policy and practice recommendations to inform debates about how to address child contact when there has been domestic abuse in Scotland and more widely.

This project is now completed – please see our News section.

Project Team Profiles

Links to profile pages on respective University websites:

Project Outputs

The project team provided a short response to the Scottish Government call for evidence on Women in the Justice System – A Strategic Approach (PDF).

Research Methods

The first phase of the research was an online survey with legal practitioners in November 2021, to gather experiences and views about the processes of child contact proceedings and their interface with criminal proceedings in the context of domestic abuse. The second phase of the research is semi-structured interviews with legal practitioners. These interviews are building on the survey responses to explore in more depth the operation of child welfare hearings. We are extremely grateful to the legal professionals who have contributed their time to the survey and the interviews.

Project Funding

Funded by the Scottish Government.

Support Information

If you are affected by domestic abuse or by working on cases where domestic abuse is a factor, help and support is available.

Scotland’s domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline is open 24 hours for telephone, email or web chat support:

0800 027 1234

The Law Society of Scotland provides a range of online resources through LawScot Wellbeing including access to the LawCare helpline.

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