Law 'endangers' abused families

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The Independent Online

Campaigners against domestic violence will this week put pressure on the Government to stop men who hit their wives from getting automatic access to their children.

Campaigners against domestic violence will this week put pressure on the Government to stop men who hit their wives from getting automatic access to their children.

The all-party group on domestic violence wants to amend the Adoption and Children Bill so the perpetrators of domestic violence cannot use child contact orders to beat their partners or abuse their children.

The group is to present "substantial" evidence to the House of Commons on Tuesday showing that some abusive parents are using the orders – granted on the presumption that automatic contact with both parents is in the interests of the child – to track down their victims.

Fourteen children have been murdered in such circumstances, the group says.

Margaret Moran, Labour MP and chair of the all-party group, said: "Sometimes courts aren't even aware if they are granting supervised or unsupervised contact with children. We have to raise awareness.

"Each week, women and children are being murdered because the system does not protect them."

The amendment to the Bill is supported by Women's Aid and children's charities.