by Cristiana Wed - £13.95 New Clarion Press (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781873797532 | ISBN 10: 1873797532
Cinders V Charming documents Cristiana Wed's experience of living in an abusive relationship; how it impacted on her self-esteem and sense of indentity, making it difficult to leave. Following her escape from the violent relationship with her four children, she has described their resulting homelessness and the obstacles they had to surmount to regain the family home.
The court battles begun a month after escaping from the relationship and continued for the next seven and a half years, so that they were never free from the abusive relationship they had tried to leave behind. The book is based on Cristina's years of experience of the family court system, in a case that involved around 70 court hearings, more than 20 judges, and thousands of pounds' worth of private capital and public money. It is an argument for greater openness and accountability in the family courts, which have traditionally been closed to the public.
Cristina's argument is that the current approach to domestic abuse by professionals and the judiciary is as abusive as the perpetrator it purports to deal with, and that the family courts fail to protect women and children, consistently denying children in families which have suffered domestic violence a voice, and favouring fathers' rights to contact over children's safety. Reviewing the 70 hearings, the book demonstrates the virtual impossibilty of holding any professional in the system to account, even when they fail to live up to their own published guidelines and standards of practice. Cristina concludes the account of their ordeals in the legal arena with suggestions for how the family courts could be improved to give greater protection and security to women and children.
(Price & availability last checked: April 2019)