Download a free leaflet on the role mediation can play in finding solutions where there has been violence at home here.
According to the definition adopted across government departments in 2013, domestic abuse / violence is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other.’ Domestic abuse / violence normally occurs in intimate or family-type relationships and the majority of those affected are women and children. Women’s Aid estimates that at least 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 experience it annually, even though only half of the incidents are reported to the police.
Family mediation should always take place in a safe, confidential environment. When you come to your first meeting, the mediator will discuss with you whether domestic abuse / violence has been an issue for you and how this might affect you in mediation. Even if you attend the first meeting, called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), with your ex-partner, you will have some private time with the mediator to discuss any concerns you might have. If it emerges that anyone is in immediate risk of harm, the mediator will discuss with you what action you could take and, on rare occasions, it might be necessary for the mediator to break confidentiality to ensure the safety of a child or adult.
Even where there is a history of domestic violence, mediation can still be very effective. The presence of a skilled mediator in the room can ensure you get your views heard on important issues such as future contact arrangements. But the decision to try mediation should be made carefully and in conjunction with your mediator, with your safety the prime concern. .
If you decide that mediation is not right for you, you may be eligible for legal aid to make an application to court, as long as you are able to provide evidence of the domestic violence that has take place.
NFM is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family
If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can also contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.
All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.