Children, child contact and domestic abuse


Seminar held in Glasgow and Edinburgh

£30 – includes lunch

Glasgow Caledonian University, Buchanan House, Seminar Room (3rd floor)
Tuesday June 18, 2013 9.30 – 1.30

The University of Edinburgh, Appleton Tower, Seminar Room 2.12
Wednesday June 19, 2013 9.30 – 1.30


9.30 Coffee & Registration
10.00 Welcome
10.15 Domestic Violence and Private Family Court Proceedings: promoting child welfare or promoting contact?
Dr Gillian MacDonald, University of Bath
10.45 Children’s experiences of contact with non-resident fathers in the context of domestic abuse
Fiona Morrison, University of Edinburgh
11.15 Taking abuse seriously? Assessing the impact of the statutory requirements to protect a child from abuse on the outcomes of private law child contact disputes in Scotland
Dr Kirsteen MacKay, University of Glasgow
11.45 Discussion
12.30 Closing comments
12.45 Lunch
1.30 Close

Speakers biographies

Fiona Morrison, University of Edinburgh

Fiona is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on children’s views and experiences of contact where there is history of domestic abuse and of contact policy and legislation. She has held a variety of posts in the voluntary sector. Prior to undertaking this studentship, she worked at Scottish Women’s Aid as a Children’s Policy Worker.

Dr Gillian MacDonald, University of Bath

Gillian is a qualified social worker and is currently employed as a social work lecturer in the Department for Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. Her research interests include men’s violence against women and children, particularly domestic violence; social work with children and families and children’s participation in decision-making that affects them. Gillian’s PhD thesis (2010) examined family court processes in domestic violence cases, specifically the inclusion and impact of domestic violence and children’s voices in Cafcass welfare reports prepared for the courts in private family court proceedings involving domestic violence in England.

Dr Kirsteen MacKay, University of Glasgow

Kirsteen is an honours graduate of Law from The University of Edinburgh and has an MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice. Kirsteen’s primary interest is the impact of law and legal process on individuals who attempt to use law to resolve disputes and to protect themselves, their children or their property. Kirsteen has recently completed an ESRC funded PhD exploring the treatment of the views of children in the Scottish court system when separated parents take a dispute over contact with their child before a court. Domestic abuse was alleged half the cases and exposure to domestic abuse significantly impacted on the views children expressed.

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