A female politician was a victim of “multiple” domestic rapes, a family court judge has concluded.
The judge ruled that the woman’s then partner began to rape her when she was asleep, and subjected her to domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.
A lawyer representing the woman, who the judge ruled cannot be identified by the media, described the man’s “abusive” behaviour as “prolonged and insidious”.
Detail of the case emerged on Wednesday after the woman appealed against another decision, relating to the child, made by the family court judge.
According to the politician's barrister, the findings also include domestic abuse towards the child.
Findings were initially made about the man’s behaviour some months ago, at a private hearing, on the balance of probabilities. The man had disputed allegations made against him.
A High Court judge oversaw a public appeal hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.
Barrister Charlotte Proudman, who represents the politician, told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot that the family court judge had made “serious findings” against the child’s father after a “fact-finding hearing”.
“A fact-finding hearing … culminated in serious findings against the father of multiple rapes which commenced whilst the mother was sleeping, domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour,” said Ms Proudman.
“The findings include domestic abuse towards the child.”
Ms Proudman said Mrs Justice Arbuthnot would need to read the family court judge’s ruling and schedule of findings to “fully understand the gravity of the father’s prolonged and insidious abusive behaviour towards the mother and the child”.
She said the child lived with the woman.
The woman was challenging decisions, made by the family court judge, relating to what contact the man should have with the child.
Ms Proudman said an order had been made that the man should have contact with the child in a “supervised contact centre”.
The family judge had ruled that the woman should share the costs of those contact arrangements with her ex-partner.
She said the woman wanted Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to “set aside” the order for contact and the order that the costs should be shared.
“It cannot be right that the onus is on the mother, a rape victim to pay to keep her child safe in having contact with her rapist,” Mrs Proudman told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot in a written case outline.
“Colloquially speaking it is perverse and sickening that any court could and would order the re-victimisation and re-traumatisation of this mother.”
She added: “The approach of the family court in making such draconian orders is not in the best interests or the welfare of this child, and likely many others.”
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said she aimed to publish a ruling on the politician’s appeal in the near future.
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