The Survivor Diaries
Surviving domestic abuse is a painful and traumatic experience for anyone, but for one of our Family team, Solicitor Carol Hancock, it has given her a unique insight into the issues faced when families break apart and children are involved.
Carol has used her own experiences to create The Survivor Diaries, designed to help anyone who has undergone domestic abuse to explore their experiences and their effects on mental health and to get guidance on what they can expect when going through the Family Courts to resolve issues around children.
In the diaries, on YouTube and Facebook, she shares her own very personal accounts of what happened to her and believes the decision to be open about her experiences has empowered her to both comes to terms with what happened and seek the best ways for a positive outcome for her and her family.
The result is a powerful series of vlogs and a closed Facebook group with more than 200 members, who are benefiting from Carol’s own experiences of both domestic abuse and the court system as both a lawyer and a mother.
Carol said: “It is safe to say that this is a subject very close to home for me. I originally made the career change into law because of it. But even as a family lawyer, my own situation with child arrangements continued to be extremely difficult. They were just used to continue abuse.
“This was to such an extent that I became ill in November. Shortly after, the channel was developed by me and my partner, Paul, who is the co-producer of the Survivor Diaries. Paul has experienced the difficulties throughout with me, albeit second hand. He is also very good at editing.
“The channel helped me to heal from that illness, initially. However, as I spoke with more and more people through the SD channel, who were experiencing child arrangements where there has been domestic abuse; it only confirmed my view as a solicitor, which is that abuse will always continue through the arrangements, unless it is dealt with by the perpetrator.
“It also confirmed that the family courts are not consistent in their approach to domestic abuse. With the difficulties in Legal Aid, many parents are struggling to present their case in person and engage the Practice Direction that the courts must follow where domestic abuse is alleged.
“The channel sets out general advice for people experiencing those difficulties with this area of law, as a free resource. The feedback so far has been excellent, with the videos being described as a ‘lifesaver’ on many occasions. We are very proud of the channel.”
Follow Carol and the Survivor Diaries on Twitter @Carol_Hancock1 or on Facebook at Survivor Diaries or on YouTube.
Please note that Carol cannot give specific advice on the social media platforms but is very happy to hear from anyone who believes she might be able to assist them on 01423 530630 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.