Removing harmful language from family separation

The Law Society Gazette has reported on the ongoing work of the Family Solutions Group, chaired by our partner Helen Adam, to remove harmful language from family separation.

Helen says ‘It’s shocking that harmful terms like “custody” are still commonplace in our society and the media, despite every effort to remove them. The “fighting talk” so often used in the context of family separation sets parents against each other, escalating family problems and putting children at risk. A “custody battle” suggests a tug of war between parents for the control of their child, with parents pulling against each other. Not only is this 30 years out of date, but it’s harmful to children, unhelpful for parents and ultimately damaging to society.

‘In these days of increasing awareness of the impact of language upon minority groups, it is extraordinary that there is such a blind spot over the impact of language on families who separate. The simple truth is that fuelling aggression and battles between parents increases the risk of harm to their children. Our language should reflect a problem-solving approach rather than stoke the fire of a battle.’

Read the full article here: