A domestic abuse survivor has spoken out after a web of lies from her abusive partner led to her daughter being placed in foster care.

Lucy, not her real name, suffered abuse for over 10 years at the hand of her now-ex-partner.

But despite him having been jailed for assaulting Lucy, as well as for other offences, they had shared access to their daughter.

She believes he should have been supervised when seeing the child – and she was proved right when he was caught committing a crime when the girl was with him.

Lucy, who has two other children from a different partner and lives in the Allerdale area, said: “He started hitting me a few weeks into the relationship, you might wonder why I stayed with him.

“I’ve lost count of how many times he was arrested, in 2014 he was finally jailed because of an assault on me and because he was on licence for other offences.

“Once he locked me in the house for 48 hours.”

On one occasion Lucy needed plastic surgery after her nose was split by her ex and she was also later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

After the pair split up, he convinced social services that Lucy had a drinking problem.

She said: “I got one of those alcoholic tags on my foot, it took readings from my body every 30 minutes to see if I’d been drinking, not once in the several months I had it, did it come back with anything. Just over a week after giving him shared access, my daughter was supposed to be with me, but I was having this tag fitted, so I rang social services and asked if we could swap days.

“They said she could just go with him, but because he was arrested that day, they placed her with foster carers for 13 days.

“They said I couldn’t safeguard her because it was my day, but I did ring social services and tell them we needed to swap because of the tag they wanted me to have on.

“They left my other two children with me, they didn’t take them away.”

Lucy said: “I was heartbroken, my daughter was only nine and she was heartbroken too.

“I was able to see her but calls and visits were supervised.

"I couldn’t have thanked the foster carers and her guardian enough, it was thanks to them that I got her back. My daughter was traumatised, school had to get her a mentor, she doesn’t like me going anywhere, she thinks I’m not going to come back.

“Her siblings were desperate, my other daughter couldn’t understand what was going on.”

Lucy's ex is currently in jail, however she is now concerned he may be getting home leave.

“She’s well aware of what he did but she’s very clear that she loves him and she wants to see him, but I think the visits should be supervised.”

Milestone reached in justice for family courts campaign

An Aspatria woman is celebrating a key milestone in her campaign for justice.

Victoria Hudson, 44, has been campaigning for several years to increase protection of victims of domestic abuse who go through the family courts system.

Her efforts resulted in the Government publishing a report into matter.

Victoria said: “The issue is mostly around unsafe contact.

"In many cases we see perpetrators of domestic abuse, both men and women, being given unsafe contact with children.

“Sometimes they are even removed from the victim of domestic abuse and handed over to the perpetrator – it’s all wrong.”

Victoria joined forces with other women to lobby the Government to review unsafe contact orders and to introduce evidence-based systems in the family courts in cases where children have been removed.

She said: “At the moment, they don’t look at the evidence, decisions are made on opinions, it’s horrific.

“I have around two to three people getting in touch with me every week, not just from Cumbria but nationally, who have had these experiences.

“Everybody is telling of a similar experience, it’s like a copy and paste of the same scenario time and time again.”

Victoria’s drive to see change came after experiences of the family courts system within her family. Now she is committed to raising awareness of the issues.

She has launched a campaign called #JusticeforFCchildren.

As part of her efforts, she is also raising money for Stand Up To Domestic Abuse through a GoFundMe page.

When the Government report was published, Justice Minister Alex Chalk said: “Every day the family courts see some of the most vulnerable in society and we have a duty to ensure they are protected and not put in danger.

“This report lays bare many hard truths about long-standing failings, but we are determined to drive the fundamental change necessary to keep victims and their children safe.

“But this is not all we’re doing.

"Our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will transform society’s response to this destructive crime – protecting victims and pursuing perpetrators more than ever before.”

If you are concerned about domestic abuse, call police on 101.