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Read what it's really like for women and children after they leave abuse. Backbone's reports are based on the stories, views and experiences of hundreds of women and their children, given anonymously via Backbone surveys. Their voices are largely unpublished elsewhere as women and children are often forbidden by Court orders from talking publicly about their situations. 

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Report Five - Seen And Not Heard - Lawyer For Child

  • The Backbone Collective New Zealand (map)

3 May 2018 - The Backbone Collective's fifth report releases more findings from its third survey - this time by placing New Zealand's Lawyer For Child service under the microscope. 

The results are troubling, showing that while the Lawyer For Child service costs the NZ taxpayer $32m annually, it fails to uphold children’s rights in NZ Family Courts and is not making children safer.

This report is the second in Backbone's series of reports called 'Seen and Not Heard – Children in the Family Court'.

The first report in this series was published in Dec 2017 and focussed on how the Family Court responds to children when they and their mothers have experienced violence and abuse.

'Survey Three - Children & The Family Court', from which the data for both reports in the 'Seen and Not Heard – Children in the Family Court' series is drawn, was released in October 2017, and asked mothers how their children have been effected by the Family Court.