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‘You’re over-reacting’: how to identify and deal with gaslighting and controlling behaviour in private children cases

Date:3 JUL 2022
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Beth Armitage, St Philips Chambers

'You’re just crazy' 'I never said that. You have a terrible memory'

These are just two examples of gaslighting phrases commonly used in cases where a party is making allegations of domestic abuse, however until the case of Re B-B (Domestic Abuse: Fact-Finding) (Rev1) [2022] EWHC 108 (Fam) the courts had little to no recognition of the term gaslighting to describe this form of behaviour.

This article aims to explore the question: what even is gaslighting? It considers the new concept of gaslighting, a form of domestic abuse which is becoming increasingly common in family law cases. This article considers how to properly assess the impact of gaslighting on a client within family law cases and how to present their case effectively using the principles set out in the case of Re H-N [2021] EWCA Civ 448.  

Further, this article explores the case of Re B-B and how this case is a ‘milestone hearing’ which properly analyses the meaning of the word gaslighting and makes findings against one of the parties’ for having ‘gaslit’ his ex-partner. 

The full article will be published in the July issue of Family Law



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