18:30, 31 MARCH 2015
BY SAM DIMMER
Zoe Dronfield has now launched a charity and wants the government to reform “archaic” system
Zoe Dronfield was attacked by ex-boyfriend Jason Smith at her home in Coventry. This picture was taken shortly after the attack and shows Zoe recovering in hospital.
After a near fatal knife attack, Zoe Dronfield could’ve been forgiven for thinking the worst of her ordeal was over.
But days after she was brutally stabbed in the neck at her home in Coventry she found herself embroiled in a bitter legal dispute in the family courts.
She was still in her hospital bed when she was served papers and, incredibly, had to discharge herself just so she could appear at court.
Because she was still seriously ill she had no time to prepare.
She represented herself – still battered and bruised – and lost.
Since then she has spent £14,000 on the legal process, eventually winning the legal battle against a former partner.
In the aftermath of the attack Zoe has launched the charity I Want My Mummy and is urging the government to take a close look at reforming the UK’s family courts.
Story Link: Coventry man jailed for ten years for attacking girlfriend with a meat cleaver and a knife
Story Link: Zoe Dronfield thought she had the perfect boyfriend – until he stabbed her as she slept
“What I went through was horrible,” Zoe said.
“It was truly terrible – but the legal battle was the worst aspect of it.
“I would rather be battered again than go through that.
“I was the victim of an awful crime but I was treated like I had done something wrong.
“I think that if I hadn’t won the case I would have found it so much more difficult to recover.
“The family courts are archaic and out of touch. Ironically I can’t think of a worse place for a family dispute to be discussed and resolved.”
Two Early Day Motions have been submitted for debate by Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham as Zoe works to reform the process around child arrangement orders.
Zoe has also met representatives from Paladin – the national stalking advocacy service – to support a proposal for a serial perpetrator register and order.
If it wins enough support the register and order could see serial stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators hit with the same restrictions as sex offenders.
Perpetrators would be tracked, monitored and subjected to restrictions in the same way as rapists and paedophiles.
Since she was attacked Zoe has been doing her best to fully recover – working with a hypnotherapist to try and conquer her fears and regain her strength.
She said: “I worked to open up the information I had blocked out because it was too distressing.
“I wanted to understand and get clarity around the fact that Jason – the man who apparently loved me did in fact attack me.
“The information was there but I needed help to retrieve it in a controlled environment.
“Once I’d managed this I worked on goal-driven therapy. Ultimately that’s what’s given me the drive to recover and go on and help others.”
Locally Zoe, who works as a business development manager, has been fundraising for charities and on Valentine’s Day she hosted a ball at the Urban Coffee Company in Fargo Village.
Cash raised from the event went to domestic violence charity Coventry Haven.
For more information on the charity search for I Want My Mummy on Facebook or find @iwantmymummyUK on Twitter.