New Laws to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse

Arieta Batirerega- Student

Since 2010, the Government has prioritised domestic abuse issues. The draft domestic abuse bill, published on the 21st January 2019, is intended to support victims and their families. It comes as it is revealed domestic abuse issues cost the country £66 billion a year and approximately 2 million adults experienced domestic abuse in 2018.

To help tackle the crime, new legislation will:

  • introduce the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse. This will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will, hopefully, encourage more victims to come forward;
  • seek to appoint a domestic abuse commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse issues;
  • introduce new domestic abuse protection notices and orders to protect victims and to attempt to rehabilitate offenders;
  • prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts. As it stands, victims have had to come face-to-face with their ex-partners in some cases;
  • provide automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and warrants some of the strongest measures at our disposal to deter offenders and protect victims.

By pursuing every option available, to better support victims and bring more offenders to justice, we are driving the change necessary to ensure families never have to endure the pain of domestic abuse in silence.”

Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic can help deal with family matters. Please call 01782 294800 to make an appointment.

 

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