New Law to Protect Domestic Abuse Victims

Syed Zainul Abedeen Shah (Student)

Domestic Abuse Bill

Several new amendments have been made to the Domestic Abuse Bill which will hopefully provide victims of domestic abuse with more protection and increase punishment for the offenders.

What important changes are being added to the bill?

  • It introduces a new offence of non-fatal-strangulation punishable by up to 5-years in prison. The offence involves an abuser strangling or intentionally affecting the victims breathing. The reason for the new offence is because it is often difficult for a person to be convicted of offences such as actual bodily harm (ABH) as in most cases there is no visible injury (i.e. bruises). 
  • The legislation around ‘controlling or coercive behaviour (CBB) will be strengthened as it no longer requires the victims and abusers to be living together. The amendment acknowledges that people who leave their abusive ex-partners, can still be subjected to controlling or coercive behaviour post-separation. The amendment will also widen the scope of the definition of “personally connected” in a CBB offence, meaning that the offence may apply to former partners and family members who do not live together. 
  • ‘Revenge Porn’ laws were initially introduced in 2015 by the government- but now this piece of legislation will be widened to include threats to disclose private images, with the intention to cause distress.

At Staffordshire University Legal Advice clinic (SULAC) we offer free legal advice on any domestic abuse related matters. If you would like to book an appointment with us call 01782 294 800 or you can also email us at SULAC@staffs.ac.uk

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