Domestic Abuse – new ‘landmark’ Bill published
The Home Office has recently revealed that the social costs of domestic abuse in 2016 and 2017 was £66billion. The majority of this cost, £47billion, was a result of physical and emotional harm inflicted by perpetrators. For the report, click here.
The new Domestic Abuse Bill published on 21 January 2019 seeks to introduce new measures to ultimately protect victims of domestic abuse in family law courts.
Victoria Atkins, current Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, has said:
“The draft Domestic Abuse Bill recognises the complex nature of these horrific crimes and puts the needs of victims and their families at the forefront.”
“This government is absolutely committed to shinning a light on domestic abuse to ensure this hidden crime does not remain in the shadows.”
A step into right direction
The new Bill seeks to: –
- Provide a legal definition of domestic abuse (including economic abuse, controlling, manipulative and non-physical abuse)
- Prevent perpetrators from cross-examining their victims in family courts
- Introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders
- Establish a national “Domestic Abuse Commissioner”
- Ensure perpetrators are automatically enrolled into behaviour-changing rehabilitation programmes
The government has announced that in total it will make 120 commitments to address the issue of domestic abuse.
The announcement of the draft Bill comes as a result of a government consultation into domestic abuse which took place between March and May 2018. For the consultation document, click here.
It has also been revealed that: –
- 2,000,0000 people aged 16 to 59 years old said they had been a victim of domestic abuse
- 1,300,000 female victims and 695,000 male victims
- 38 arrests for every 100 recorded crimes
- 89,091 cases resulted in prosecution
(Figures from the Office of National Statistics – year ending March 2018)
It is not yet known when the Domestic Abuse Bill will be made Law, but one thing is certain, it is eagerly anticipated and will be welcomed by many.
Do not suffer in silence. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please call our domestic abuse team who will be able to arrange protection against violent partners or co-habitees and liaise with emergency services on your behalf. Please call 0808 271 9413 or request a call back online.