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What took so long? Domestic Abuse Bill given prominence again in Parliament

In the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2 million adults aged 16 to 59 experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.3 million women and 695,000 men). This is an alarming government statistic. Something needs to change and fast. It was hoped that the Domestic Abuse bill would seek to tackle this issue, however, it was stopped in its tracks when Parliament was suspended.

The role of the Domestic Abuse commissioner has been created as a result of the bill with the sole purpose of standingup for victims and survivors, raising public awareness, monitoring the response of local authorities, the justice system and other statutory agencies and hold them to account in tackling domestic abuse. The first domestic abuse commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, has spoken out reassuring victims of domestic abuse that the Domestic Abuse bill will be revived, and the government has confirmed that they will be backing the bill.

The bill aims to raise awareness and understanding about the devastating impact of domestic abuse on victims and their families; further improve the effectiveness of the justice system in providing protection for victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice and strengthen the support for victims of abuse by statutory agencies.

The bill would mean significant change to the legal system. It would define the meaning of domestic abuse and provide for a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order. The bill would end the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts, which would mean that abusers could not ask victims questions in court proceedings. Furthermore, it would allow the police and courts to intervene earlier in the process where abuse is suspected.

Brethertons have a team of experienced lawyers who represent victims of domestic abuse. If you have concerns about anyone, please get in touch for a confidential chat with one of our caring and compassionate expert lawyers.


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