Domestic Abuse Bill
Posted by Melissa - January 25 2019
This document was published in parliament on 21 January 2019, with the aim of providing additional help to victims, their families (often including children) and providing additional powers to bring offenders to justice.
Once this legislation becomes enacted it will provide the first clear statutory definition of what domestic abuse amounts to. This definition will make it clear that abuse includes economic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour as well.
The idea behind this is that it will encourage victims to seek help and provide clarification to the Police, lawyers and the Family Court.
The Bill also provides for the introduction of new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices/Domestic Abuse Protection Orders giving Police further powers to take preventative action to protect victims in addition to the civil remedies already available in the Family Court.
An important provision will be the prohibition of offenders cross-examining their victims in the Family Court, thereby hopefully giving more victims the confidence to come forward. Statistics published on 21 January 2019 on the Government website indicate that almost two million adults experience domestic violence or abuse every year, with women being twice as likely to be victims then men. In the majority of these cases, children are also affected which can have long lasting and damaging implications for them.
The Government is also introducing additional commitments to assist with tackling domestic abuse which will include:-
1. Approved support for victims in the Family Court.
2. Additional funding for provision for male victims.
3. Additional training and education for workers involved in this field such as Police, Social Workers and Probation staff.
It is hoped that as a result victims and survivors of abuse will find it much easier to access support that they urgently need.