The Domestic Abuse Act is designed to provide greater protection to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse and to increase and strengthen the measures available to tackle perpetrators.
Measures in the Act include:
- Creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, coercive or controlling and economic abuse. As part of this definition, children will be explicitly recognised as victims if they see, hear or otherwise experience the effects of abuse.
- Creating a new offence of non-fatal strangulation and widening revenge porn laws to cover the threat to disclose intimate images with the intention to cause distress
- Establishing in law the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, to stand up for victims and survivors, raise public awareness, monitor the response of local authorities, the justice system and other statutory agencies and hold them to account in tackling domestic abuse;
- Ensuring that abusers will no longer be allowed to directly cross-examine their victims in the family and civil courts in England and Wales
- Giving victims better access to special measures in the criminal, civil and family courts to prevent intimidation (for example, to enable them to give evidence via a video link);
- Providing a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order, which will prevent perpetrators from contacting their victims, as well as force them to take positive steps to change their behaviour, e.g. seeking mental health support
- Placing a duty on local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation
- Providing that all eligible homeless victims of domestic abuse automatically have ‘priority need’ for homelessness assistance;
- Placing the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s law”) on a statutory footing;
Domestic abuse can take many forms and is unacceptable in any relationship. No one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home but we understand that simply walking away isn’t always an option if children are involved and you don’t have access to your own finances. Our team are here to help and support you and will work quickly to understand your individual circumstances, making your safety our priority. If you are in immediate danger, we can take swift action and where necessary, obtain court orders to protect you and your family from the abusive partner.
We can put you in touch with a range of organisations who we work closely with and can provide additional help and support to victims.
Don’t suffer in silence, call us on 01926 354704.