New domestic abuse bill to be discussed in parliament
It is estimated that around two million adults in England and Wales experience domestic abuse each year, affecting almost 6% of all adults*. The new domestic abuse bill presented to parliament last week (16th July) aims to help victims report this crime and bring perpetrators to justice.
The bill includes the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse, including economic abuse, and will introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders. It also aims to raise awareness of different types of abusive behaviour and educate the public on how to identify this behaviour and report it.
The proposal includes the prohibition of cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts, saving victims the additional trauma of seeing their abusers in court. At the same time, special measures will be available to victims to ensure they are able to give evidence in the criminal courts.
The proposal includes the creation of a dedicated domestic abuse commissioner to champion victims and survivors, as well as supporting local law enforcement and communities to deal with these issues.
It is expected and hoped that these changes will make victims feel supported and encourage them to report domestic abuse sooner.
The GA Solicitors family law team helps domestic abuse victims and their children get the protection they need. You can contact me directly by emailing gloria.dyer@GAsolicitors.com or calling 01752 203500.
*Data from the Office for National Statistics.