New Domestic Abuse Bill

Domestic violence currently affects an estimated 2 million adults every year, creating both immediate and sustained physical and emotional harm to victims. In fact, at the year ending March 2018, 24.9% of women and 10% of men aged 16 to 59 had been abused by a partner.

The Government have this week published a new domestic abuse bill.

There are a number of focus points to the Bill, some of which include:

  • Establishing a definition of domestic violence that recognises its complex nature and includes controlling / manipulative behaviour and economic abuse.
  • Preventing the cross examination of victims by their abusers in family courts.
  • Strengthening the power of Clare’s Law, making it compulsory for the Police to disclose information about someone’s violent past.
  • Increased support for children affected by domestic violence.
  • Providing additional funding for male, elderly, disabled and LGBT victims of domestic abuse.

According to SafeLives, the average time a victim is subjected to domestic abuse for is 3 years. The cycle can be broken if victims manage to get away but this is never easy. Those who do manage to get away will need a lot of support from charities, police, courts, family, friends and social services.  The effects can last a life time.

Victoria Price, Head of Personal Injury commented:

“ Curbing cross examination of victims in courts is highly significant. When a victim gives evidence about an abuser’s behaviour, they are recalling traumatic events – events that they don’t want to re-visit but they have to for a prosecution to be successful or for a family law judge so that they can make orders to protect them and their children. Repeating these events can trigger psychological reactions, harming the victim further. They can be put right back into that frightening and controlling situation they have managed to escape from. Limiting cross examination will hopefully limit the levels of distress that proceedings can cause to injured victims and will help to encourage them to come forward to get the help they need through the courts.”

There are a number of organisations who can provide help, support and information – https://www.gov.uk/report-domestic-abuse

If you have been the victim of domestic violence and would like to speak to a family law solicitor for help with your relationship breakdown and arrangements for your children call Nicholas Clough in 0161 615 5554 .If you need advice on how to claim compensation for the injuries you or your children have suffered because of abuse contact Victoria Price on 0161 615 5554. All initial consultations are free of charge.