Domestic Abuse Bill – Improvements in law and practice for victims of abuse

Each year in the UK, 2.4 million women, men and children, aged between 16 and 74, are victims of domestic abuse.

On 6th July 2020 the Domestic Abuse Bill was passed by the House of Commons. It aims to provide greater protection for victims, provide them with more support and impose greater penal consequences for perpetrators.

What are the changes?

First and foremost, the Bill will create a wider reaching statutory definition of Domestic Abuse. This definition will highlight that domestic abuse is complex; it does not just involve physical violence but also emotional, financial, controlling or coercive behaviour. – This is  a significant step.

Greater emphasis will also be placed on local authorities in England to provide assistance to victims and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation. When taking the courageous step to seek help and escape from abuse, it is vital that a ‘safehaven’ can be accessed without delay.

Children who witness domestic violence will also be regarded as victims under law for the first time.

Since its initial proposal which we discussed here in 2019, the Domestic Abuse Bill has been amended to incorporate crimes that haven’t previously been deemed to be domestic abuse or domestic violence and it has discredited and disallowed some of the criminal defences that have be relied on in the past.

Clare’s Law will gain further power, deeming it compulsory for the Police to disclose information about a person’s violent history, too.

Each of these provisions will hopefully provide greater protection for victims and their children.

Victoria Price, Personal Injury Specialist at Price Slater Gawne commented:

“ The Domestic Abuse Bill has been criticised for not going far enough and we hope that the areas that have – so far – been overlooked -will be included in future. For the time being though, if these provisions are implemented correctly with finances made available to support them then it should be bring greater security for victims- especially since the huge rise of domestic violence during COVID.”

At Price Slater Gawne, we have worked with many ladies, men and children. For years we have been able to obtain compensation for survivors of domestic abuse.

No amount of financial compensation will change the past but it can help build a better life for the future –  The compensation takes time to come through but it is worth the wait because it can help access education, housing, therapy and counselling.

What to do next…..

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you do not need to wait for the Bill to be passed, the time to act is now. Usually you have 2 years from the time that you report the matter to the police to make your application for compensation.

If you want to discuss your claim for compensation for you or your children contact Victoria Price on 0161 615 5554 or email her on Victoria.price@psg-law.co.uk or go on our live web chat here on the screen. All initial consultations are free of charge. We are here to help.