On 21st January 2019, the Government published their landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill, which the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said aims to better support victims, their families, and to pursue offenders.

Why is the Bill needed?

The proposed legislation is aimed at making it easier to prosecute perpetrators of emotional, physical and economic abuse, and to also provide more support for victims.

It comes after damning headlines in the national media, and calls from campaigners and charities, who say that the family courts and current laws are failing victims of domestic abuse.

What’s included in the new proposed legislation?

To help tackle domestic abuse, the draft legislation has 5 key measures which are:

  • To introduce the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse. This will specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse – this will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward;
  • To establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse issues;
  • To introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders;
  • To prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts;
  • To provide automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts.

The government also revealed plans for a raft of other non-legislative measures, including more support for children affected by domestic abuse and additional funding for disabled, elderly, male, and LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse.

The Bill will also give statutory footing to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as ‘Clare’s Law.’

Have you suffered domestic abuse?

Whether it’s physical or psychological, it is unacceptable, and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home. However, simply walking away from a violent partner isn’t always an option – particularly if children are involved or you don’t have access to your own finances.

That’s why it’s vital to talk to someone you trust in complete confidence – a legal expert who can provide sympathetic, but practical advice.  Here at QualitySolicitors Bradbury Roberts & Raby, we work quickly to understand your unique situation and make 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’ll discuss your options and your preferred outcome, while explaining the ways in which the law can protect you from domestic violence in plain English. We can also put you in touch with a range of organisations that can provide additional support. We’ll keep you informed at every stage, taking the right legal steps to protect you and your family.

If any of this sounds familiar, give one of our experienced Family Lawyers below a call today on 01724 854000 for a Free Initial Assessment and take the first step to improving a difficult situation.

Helpful Reading:

Read the draft bill and consultation response
Read the government’s research into the social and economic cost of domestic abuse