Domestic Abuse- the changes to the law
The Domestic Abuse Bill has received Royal Assent and will therefore become law. Over the years there has been a number of changes to Domestic Abuse matters including widening the definition to include mental and emotional abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill goes further in changing the Law and has widened the scope of Victims.
So what are the key changes that the Domestic Abuse Bill will bring?
- Children will be recognised in law as victims in their own right, if they are living in a home featuring Domestic Abuse. A child will be regarded as a victim if they are witness to the domestic abuse of a relative. This will include seeing and/or hearing the abuse;
- Local Authorities in England will now have a duty upon them to provide support to victims of domestic abuse, including placing them (and their children) in refuges;
- All eligible homeless domestic abuse victims (ages 16 and above) will be given priority for homelessness assistance;
- Police will be given new powers including Domestic Abuse Protection Notices which will provide victims with immediate protection from their abusers;
- Courts will now be able to make Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to reduce reoffending by forcing perpetrators to take the appropriate steps to change their behaviour;
- Providing special measures in the courtroom to victims to help prevent intimidation;
- The rules relating to controlling or coercive behaviour will be strengthened;
- Widening the scope of revenge porn (including the threat to disclose images).
The above list is just a number of changes that the Act will bring which will of course provide Victims with a greater level of support as well as assurance when reporting the abuse to the police. The changes are set to transform the support offered by bringing together the likes of the Police, the Courts and the Local Authority to provide victims with support from all angles, ensuring victims are protected and given the assistance that they require.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Abuse please do contact Lee Wilcockson or Jaime-Lee Johns who will be able to provide you with the necessary advice and support required – our telephone lines are available 24/7, and we offer a confidential live chat facility via our website (also 24/7) at www.btmk.co.uk. We are also contactable by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org