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Wednesday, 13 November

Government Takes Action To Tackle Domestic Abuse

#ThisIsAbuse

The government has launched a consultation on domestic abuse, seeking new laws and stronger powers to protect and support survivors.

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws.

The consultation was launched on Thursday March 8 by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, who will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

They want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, frontline professionals, charities and and businesses willing to identify and help stop to it once and for all.

A new approach includes new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to shield victims against further abuse by enabling courts to impose a range of conditions on abusers. These could be compulsory alcohol treatment, attending a programme to address  underlying attitudes or addictions, and using electronic tagging to monitor them. Under the proposals, breaching the order would become a criminal offence.

The government have also proposed the creation of a statutory aggravating factor in sentencing, similar to those already in law for hate crimes, for domestic abuse to toughen sentences when it involves or affects a child.

The creation of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner would hold the government to account.

 

Economic abuse

Economic abuse will be recognised for the first time as a type of domestic abuse, covering controlling circumstances in which victims have finances withheld, are denied access to employment or transport or are forced to take out loans and enter into other financial contracts.

the PM said: "This year we celebrated the centenary of achieving votes for women in this country, and today we recognise International Women’s Day. But while we have made great strides towards equality and opportunities for women, the fact there are still thousands of people suffering from domestic abuse shows how much work we still have to do.

"Domestic abuse takes many forms, from physical and sexual abuse, to controlling and coercive behaviour that isolates victims from their families and has long-term, shattering impacts on their children. The consultation includes a number of proposals which have the potential to completely transform the way we tackle domestic abuse, providing better protection to victims and bringing more perpetrators to justice."

 

Men as well

The PM continued: "We know that domestic abuse affects those from all walks of life. Victims can be young and old, male and female, and I hope as many people as possible will come forward to give us their views and share their experiences, as we seek to put an end to this abhorrent crime for good."

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Through this Bill I want to fundamentally change the way we as a country think about domestic abuse, recognising that it is a crime that comes in many forms – physical, emotional, economic. This is about creating a society that protects individuals and families at the earliest opportunity, before such abuse has a chance to escalate."

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: "As part of the consultation the government will also be seeking views on how to allocate some of the £20 million funding announced last year.

"Studies have shown that adults who as a child witnessed domestic abuse are far more likely to experience abuse by a partner as an adult, and so an £8 million fund will be allocated to support children who witness domestic abuse, and help with their recovery through locally commissioned projects.

"Meanwhile £2 million will be dedicated to supporting female offenders who have been victims, as over 60 per cent have indicated they have experienced domestic abuse."

Suzanne Jacob OBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity SafeLives, said: "This is a true opportunity to have a national conversation about how to end domestic abuse, for good."

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, told ThisWeekinFM: "We are delighted that the government is marking International Women’s Day by launching the consultation on the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill. We want to make sure that the Bill makes a real difference to the lives of survivors of domestic abuse."

To view and contribute to the Short Version of the Consultation - Click Here

To view and contribute to the Longer Version of the Consultation - https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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