Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill
The Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill is being debated to introduce legislation to provide a much needed and necessary change to help victims of domestic violence and abuse in all its forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and financial. The legislation will define domestic abuse in law and will make it clear that this will not be tolerated.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd, gave a compelling speech very recently in which she said that domestic violence is not something we are now, as a nation about to hide away from, but is instead something that the government intends to confront head on.
The aim is to raise awareness and increase prosecutions by holding the perpetrator to account even if the crimes were committed outside of our jurisdiction. Importantly, the legislation will allow the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention which will allow them to prosecute British citizens who commit these crimes abroad, making this far more protective for victims of these abhorrent crimes.
Not only will there be increased funding for vital services intended to help victims of domestic violence, but there will also be specific targets for the police, to help them improve the way in which perpetrators are dealt with.
The Government further intends to introduce a Civil Stalking Protection Order to protect victims of stalking in a similar way to a non-molestation order. This will allow the Police to apply to the courts for an order irrespective of whether or not the perpetrator has been convicted, widening existing Police powers to protect victims.
There will be £17 million made available from the Violence Against Girls and Women Service Transformation Fund, to help prevent domestic abuse and to educate people to reduce domestic violence and support victims and their children. There will be funding for the training of community ambassadors to help spot the signs of domestic abuse early and agencies working with perpetrators themselves including working in prisons and police stations to increase awareness and hopefully reduce this awful and devastating crime that effects around two million people every year.
To learn more about the vital services, agencies and government bodies that have been selected for funding to assist victims please follow the link below:
Victoria Sempers – Trainee Solicitor