Prime Minister May announces plans for a Domestic Violence and Abuse Act

Prime Minister May announces plans for a Domestic Violence and Abuse Act

Prime Minister Theresa May plans to directly oversee her Government’s new plans for a leading Domestic Violence and Abuse Act.

The Prime Minister has commissioned a new work programme through the Home Office and Ministry of Justice to consider what can be done to better support victims of domestic violence, especially in the way the law, and legal procedures, currently work for such victims.

A concern levied by the Government is that practitioners and the Courts alike are dealing with domestic abuse in a variety of different ways. There are numerous statutes and provisions providing for the offences and protections available to a perpetrator and victim of domestic violence across criminal, civil and family law.

This diversity in the procedure and punishment is argued to go little of the way in being able to dictate a potential outcome in these matters. Practitioners working across several different Court jurisdictions are able to comprehend the assortment of powers being exercised and lack of consistency in decision making and law enforcement measures.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Domestic violence and abuse is a life shattering and absolutely abhorrent crime; tackling it is a key priority for this government – and something I have always attached a personal importance to, both as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister. I am clear that we need to build on the measures I introduced as Home Secretary – including the new offence of ‘Controlling and Coercive Behaviour’, Domestic Violence Protection Orders, and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – and ensure that no stone will be left unturned in delivering a system that increases convictions, and works better for victims. “I believe that the plans I have announced today have the potential to completely transform the way we think about and tackle domestic violence and abuse. There are thousands of people who are suffering at the hands of abusers – often isolated, and unaware of the options and support available to them to end it. Given the central importance of victim evidence to support prosecutions in this area, raising public awareness – as well as consolidating the law – will prove crucial.”

Fundamentally, for those suffering from domestic abuse, this programme of work and pledge by the Prime Minister to reconsider this issue, may come as a sign of hope. A large media and governmental investment regarding domestic abuse can only help to support current victims and better educate awareness. This could encourage more victims to report their abusers and see them brought to justice.

If you or someone you know has any queries in relation to a domestic abuse matter, please contact us on 0330 3031999.

Sophie Arrowsmith

Trainee Solicitor

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