Changes Proposed Regarding Domestic Abuse Criminalization

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The definition of domestic violence saw changes in March 2013 to include psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse.  At the time those behaviours were not considered criminal offences.

There is currently a bill being introduced to the House of Commons, the bill contains a proposal that all aspects of domestic violence would be criminalized.  This would include for example emotional blackmail and coercive control.

Within the proposals there is also consideration as to the sentences that should be received in the event of a breach, particularly if there has been a pattern of behavior linked to domestic abuse.  It is hoped that from all the campaigning that is done by many agencies that the bill will be passed.  This would hopefully encourage more people to report a crime and seek protection.

The media have this week reported that there is new guidance being issued to Doctors and nurses through the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.  This will raise awareness among professionals coming into contact with victims.

It is clear that the medical profession recognize through the guidance that more needs to be done in responding to disclosures of abuse and referring victims of domestic abuse to seek assistance.

The statistics and figures regarding domestic abuse continue to be worrying; everyone will probably know someone who has been affected by it.  Unfortunately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.

I hope that the proposed bill receives support and in addition that more agencies will revise their current guidelines to work towards reducing the current statistics.

Gill Carr

About Gill Carr

Gill Carr is an Associate Solicitor within the Family department at Forbes Solicitors. Gill’s blogs cover his specialisms of child protection, acting for both parents and children together with family members. Gill also advises and comments upon forced marriage, divorce, separation, child arrangements and financial matters. Gill writes about current legislation and case law relating to family law.
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