Facing Your Domestic Abuser in Court

In the Family Courts, victims of domestic abuse often have to face their abuser in Court, this can be very stressful and traumatic for them.  Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid has said that this can allow the perpetrator to continue abusing.  She stated that the cross-examination of victims by their abusive former partners in the Family Courts is too common.[1]

However, this may change under new government proposals that aim to help victims come forward.  The proposed Domestic Abuse Bill could allow victims of domestic abuse easier access to the special measures given to rape and modern slavery victims, such as giving evidence from behind a screen or using a video link.[2]

Ms Saville-Roberts MP urges the UK government to bring this legislation forward following delays and concerns that Brexit may delay this further.[3]  She states that “there is a general agreement that the way victims are treated in the Family and Civil Courts is inappropriately different to how they are treated in Criminal Courts”. [4]

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd has not yet set a timeline for the draft to be published.[5]  We can only hope that this is implemented in a timely manner to allow victims of domestic abuse easier access to the special measures as other victims and hopefully reduce the trauma of going to Court.

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/domestic-abuse-survivors-victoms-abusers-court-rules-video-conference-justice-bill-a8229381.html

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/domestic-abuse-survivors-victoms-abusers-court-rules-video-conference-justice-bill-a8229381.html

[3] https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-wales-44374556

[4] https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-wales-44374556

[5] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/domestic-abuse-survivors-victoms-abusers-court-rules-video-conference-justice-bill-a8229381.html

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