08 March, 2018
Today Theresa May has launched a consultation on the Government's new domestic abuse Bill. This much anticipated draft Bill will provide for the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes economic abuse, alongside other forms of non-physical abuse.
Family, Civil or Criminal Courts will be able to grant the new Orders on a "freestanding application" from a victim, a member of their family or a support service.
Other proposed reforms to protect vulnerable victims include domestic abuse suspects being banned from drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The reform would give the Court powers to electronically tag domestic abuse perpetrators to monitor their movements and also the powers to impose that perpetrators must notify the police if they enter into a new relationship.
Whilst still undefined, should there be a breach of a Domestic Abuse Protection Order the reforms will allow for tougher sentences, especially in those cases involving children.
With Government figures showing that in 2016/17, 82 women and 13 men were killed by a partner or former partner and nearly 2 million people (the majority of them women) live with domestic abuse every day, these reforms are welcomed and cannot come soon enough.
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