On Monday 21st January 2019, the landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill was published, aimed at pursuing offenders and supporting victims and their families. The Bill comes after it is revealed domestic abuse costs the country £66 billion a year and is said to provide a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to transform how the UK responds to domestic violence.
Under the draft Bill, nine measures were identified as needing primary legislation implemented:
Around two million adults are currently estimated to experience domestic abuse every year, affecting almost 6% of all adults.
Between the draft Bill and its consultation response, the government is making 120 commitments to deal with the UK's high rate of domestic abuse, including some non-legislative measures such as:
Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, and Justice Secretary, David Gauke, concluded:
“Ending domestic abuse remains an absolute priority for this government and we will continue to show strong leadership and take decisive action to ensure that we are doing all we can to transform our response and end the suffering and harm that abuse causes.”
Although there has been a lot of positive responses to the Bill, Lucila Granada, director of Latin American Women’s Rights Service, warned that migrant women may fear deportation should they report abuse from a partner:
“The draft Bill offers little hope for migrant victims to access safety and support. This is particularly alarming, as the Bill itself recognises the ‘significant vulnerability’ of migrant victims who fear deportation as a result of coming forward.”
If you need expert legal guidance about domestic abuse, or require first-class legal representation for any criminal charge, get in touch with one of our specialist domestic abuse solicitors today via the online contact form.