Grange Soroptimists support the Prison Reform Trust’s proposals to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill to improve legal protection for victims/survivors who offend due to their experience of domestic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill is currently at the Commmittee stage in Parliament so we have written to them.
Official figures show that nearly 60% of women in prison are victims/survivors of domestic abuse and this is likely to be an underestimate. Many have been driven to offend by their experience of abuse, yet they have no effective defence. Parliament now has an opportunity to modernise the law through the Domestic Abuse Bill, by introducing legal defences that reflect improved public understanding of domestic abuse. The proposed legislation and surrounding policy framework would encourage earlier disclosure of abuse and access to support.
Barrister Paramjit Ahluwalia’s article for the Law Society Gazette explains why current defences are ineffective