The Domestic Abuse Bill is now law! Members of SI Grange have lobbied the Ministry of Justice and their MPs re various changes including the successful addition of non fatal strangulation as a new offence.
In particular, this Act will, amongst other things:
1. Create a new statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, controlling or coercive, and economic abuse.
2. Establish in law the office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and set out the Commissioner’s functions and powers.
3. Clarify by restating in statute law the general proposition that a person may not consent to the infliction of serious harm and, by extension, is unable to consent to their own death (the so called “rough sex” defence).
4. Create a new offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation of another person.
5. Extend the offence of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress (known as the “revenge porn” offence) to cover threats to disclose intimate images.
6. Place a duty on local authorities in England to provide specialist support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.
7. Extend the controlling or coercive behaviour offence to cover post-separation abuse.
8. Prohibit perpetrators from cross-examining their victims in person in civil and family courts in England and Wales.
9. Create a statutory presumption that victims of domestic abuse are eligible for special measures in the criminal, civil and family courts.
10. Provide new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to protect victims and stop perpetrators.
11. Provide for a statutory domestic abuse perpetrator strategy.
12. Enable domestic abuse offenders to be subject to polygraph testing as a condition of their licence following their release from custody.
13. Provide that all eligible homeless victims of domestic abuse automatically have ‘priority need’ for homelessness assistance.
14. Place the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s law”) on a statutory footing.
Anyone interested in finding out more about our activities or how to join please contact us