The newly introduced landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, aims to prevent all forms of domestic abuse and will help to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can to protect and support them, and pursue their abuser.
The new legislation will:
- Introduce a statutory Government definition of domestic abuse, which will highlight economic abuse as a distinct type of abuse;
- Establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to provide public leadership on domestic abuse issues;
- Introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders;
- Prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts;
- Provide automatic eligibility for special measures to provide more support to victims in court;
- Place the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law) on a statutory footing (the scheme enables the public to ask for, and police to disclose, information about previous violent offending by a current or former partner where this may help protect them from further violent offending); and
- Support ratification of the Istanbul Convention by extending the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales to further violent and sexual offences.
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