Proposals for strengthening the law on domestic abuse….

Home-Office-logoOn 22nd September 2014 I wrote about a Home Office
consultation (closed 15th October 2014) on whether the
current law on domestic abuse needs to be strengthened and if a specific offence of coercive and controlling behaviour should be created.

The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of legislating to strengthen the law on domestic abuse.

The consultation attracted 757 responses 85% of which considered that the current legal framework does not provide adequate protection to victims and 55% of respondents were in favour of a new specific offence of domestic abuse.

Government says it is “persuaded that there is a gap in the current legal framework around patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour, particularly where that behaviour takes place in an ongoing intimate partner or inter-familial relationship“.
The Home Secretary has now announced inclusion of a new offence of
domestic abuse as an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill currently going through parliament.

The new domestic abuse offence will be triable either way and attract a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

The consultation document can be read here and the governments response can be read here

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