Welsh MP hopes to criminalise all forms of domestic abuse

Shadow couplePlaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd presented a private member’s bill in the House of Commons earlier this week that would criminalise all forms of domestic abuse.

In March last year, the government adopted an expanded definition of domestic abuse that included coercion and intimidation, as well as financial and emotional abuse. However, under current legislation, not all of this behaviour is a criminal offence.

Mr Llwyd’s bill would give the expanded definition of abuse full legal force. It was sponsored by trade union Napo and by the Justice Unions Parliamentary Group, which represents justice sector professionals in parliament.

He said:

“Domestic violence is pervasive in our society. Every minute, police across the country will receive a domestic violence-related call. These are not trivial incidents, yet according to Women’s Aid, only 6.5% of reported domestic violence incidents result in a conviction. Many domestic violence cases which are passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service result in no action being taken. This cannot be right.”

The MP continued:

“At present, our criminal system is too focused on the physical evidence of violent crimes committed against a victim. Coercive control and emotional blackmail, on the other hand, do not leave scars or bruises – but they are every bit as debilitating. This bill provides that a person could be found guilty of an offence if they display behaviour which is covered by the government’s definition of domestic violence.”

 Photo by erik jaeger via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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5 comments

Andrew - February 28, 2014 at 5:37pm

Absurd. Every raised voice and angry comment being treated as criminal. We would need an awful lot of prisons and not all of them for men.

Paul - March 3, 2014 at 3:24pm

They could simplify things to make just breathing a criminal offence, being born even. Reductio ad absurdum.

Stitchedup - March 3, 2014 at 4:15pm

Guess who lives in Wales??!!! I’m already a victim of the Welsh courts and the political influence within them. The “intention” they talk about has actually been played out in practice for quite some time… I’m living proof of that!!

Stitchedup - March 3, 2014 at 4:21pm

Domestic violence is pervasive in our society. Every minute, police across the country will receive a domestic violence-related call. These are not trivial incidents, yet according to Women’s Aid, only 6.5% of reported domestic violence incidents result in a conviction. Many domestic violence cases which are passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service result in no action being taken. This cannot be right.”

Women’s Aid again!!, you get bet your bottom dollar men will be the targets. Elfyn Llywd is a disgrace, I just hope he becomes a victim of this own policies.

Andrew - March 3, 2014 at 4:35pm

It’s a Ten Minute Rule Bill. That is, a chance to indulge in political posturing and grandstanding. It’s been thirty years since an uncontroversial Ten Minute Rule Bill has been passed into law and this nonsense is not going to be the next.

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