Consultation closes on domestic abuse
By:2 commentsOctober 22, 2014
Social work organisations have responded to the Home Secretary’s consultation on strengthening the law around domestic abuse.
I wrote about this in August expressing doubts that creating a new offence of domestic abuse, whilst laudable in intent, will be very difficult to enforce in practice because of the required burden of proof.
Nonetheless, I notice the Association for Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) believe the (potential) new offence around domestic abuse should widen its definition to include abuse by any family member.
The consultation closed last week and, as Community Care magazine reports, has received submissions from ADASS and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) amongst others.
The consultation proposed a new prosecutable offence of “coercive and controlling behaviour” be introduced to allow victims of non-violent domestic abuse to pursue a conviction.
ADASS contends that extending the definition to include all family members would enable more adult victims of abuse to be safeguarded.
The BASW supports the idea of creating a recognisable offence around abuse, believing that if (social work) professionals see it as something lesser, it trivialises it, whereas if it becomes an offence, it is given more weight.
The Home Secretary seems intent on pushing forward with measures regardless of their controversy. However, as I said in August, the required burden of proof will render the offence of domestic abuse very difficult to prove.
It would seem, however, that the momentum is on the side of change.
Photo by Matt Reinbold via Flickr
October 22, 2014
Categories: Family Law