PM announces plans for new domestic abuse legislation

domestic violence

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans for new domestic violence legislation.

In a joint press release from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, the Prime Minister said a “programme of works” would be likely to lead to the drafting of new legislation and the eventual creation of a Domestic Violence and Abuse Act.

The programme will explore current law and its success or otherwise in tackling the issues, improving current procedures and providing support for alleged victims, the press release explains. Experts will invited to submit proposals for changes to the legal system which, the government claims, varies to an unacceptable extent across different regions.

The eventual Domestic Violence and Abuse Act should, the announcement claims, would make it “much easier for law enforcement bodies to find and use more consistently the measures at their disposal.”

Theresa May has pledged to personally oversee the “truly cross-governmental” research programme. The Prime Minister said:

“I believe that the plans I have announced today have the potential to completely transform the way we think about and tackle domestic violence and abuse. There are thousands of people who are suffering at the hands of abusers – often isolated, and unaware of the options and support available to them to end it. Given the central importance of victim evidence to support prosecutions in this area, raising public awareness – as well as consolidating the law – will prove crucial. “

In addition to this telling reference to the use of “victim evidence” to “support prosecutions”, the press release states that domestic violence is “one of the most widespread and heinous offences, but one where victims are often let down by the legal system.” It states that eventual legislation would aim to “encourage victims to report their abusers and see them brought to justice.”

In response to parallel plans regarding the cross-examination of women who have alleged domestic violence by the men they have accused, barrister Lucy Reed recently stressed to Solicitors Journal:

“We need to know a lot more about these proposals to be able to say whether they will cure the problems that have been identified (potential intimidation, retraumatisation, and perpetuation of abuse), and to ensure that they don’t create another problem in the form of injustice for those accused of abuse.”

Photo of Home Office headquarters by Canley via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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10 comments

Andy - February 20, 2017 at 6:41pm

The word “alleged”plays a big part in the domestic abuse proving it is even harder…since the domestic abuser victim all ways the ex partner usually female uses this to gain vast amount of support and what the legal system once called” Legal Aid”if proven…

Pity it’s taken so many years to high light the injustices of such easy and use of term to support ones own gain..Gold digger mother….
Just ask any ex father that has has this thrown at them…

John Smith - February 21, 2017 at 10:59pm

Lucy Reed stop advocating for men. Think about the children! Domestic Abuse can mostly be proven or disproven.

Women are accused of far worse things that turn into a witch hunt they cannot disprove ie. Parental alienation, vague “Mental health issues” and Fabricated illness the new version of the discredited Munchasen by proxy.

Of course innocent dads get hurt but if they are innocent they should support women and children against domestic abuse. Karen Woodall is very pro-dad but at least she isnt anti mother.

Stitchedup - February 22, 2017 at 3:43pm

“Lucy Reed stop advocating for men. Think about the children! Domestic Abuse can mostly be proven or disproven.” You clearly have no experience of allegations of domestic abuse John. The crux of the problem is that proof is,rarely needed, the man is guilty until proven innocent and is in the impossible position of trying to prove a negative.

John Smith - February 23, 2017 at 5:29pm

Okay Stichedup so why are men like you and fathers rights groups so focused only on themselves and dismiss any support for mothers? What is stopping you from writing something balanced. Okay you got stiched up but why not also mention mothers as well, that having been stitched up.

Surely if you are telling the trurth and fathers as well as mothers are being stitched up then – there you may like to consider campaiging for both innocent mothers and fathers against a sytem that is allowing itself to be misled by the abusers.

Before we condemn all judges and the system, we know that we can all be misled by our cognative biases, perhaps the Judges are suffering from PTSD or ongoing traumatic stress having to deal constantly with psychopaths and crazies. what research is there into the effect of being exposed to high conflict to the degree judges, social workers and CAFCASS are.

JamesB - February 23, 2017 at 6:24pm

Personally I am sick and tired of hearing about women playing victims. More interested in the refugee crisis or reducing relationship breakdowns then playing to the feminist lesbian agenda. The law is more than sufficient already. If politicians cant do anything useful then they should sit on their hands, like Hippocratic oath. Them trying to improve things like 1973 MCA act and Children Act and pension sharing act and child support act have made things worse.

Stop messing about and put formulas in place rather than women playing the victim card trying to get more money from society. If women or men want to leave, fine let them leave, stop going on about how we should throw more money at them, it encourages relationship breakdown and is better spent elsewhere.

What is most frustrating is that mainstream politicians, including and especially Theresa May, have so little to offer men. She tried and failed to bring in more men bashing legislation in the past, she needs more imagination or to resign, she may make the politically correct noises to the metropolitan educated liberal elite but she lacks leadership may have worked for Blair and initially less so for Cameron, but we live in a post Blair Cameron world and need proper answers rather than simplistic feminazi stuff. I don’t mean flying the flag either.

JamesB - February 23, 2017 at 6:28pm

I just mean going for good quick politically correct sound bites like this (or Cameron supporting West Ham / Aston Villa) is what makes politicians unpopular need something more tangible like Bernie Sanders.

JamesB - February 23, 2017 at 6:31pm

I don’t remember Gingerbread or Women’s Aid or Government doing anything much for men for the last few decades, part of why MPs seem to lobby the females more at the train stations when I saw them last.

John Smith - February 24, 2017 at 11:08am

Would it not be better to focus energy on those who are failing to uphold truth and justice rather than citicising either mothers or fathers?

the family courts need a policy for manadatory screening by independent psychologists of parents chooosing [bearing in mind culutural differences] for the vindictive, the narcassists, psychopaths domestic abusers and last but not least those on the autism spectrum.

Judges need a tick box check list to make sure they are not missing vital evidence and that they are following the rule of law – heresay evidence – is not evidence and should be discounted.

As I said it is easy to spot most domestic abuse – abusers lie, they make up stories that are on the surface may sound plausible but are incoherent and full of contradictions. Anyone who calls themeselves a professional ought to be able to spot at least a handful in each statement. Abusers never stop attacking the other parent, the venom gets worse not better.. there is never any self doubt… they blame the other parent for all their woes. Anyone who cares about their children would never make the other parent homeless or peniless or denigarte the other parent in any way. Of course every parent including mother should be allowed to criticse the parenting of the other parent or raise child protection issus.

Innocent parents – can either prove their parenting okay or apologise and that for mentally well ajusted poepole it that. For the abuser or those on the autistic spectrum, an apology is not enough.. they need revenge…

Its quite easy to spot abusers… if professionals want to – [as long as they themselves are not co-dependents, narcassist, psychopaths or have PTSD] so you fathers rights groups do you want to help sort the system for everyone or just play victim

JamesB - February 24, 2017 at 12:05pm

You sound like a lawyer. There is a problem, lets have more lawyers seems to be your approach.

I think we need less findings of fact on the balance of probability, not more.

It is better to take something bad away then to replace it with something also bad. Which I suggest is what you propose. Under your proposal my ex FIL would have had me labled as an autistic person with personality disorder including traces or narcissism, elements of controlling behaviour and emotionally unstable, etc. etc. and that’s just one side of me as Susan Boyle would say.

The point is, name calling in court is a waste of time and money and on the balance of probability you could probably pick most peoples personalities apart enough to stop them seeing their children and indeed we have too much of that already.

As it stands I see them. I would not if I had to pretend to be nice to a psychologist or judge to be evaluated on if I should be allowed to see them. It should be a right rather than something you have to qualify for.

I had lawyers winding me up enough without your proposed solution which would mean they do that even more turning the court into even more of a pantomime as you suggest. Is that what you want? Because that’s what’ll happen! Well, given your approach it would. Don’t get rid of one wrong to replace it with another.

JamesB - February 24, 2017 at 12:09pm

re:
an autistic person with personality disorder including traces or narcissism, elements of controlling behaviour and emotionally unstable, etc. etc.

No, I am not those things, but have been called those and many more by many people and lets try and leave name calling at the door. I am not talking about real DV, just the made up kind which is over 99% of what is discussed in family court.

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