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Domestic Abuse Bill

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Until now, there has been no single dedicated law concerning domestic violence. Now, parliament are debating the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Domestic abuse is something which has been a hot topic of discussion for a number of years and though there have been several important developments, there is a greater increase of identifiable victims. This Bill deals with a number of issues namely; to promote awareness of domestic abuse, protect and support survivors, pursue and deter perpetrators and improve performance of professionals for survivors.

A consultation was carried out in 2018, which considered how experts work with victims and survivors, to ensure that this Bill is effective in supporting victims and deterring perpetrators. 

The Bill will provide a much needed statutory definition of domestic abuse to include controlling and coercive behaviour as well as financial abuse.

There has been a longstanding presumption that only those who are partners or cohabiting are eligible to make applications relating to domestic violence. This Bill will include family members and relationships where there is no cohabitation, who are often been overlooked.

Perpetrators will no longer be able to cross examine victims during Court hearings as the new Bill prohibits victims being subjected to this. There will be automatic special measures to support victims when they have to give evidence.  

There will be an introduction of Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders which will combine elements from the existing Orders to be stronger and more streamlined. These will be available in the Criminal and Family Court.

This new Bill is a great opportunity to provide more security for victims and to provide a unified policy to identify and respond to domestic violence in the future. At Stephen Rimmer LLP, we can assist you with matters relating to domestic abuse. We offer a free half hour diagnostic appointment in our Family Department. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance then please contact us on 01323 434415 or by email

Mary Vogiatzis is a Family Law Solicitor in our Family Law Department and can be contacted by email on

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