Government consultation on transforming the response to domestic abuse - Law Society response

The Law Society has responded to the Ministry of Justice and Home Office consultation on transforming the response to domestic abuse. Our response was prepared with input from the Family Law Committee, the Access to Justice Committee, the Criminal Law Committee and the Children’s Law Subcommittee.

The consultation explores a number of issues, including introducing a statutory definition for domestic abuse, establishing a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner, as well as introducing a Domestic Abuse Protection Order to replace the existing Domestic Violence Protection Order.

Our response highlights our disappointment that provisions to ban the cross-examination of survivors of abuse by their alleged perpetrators in the family court has still to be introduced. We also urge the government to utilise the expertise of front line services and ensure consistent guidance and training is provided to all statutory services. Underpinning the proposals in the consultation is a need to appropriately fund all services to ensure victims of abuse are protected when they are identified or seek help.

Responses to the consultation will influence the anticipated Domestic Abuse Bill promised in the 2017 Queen’s Speech.

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