On average there are still two women every single week murdered by a current or ex-Partner. This statistic is devastating in and of itself, but is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to domestic abuse. The experiences of women across the country are the same, but how can we change this? How can we help?
When considering the impact to children through the Family Court process and the impact on women suffering the abuse, the figures would be breathtaking. Are we living through an era where Court proceedings are threatened or used as a post-separation tool of control or abuse. How can we stop this happening?
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 aims to assist in dealing with the less well known elements of domestic abuse, allows definitions to be written down and introduces new avenues and ways for Police intervention. The definition for domestic abuse goes further than it has previously and specifically outlines economic abuse and controlling & coercive behaviours as important as physical abuse. The stigma surrounding domestic abuse can be altered with open dialogue, especially as controlling & coercive behaviour can be one of the most dangerous forms of abuse.
It is important that any evidence is made available to the Court at the earliest stage. This can occasionally be very difficult, especially in situations where the abuse has been less obvious to the victim or they are only just starting to recognise the experiences they’ve lived through. A number of recent cases have sought to highlight the ways in which financial methods have been used to control the victim, even once they’ve entered proceedings – this can include refusal to pay maintenance or failure to engage in proceedings and thus exhaust the funds of the other party. This can now be used as evidence of financial control.
The most important aspects of the change to the law are:
- Abuse includes physical, sexual, economic/financial, psychological/emotional
- Abusive behaviours include violence, threats, control and coercion
- The abuse can be one sole and isolated incident – there doesn’t need to be a threshold passed of ‘many incidents’
- Both parties must be over 16 years of age and personally connected to each other
- Coercion includes isolation, exhaustion, degradation and threats
Crucially, if you or somebody you know experiences domestic abuse, please call us as we have a dedicated, experienced and passionate team available to help.
Don’t be a victim contact us NOW on our 24hr helpline number 07739 748 675 or email email@example.com