Home Secretary Amber Rudd has outlined new measures designed to tackle domestic violence and abuse.
Under the proposals, alleged victims would be entitled to special protections in court, including giving their evidence behind screens. They would also acquire a legal status similar to victims of slavery and sexual abuse.
The proposals form part of a consultation on a new domestic abuse bill, which is expected to be launched next month.
Currently, however, the proposals do not include a ban on the cross-examination of alleged victims by unrepresented litigants in the courtroom, despite plans early last year to prohibit this which were dropped after the Prime Minister called a snap general election for June.
In an article for The Times published yesterday, the Home Secretary wrote:
“[The consultation] will ask how we can improve our response in the home, in the community, in the courtroom, through to public services, accommodation for women fleeing their abuser, as well as how we can strengthen our laws to stop perpetrators and when possible rehabilitate them. We want to remove one of the barriers that victims encounter in court: coming face to face with their alleged abuser.”