Home Secretary outlines new domestic abuse measures

Family|February 27th 2018

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.”

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Comments(3)

  1. Paul Apreda says:

    The Home Secretary’s article in the Times was a shocking example of gender prejudice. She stated that ‘We need to confront the devastating impact it has on women and children.’ She added that she wanted to ensure that there was a focus on providing ‘….accommodation for women fleeing their abusers,…’ She reiterated that ‘The government is committed to ensuring there is a sustainable future for women’s refuges……’ and she finished with the following clear statement of intent
    ‘If we are to bring these crimes to an end, if we are to stop hearing harrowing accounts such as the ones we heard last week from women sexually exploited in Newcastle, we need to turn the debate on its head and stop simply asking “why doesn’t she leave?” and focus on “why doesn’t he stop”?’
    Amber Rudd’s position is very clear. It recognises that women are the victims of abuse and men the perpetrators. Heaven help you if you’re a man and you fall out with your female partner

  2. Stitchedup says:

    “[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.”

    Yet more evidence of gender bias in the family and criminal courts. It speaks volumes when the Home Secretary appears incapable of accepting the fact that domestic abuse affects men as well as women, and women are themselves perpetrators. The bill should be torn-up and thrown out with the rest of the rubbish, and the Home Secretary called to account.

  3. Andrew says:

    If it’s a question of screens in an old-fashioned court room: fine. But he has the right to be there, he will be at court, in the waiting area (there are never enough consultation rooms so she cannot be guaranteed one) and at the coffee machine, if it’s a DJ’s room he will be sitting across the table from her; they will both arrive through the same streets, go to the same cafe first, leave afterwards through the same streets. We need to keep our feet on the ground about this. If you don’t want to see somebody in court, don’t sue him.

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