Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, the issue of domestic abuse is at the forefront of our minds.
Further assistance is on the horizon. The Domestic Abuse Bill is shortly expected to receive Royal Assent on 1st April 2021 and will provide much needed assistance to the victims of domestic abuse.
The bill proposes to include new criminal offences for non-fatal strangulation and suffocation and the dissemination of intimate photographs.
The bill also proposes to introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders. The same are currently only available in the criminal court. However, changes will mean that applications can also be made to Family Courts and be considered as an alternative to Non Molestation Orders.
The new law will provide powers for police to exclude a person from a property for up to 48 hours and enables the Courts to order electronic tagging to monitor a perpetrator’s whereabouts and order them to attend a programme.
The Court will be able to make these Orders either on the application of a party or of its own volition within existing family proceedings.
These changes will hopefully provide more safeguards and remedies to address the huge issue of domestic abuse within England and Wales.