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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Bring forward a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill

Last updated: 10:59am 19 January 2019

A Conservative government will bring forward a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill in the next parliament to consolidate all civil and criminal prevention and protection orders and provide for a new aggravated offence if behaviour is directed at a child.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.58

Our verdict

According to the non-statutory cross-government definition, domestic violence is:

“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”

The problem is widespread, with the 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales finding that:

“an estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year.”

This policy is a promise to bring forward a bill directly addressing the issue.

On 8 March 2018, the government opened a public consultation on a new Domestic Abuse Bill. A consultation allows for recommendations from experts and those affected by the bill before it is formally introduced to Parliament.

In the consultation, the government proposed creating a new “statutory aggravating factor” to toughen sentences when domestic abuse “involves or affects a child”, as promised in the 2017 manifesto.

The consultation has closed and the government is currently analysing the responses it received. The policy is ‘in progress’ for now, as the government appears to be on its way to fulfilling its pledge. We will have to wait for the bill to be introduced to mark it as ‘done’ and to find out what it will actually deliver. Follow this policy for updates.

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