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.
- Domestic abuse: how to get help – Gov.uk
- Briefing Paper – Domestic Violence in England and Wales – Parliament.uk
- Domestic Abuse Bill consultation – Gov.uk
- Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse – Gov.uk
- Domestic abuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2017 – Office for National Statistics
- Domestic abuse in England and Wales – Full Fact
- Theresa May: Our new domestic violence bill will outlaw economic and physical abuse – The Guardian
- Sisters Uncut: As survivors of domestic violence, we know this new law will fail others – The Guardian