At the moment, there’s no law in the UK that addresses domestic violence specifically. Most offenders are prosecuted using laws from many different sources.
Under the last government, the Serious Crime Act (2015) made “controlling or coercive” behaviour an offence, but this is still a small part of the whole picture of domestic abuse. According to the government’s definition, domestic abuse can include behaviour that is:
A draft Domestic Abuse Bill was published in January 2019, following a public consultation in March 2018. As well as defining domestic abuse, this bill “provides for the establishment of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner” tasked with “improving the statutory agencies’ responses to domestic abuse”.
To mark this promise as ‘done’, the bill needs to be passed and made into law, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner needs to be appointed. For now, we are confident things are ‘in progress’.
Want the details?
- Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill – Gov.uk
- Domestic Abuse Bill – Draft – Gov.uk
- Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship: Statutory Guidance Framework – Gov.uk
- Domestic abuse: how to get help – Gov.uk
- Domestic Abuse Bill consultation – Gov.uk
- Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse – Gov.uk
- How laws are made – Parliament.uk