Strengthening the law on domestic abuse
The Government is committed to ensuring that the police and other agencies have the tools they need to tackle domestic violence, protect victims and bring offenders to justice. Existing law already covers coercive and controlling behaviour – but it does not explicitly apply to relationships. This consultation concentrates on whether the Government should create a specific offence that captures patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships, in line with its non-statutory definition of domestic abuse.
This consultation seeks views on whether:
• the law needs to be strengthened, with specific reference to the Government’s new non-statutory definition of domestic abuse;
• reinforcing the law to capture patterns of non-violent behaviour within intimate relationships will offer better protection; and
• if this will encourage victims to have the confidence to report their abuse, and cause perpetrators to rethink their behaviour.
Views are particularly welcomed from victims of domestic abuse, organisations representing victims, the police, criminal justice practitioners, front line workers, service providers and local authorities.
Deadline – 15 October 2014