After long delays, the Domestic Abuse Bill looks like it is at last progressing as it enters the Committee Stage in the House of Commons.
Under a number of new measures proposed under the bill this includes;
- Creating a statutory definition for domestic abuse and an emphasise that domestic abuse extends beyond physical violence, covering emotional and financial abusive as well as controlling and coercive behaviour;
- The creation of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner whom, amongst other duties, will look at raising public awareness and monitoring the response of local authorities, the justice system and other public authorities to domesitc abuse allegations and incidents;
- Prohibiting perpetrators of domestic abuse from cross-examining their victims in family courts;
- Creating a presumption victims of domestic abuse are automatically eligable for special measures in criminal courts, such as giving evidence behind a screen or by video link;
- Creating new protective measures, including a Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order;
- Permitting domestic abuse perpetrators to be subject to polygraph testing as a requirement to their licence following a release from custody/
After a second reading on 28th April 2020, the bill entered the committee stage on 4th June 2020 and the committee is due to report by 25th June 2020.
Summary of the Bill; To make provision in relation to domestic abuse; to make provision for and in connection with the establishment of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner; to prohibit cross-examination in person in family proceedings in certain circumstances; to make provision about certain violent or sexual offences, and offences involving other abusive behaviour, committed outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.