The Domestic Abuse Bill receives Royal Assent

It was announced by the government that the long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill has received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021, passing both Houses of Parliament to be signed into law.

The Domestic Abuse Act will provide much needed reform to the current law in place to protect victims of domestic abuse, with the following changes being implemented: –

  • For the first time in history, the definition of ‘domestic abuse’ will be extended to include abuse that goes beyond physical violence, such as coercive and controlling behaviour, emotional and financial abuse.
  • Children will now be recognised as victims of domestic abuse in their own right, rather than as witnesses.
  • Additional support will be offered to victims of domestic abuse in the Family and Civil courts, with abusers being no longer allowed to directly cross-examine victims during proceedings, and with victims receiving better access to special measures which can be put in place to help prevent intimidation. For example, protective screens and evidence being given via video link.
  • The police are being given new powers to issue Domestic Abuse Protection Notices to provide immediate protection to victims from their abusers.
  • The court will be able to grant Domestic Abuse Protection Orders which can be used to prevent future offending by ordering perpetrators to change their behaviour, i.e., by attending drug and alcohol rehabilitation or accessing support for their mental health.

Victims of domestic abuse may need to consider instructing a solicitor to apply to the Family Court for either a Non-Molestation Order and an Occupation Order.  Allegations of domestic abuse can also be prevalent in other proceedings such as those involving children.

At KBL Solicitors LLP our family law specialists have many years’ experience and can advise in relation to all matters arising from a relationship, including forward planning prior to cohabitation or marriage such as pre-nups and cohabitation agreements, together with issues arising from relationship breakdown for married and unmarried couples. Our family law specialists are well equipped to deal with complex financial issues, including resolving finances post-separation, Children Act cases and protection from domestic abuse.

You can be assured of confidential, professional, and personal advice on all matters relating to you and your family.

For further information and questions please contact: Ceri Thomas / Amy Dawber / Amera Karim Nazib  or call 01204 527777 / 01254 268790 for your free, no obligation consultation.