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Domestic Abuse Bill Receives Royal Assent

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The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has introduced a number of noteworthy changes that aims to prevent offending and provide protection and support to domestic abuse victims.

What has Changed?

Having taken over 4 years to come to fruition, the Act now has legally defined what constitutes as domestic abuse, the definition has incorporated abuse also being non- physical violence. Non-physical abuse can be in the form of controlling or coercive behaviour, as well as mental abuse. The change and scope of the legal definition means that it will prevent abuse from happening and intern protect those who are vulnerable, it will also enable everyone including victims to better understand what constitutes as abuse so victims can come forward seeking help, as well as offending partners to recognise their behaviour and seek help.

For urgent support with domestic abuse for you or someone you know, you can find a list of helplines and information on how to contact the police here.

Why has this Domestic Abuse Bill come into effect?

The aim is to clamp down on controlling partners, and place restrictions on offenders and prevent them from going near their victims. These new laws have the potential to save lives and prevent those from being murdered as a result of abuse.

One of the other additional changes in the law is in respect to revenge porn laws which now includes threats of disclosure of intimate images and videos with the intention to cause distress. Revenge porn was first introduced in 2015 however there will be punishable sentences of up to two years for those who are found guilty of making such threats. This is a huge step for the many women who are threatened by their ex or sometimes current partner to share intimate images and videos which would cause mental distress.

Does the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 protect everyone?

Sadly, the new amendment has failed to protect ALL women, such as migrant women, facing domestic abuse. Therefore, not all women are protected under the new changes. Women who are immigrants would not receive the same support solely because of their immigration status.

Therefore, there is clear barrier to immigrant women seeking help especially in a life and death situation. Migrant women will not receive the same help such as recourse to public funds from the government if they escape the abuse from their partners. They would then be left homeless by their local authority and destitute by the government. As this help would not be available to migrant women, many would stay in abusive relationships.

Contact our Family Lawyers

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse and are in need of legal advice, please get in touch with our specialist solicitors by calling 0207 095 5700 or email us at and we will contact you.