Domestic Abuse Act 2021: Support for victims and survivors
12 October 2021 by Lucie Wilkinson
Following the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (which is yet to be fully implemented), on 2 July 2021 the House of Commons have published a paper titled ‘Domestic abuse: Support for victims and survivors’.
What is the aim of this paper?
The aim of the paper is to explain, in an accessible document, what support is available for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is defined across Government ‘as any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality’.
It is estimated that 5.5% of adults aged 16 to 74 had experienced domestic abuse in the year 2019-2020. Statistically this breaks down to around 7.3% of women and 3.6% of men aged 16 to 74.
Overall, 20.8% of 16 to 74 year olds had experienced domestic abuse at some point since the age of 16. The CPS confirmed that in the first quarter of 2020, during the first lockdown, domestic abuse accounted for 52% of their caseload.
The Domestic abuse: Support for victims and survivors paper
The paper recognises, that although statistics reflect that domestic abuse affects women more, it is important to raise awareness that domestic abuse can occur in any relationship whether male or female. It may be that male victim domestic abuse is under reported which would have an impact on these statistics.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises that children can be victims of domestic abuse, if they see, hear or experience the effects of domestic abuse and are related to the victim of the abuse or the abuser.
The report highlights the safeguarding duties imposed on local authorities. A new duty which the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 will impose on the local authority is to assess the support needs of victims of domestic abuse, or their children living in relevant accommodation. £125 million of funding has been allocated to local authorities to cover the costs of this new duty for the year 2021 to 2022.
The paper also includes details of financial, workplace, health services and educational support along with helplines and refuges.
To access the full report for more information or guidance please click the following link https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9124/CBP-9124.pdf.
For a detailed definition of ‘relevant accommodation’ please click the following link https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/993505/Relevant_Accommodation_Regs_draft.pdf.
For a full list of organisations that can help survivors and/or victims of domestic abuse please click the following link https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse/.
How can we help?
At Fisher Jones Greenwood we have experienced have an experienced team of expert solicitors working with men and women victims of domestic abuse who are able to advise and help you from our offices in Colchester, Chelmsford, Billericay, Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea.
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