On the 20th of February the government announced a raft of new measures to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The measures include:
● Tougher management of the most dangerous offenders: anyone jailed for 12 months or more for coercive control, including suspended sentences, will be placed on the violent and sex offender register, and also face being electronically tagged.
● Piloting new domestic abuse protection notices and orders in Gwent, Greater Manchester, and three London boroughs (Croydon, Bromley and Sutton). The court will be able to impose requirements such as attendance on perpetrator behaviour change programmes, alongside electronic monitoring and making it mandatory for offenders to notify the police of name and address changes.
● Requiring the police to treat violence against women and girls as a “national threat”, meaning that it should be given the same priority as serious organised crime, terrorism and child abuse.
● Developing a new digital tool which will use police data to identify individuals who are high risk and likely to commit domestic abuse offences, even those without convictions.
Describing the measures the government said: “The new proposals go further than ever before in protecting women and girls from harassment, aggression and violence, and focus on stopping domestic abuse before it takes place.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commented: “No woman or girl should ever have to feel unsafe in her home or community and I am determined to stamp out these appalling crimes.”
And Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said: “…police forces in England and Wales will now have to treat violence against women and girls as a national threat and more victims will be protected from harm.”
Whilst these measures may be welcome, an important point appears to have been missed: men can be victims of domestic abuse too.
And that includes not just men in same-sex relationships, but also men in opposite-sex relationships.
Surprising as it may be to many, it has been estimated that one third of domestic abuse victims are men. In 2020, for example, the Office for National Statistics estimated that 1.6 million women and 757,000 men reported abuse.
Despite these figures, male victims are often reluctant to seek help, concerned about the social stigma, and that they will not be taken seriously.
But domestic abuse, whether involving violence, threats of violence, controlling or coercive behaviour is a serious matter, irrespective of the sex of the victim. All victims are entitled to the protection of the law.
Whether male or female, if you are a victim of domestic abuse it is essential that you seek expert legal advice, at the earliest possible stage. We can find you an expert that works with you on our digital platform. For more information, call us on 020 3904 0506, or click here, and fill in the form.
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