- Written by
- Anahita Zandi, Trainee Solicitor
The long overdue and anticipated Domestic Abuse Act has finally come in force today. So, you may be wondering what does that mean for me and how does this better our lives?
Well a few changes have taken place (for the better):
- The first (ever) statutory definition of domestic abuse, which now includes emotional abuse
- Children are now recognised as ‘victims’ rather than just ‘witnesses’
- Local authorities now have a clear duty to offer victims housing accommodation
- Interestingly too, the Act now covers threat to disclose intimate images/videos. This is a step forward in the right direction, it is important that our government keeps up with advancing technology and trends.
In the year ending March 2020, an estimated 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse.
Are there omissions in the Act?
It does not factor in migrant women and has not facilitated measures to protect those that receive Universal Credit (as couples receive this in one lump sum in monthly arrears into one accounts) and therefore raises issues of economic abuse.