Our thanks to Ray for this piece in The Law Society Gazette. The start of the piece:
Sentencing guidelines are to be amended to reflect the terminology shift from domestic ’violence’ to domestic ‘abuse’ under wide-ranging proposals unveiled today.
The Sentencing Council has revisited existing guidance covering domestic violence to reflect changes in terminology, expert thinking and societal attitudes over the past decade.
The council said ‘domestic abuse’ is now the term used, rather than ‘domestic violence’, to reflect the fact that offences may involve physical violence but can also involve psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. [Financial abuse – a woman not being given all the money she wants from her male partner, regardless of the financial situation of the couple / family, or her profilgacy. Emotional abuse – a woman not getting her way all the time.]
Although there is no specific offence of domestic abuse, it can feature in many offences, the council said.
Previous guidelines stated that offences committed in a domestic context should be seen as no less serious than those committed in a non-domestic context. However, offences that take place in a domestic context will be treated as more serious under the new guideline. [my emphasis]
’This is because domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, it is likely to become increasingly frequent and more serious the longer it continues, and may result in death. It can also lead to lasting trauma for victims and their children,’ the council said.
It added: ’The guidelines recognise that these offences can affect women and men [note the order] of all backgrounds and remind sentencers to take care to avoid stereotypical assumptions regarding domestic abuse.’
The entire criminal justice system, meanwhile, will continue with its sterotypical assumptions – lies, in plain English – regarding domestic abuse i.e. the overwhelming majority of victims are female, the overwhelming majority of perpetrators male.
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