Times caption: A civil order mandating the restrictions could be obtained by family members or third parties on behalf of the victim
A piece in today’s Times by Richard Ford, Home Correspondent. Emphases ours:
People [J4MB translation: Men] accused of domestic abuse could be banned from drinking and put on a tag under government plans aimed at reducing the scale of the crime.
A new civil order would enable courts to impose a range of restrictions, including banning them from contacting victims, while police investigate.
Suspects could be required to attend alcohol and drug treatment programmes, parenting classes and anger management courses under the new Domestic Abuse Protection Order.
Family members and third parties would be able to apply for an order on behalf of a victim, and breaching that order would be a criminal offence.
Another proposal would include economic abuse under the definition of domestic abuse. Although existing measures recognise financial abuse, the new definition would include depriving someone of food, clothing or transport, or forcing them into debt.
Theresa May said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms, from physical and sexual abuse, to controlling and coercive behaviour that isolates victims from their families and has long-term, shattering impacts on their children.
“The consultation we are launching today includes a number of proposals which have the potential to completely transform the way we tackle domestic abuse, providing better protection to victims and bringing more perpetrators to justice.”
An estimated 1.2 million women and 713,000 men were victims of domestic abuse in the year to the end of March last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. About 4.3 million women and 2.2 million men had experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16, the Crime Survey of England and Wales found.
Amber Rudd, the home secretary, said: “It is appalling that in 21st-century Britain nearly two million people every year, the majority of them women, suffer abuse at the hands of those closest to them. Through this bill I want to fundamentally change the way we as a country think about domestic abuse, recognising that it is a crime that comes in many forms, physical, emotional, economic. This is about creating a society that protects individuals and families at the earliest opportunity, before such abuse has a chance to escalate.”
She added: “If we want to be really ambitious about equality, ambitious about equality, this is the sort of change we really need to tackle head-on.”
Under the consultation, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse, the government plans a new statutory definition that would include all relationships with intimate partners and all family relationships, including children who abuse parents. Suspects could be required to attend “perpetrator programmes, alcohol and drug treatment programmes and parenting programmes”. There would also be a domestic abuse commissioner.
The proposed order would bring together elements of the existing measures to protect victims, but give the courts a wider range of restrictions and allow them to be imposed for longer than the present 28-day maximum.
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