Domestic violence is an abhorrent crime and the Government has been committed to tackling it. Nearly £40 million has been ring-fenced for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services, the national domestic violence help line, rape crisis centres, and the stalking helpline.
Domestic abuse is not just physical however, as it can mean controlling behaviour and appalling emotional attacks. The Government widened the definition of domestic violence to include both physical and verbal abuse, as well as reducing the age at which domestic violence can be recognised from 18 to 16, and the inclusion of coercive control, a systematic pattern of abuse and control.
Previously, non-violent domestic abuse was covered by stalking and harassment legislation, however the Serious Crime Bill introduced a new law to help protect victims by outlawing sustained patterns of behaviour that stop short of serious physical violence.
Last year the Government also introduced Clare’s Law and domestic violence protection orders. The Clare’s Law scheme allows police to disclose to individuals details of their partner’s abusive pasts, ensuring that more people can make informed decisions about their relationships. Protection orders allow police to ban abusers from contacting victims.
The Conservative Party remain committed to building upon the work carried out whilst in Government to further protect the victims of domestic violence.