Lambeth Council is committed to ending all forms of gender-based violence in the borough including domestic abuse, keeping our residents safe is one of our key priorities. We’re pleased that the Government have passed the new Domestic Abuse Act, which goes further to protect residents in Lambeth and the rest of the UK.
What is it?
The Domestic Abuse Bill became the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 on 29 April after receiving Royal Assent, bringing it into UK law. The Act aims to raise awareness about the devastating impact of domestic abuse, improve the criminal justice system and strengthen the support available for victims and survivors. The key points are outlined below:
- Creates a statutory definition of domestic abuse including emotional and economic abuse and coercive control as well as physical violence.
- States that children are victims of domestic abuse where the child sees, hears or experiences the effects of the abuse or is related to the victim or perpetrator.
- Will give automatic ‘priority need’ status to all eligible homeless victims of domestic abuse. This will come into practice in a minimum of 2 months.
- Creates a new offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
- Extends ‘Revenge Porn’ offence to include threats to share private intimate images.
- Extends Coercive Control offence to include abuse where perpetrators and victims no longer live together.
- Will prevent perpetrators from cross-examining the person they’ve victimised in court.
- Will ensure victims of domestic abuse, and those at risk, have special measures to protect them in criminal, civil and family
- States a person may not consent to the infliction of serious harm or death, removing the legal defence of “consent for sexual gratification”.
- Will enable the use of polygraph (lie detector) testing for some domestic abuse offenders.
- Formalises the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s law”) where the public can apply to the police for information about a suspected perpetrator.
- Will prevent NHS providers, including GPs from charging fees to provide supporting evidence for victims of domestic abuse.
- If you live in Lambeth and are experiencing domestic abuse get free practical and emotional support from the Gaia Centre: 020 7733 8724 / email@example.com
- Get advice 24/7 by calling the freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- For an LGBT+ specialist support service, call the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
- For a men’s specific service, call the Men’s Advice Line: 0808 8010327
For more information see the Lambeth Violence Against Women and Girls webpage