Solicitors in Milton Keynes - Family Law, Motoring Law, Domestic Violence

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DOMESTIC ABUSE IS CRIMINAL IN EVERY SENSE

Although the Home Secretary may have been slightly hyperbolic, if not histrionic, when she compared coercive control as being ‘tantamount to torture’, her general point that the issue is one for the criminal justice system, as well as the family justice system, is well made. Therefore, a new offence of domestic abuse will soon be on our statute books. The Home Office has promised that the new offence will be ‘clear and proportionate.’ The maximum penalty for the new offence will be 5 years custody and a fine.

The trend to ‘join up’ the law’s response to domestic abuse is becoming progressively more intense and focused. The Home Secretary is surely right to describe domestic abuse as being a ‘scourge on our society.’ The new legal trend to react to domestic violence with ‘tailor-made’ offences has recently been most vividly exemplified by the new law which criminalises ‘revenge porn’ (where perpetrators post sexually explicit images of victims on social networking sites without their consent). It is punishable by up to 2 years custody and a fine.

Also both ACPO and the CPS now (finally) see the link between domestic violence and stalking. This is not a crime that is restricted to situations where the victim and perpetrator do not know each other. Indeed the converse is often true. A strange paradox is that perpetrators often claim that love is the emotion that drives their abusive actions.

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