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

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The new Domestic Abuse Act has a provision which repeals the old Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) and replaces them with the new Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO). This is largely a good thing as the DAPO irons out many of the weaknesses which the DVPO had. For example the DAPO will have a ‘wide range of prohibitions and requirements which will enable the courts to impose a tailored order that will adequately protect the victim based on the specific facts of each individual case’.

One failure of the DVPO was the relatively short time limit and the fact that only police could apply for it in a magistrates court. The DAPO changes that by removing the time limit ‘to provide flexible, longer-term protection for victims’. The DAPO can be applied for and is recognised both in the criminal and the family courts.

In recent times the Courts (and the police) have come to recognise the pervasive impact of non-physical abuse as well as the impact of coercive and controlling behaviour. That is why provision has been made

to enable criminal, family, and civil courts to make a DAPO of their own volition during existing court proceedings, which do not have to be domestic abuse-related.

‘DAPOs will impose both prohibitions and positive requirements on perpetrators. These could include prohibiting the perpetrator from coming within a specified distance of the victim’s home and/or any other specified premises, such as the victim’s workplace, alongside requiring the perpetrator to attend a behaviour change programme, an alcohol or substance misuse programme or a mental health assessment’.

Under any objective analysis the new DAPO is a powerful addition to the armoury of weapons which may be deployed against perpetrators of domestic abuse.

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