Harold G Walker

Harold G Walker Solicitors

Your Friend-In-Law for over 77 years

Solicitors in Dorset, Solicitors in Windborne, Solicitors in Broadstone, Solicitors in Verwood, Solicitors in Christchurch,We’ll all have seen and read the news. IT’S NOT OKAY.

Domestic Abuse. The pandemic has made it even worse. We call it the ‘hidden killer’ because domestic abuse tends to creep up, without us seeing it and very often includes non-physical (but just as harmful) abuse.

As an extremely disturbing, current, ever-evolving issue, domestic abuse has attracted further attention from the UK Parliament. Reform is on the way, in the current form of the Domestic Abuse Bill 2021, to stay ahead of this hideous seed of so much destruction and harm.

It’s reached the report stage in the House of Lords. Something tells me they’ll be rocking up in the morning. And not just to claim their expenses.

As well as protection from the usual diabolical physical and sexual abuse, there are additional suggested little nuances in the bill that just will not be ignored anymore. Read on. Among those jolly little favourites of abusers….are…….

Non-fatal strangulation. A cunning attempt to affect their victim’s breathing, to control and/or intimidate. No visible injury.  Criminal offence folks. 5 years.

Controlling or coercive behaviour. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Includes interfering with your cash too. If they think it’s ok to do this if they’re not living with you? They’re wrong.

Revenge Vulgarity. Whilst this particularly evil offence was introduced by the government in 2015, the menu will also include ‘threats to disclose intimate images with the intention to cause distress’. 2 years inside. You’re welcome.

Also, of note, are specific court procedures that, if the time comes to do something quickly, protect you.

  • Dedicated separate waiting rooms in court.
  • Separate court entrances.
  • Court screens.
  • ‘Barring orders’ prevent abusers from repeatedly dragging the process through the court.
  • Balancing the right of contact between the abuser and children, against the risk of ongoing abuse.
  • A new separate domestic abuse court that seeks to establish the evidence proactively, without subjecting parties to formal oral examination and cross-examination.

The whole aim is to keep victims and children even safer throughout the court process. It is welcomed by professionals to deliver continued, progressive safeguarding.

There are monsters out there. But there are gentlemen too. It’s the hidden killer and we’re about to expose it. Together.

Rob Price – Family Law Solicitor