Home Group welcomes 'long overdue' revamp of domestic abuse law
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Care and Support and also in Communities, Health, Housing
Frontline domestic violence professionals demand law change
Social landlord Home Group has welcomed proposals to widen the law concerning domestic abuse.
Stonham, Home Group's care and support arm, has voiced its support for the potential law, which would define emotional and psychological harm inflicted by a partner within a relationship as a criminal offence.
Stonham has been running domestic abuse services for over 25 years and has supported thousands of domestic abuse survivors to rebuild their lives.
According to Woman's Aid, one incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every minute, while on average two women a week are murdered by the former or current male partner.
Audrey Mitchell, client services director for Home Group (south), said: “A criminal offence of domestic abuse is long overdue. While existing laws protect people from crimes such as violence and harassment, abuse in relationships – be it physical or otherwise – can be harder to prosecute and this will give police certainty in their right to intervene.
“Domestic abuse is not just physical, but also includes verbal, psychological and financial abuse. It can affect anyone, no matter what their race, religion, class or gender. With the latest statistics suggesting that 30% of women and 16% of men will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, it is more vital than ever to ensure that victims of such abuse receive the help they need.
“Working to break the cycle of emotional and psychological harm which destroys people’s confidence, perpetuates isolation and impacts on general health and wellbeing is an integral part of our domestic abuse services. Creating a specific offence which explicitly states that coercive and controlling behaviour is a crime may help victims recognise what is happening to them as abuse and encourage them to seek help.
“It also sends a clear message to perpetrators that this behaviour is not just unacceptable, but is also breaking the law. If we can break the cycle of abuse it will help end the destructive behaviour which blights the lives of so many people.”