The bringing forward of legislation “to protect the victims of domestic violence and abuse” was promised by the Government in this year’s Queen’s Speech, delivered on 21st June 2017.
The Government’s briefing notes on this commitment state the purpose of the Bill is to “transform our approach to domestic violence and abuse to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experiences, safe in the knowledge that the state and justice system will do everything it can to both support them and their children, and pursue their abuser.”
The main benefits of the Bill are said to be:
• To protect victims of domestic violence and abuse.
• To give the justice system greater guidance and clarity about the devastating impact of domestic violence and abuse o on families.
The main elements to be introduced by the Bill include the establishment of a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner, the creation a consolidated new domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order regime and, if the abusive behaviour involves a child, the Court can hand down a sentence that reflects the life-long impact that abuse can have on the child.
The Bill’s substantive provisions would apply to England and Wales only.
A break down of all the Bills announced in the Queen’s Speech can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40339564 and a copy of the full speech at www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2017