New Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan launched

Home Secretary Priti Patel has launched a new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan informed by victims and survivors.

Aligned closely to the recent Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, the plan sets a clear ambition of prioritising the prevention of these awful crimes, supporting victims and pursuing perpetrators.

Some 2.3 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last year and around one in five homicides are related to domestic abuse.

On pursuing perpetrators, the plan includes measures proposing the creation of a new register for domestic abusers which could require perpetrators to take actions such as reporting to the police when changing address or opening a bank account with a new partner. It also proposes increasing electronic tagging to a further 3,500 individuals who have left prison and who pose a risk to women and girls and investing £75 million on directly addressing abusers’ behaviour, as part of an overall £81 million for tackling perpetrators over the next three years.

To priorities prevention, the plans promotes a package of support for teachers to deliver the relationship, sex, and health education curriculum to ensure children learn about healthy relationships at an early age, as well as steps to make it easier to access information on a partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending by revising and consulting on the guidance underpinning the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, known as Clare’s Law, to consider the timescales for disclosure and promote tools which allow online applications.

Additionally, Patel proposes a doubling of funding for the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which sees on average 15,000 users every three months, and an uplift for all other national tackling VAWG helplines, to a combined total of over £2 million a year.

Patel said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that ruins lives and tackling it is an important part of this government’s Beating Crime Plan. For far too long the focus has been on what the victim might have done differently, rather than on the behaviour of the perpetrators themselves. This must now change. My Domestic Abuse Plan focuses on taking the onus off victims and making it easier for them to access the help and support they need, while taking tough action against perpetrators.”

Minister for Safeguarding Rachel Maclean said: “Domestic abuse causes untold harm and misery in our society. Victims and survivors endure horrific ordeals that can stay with them for the rest of their lives. Every case is different, but there are a number of core principles that must drive our approach - preventing abuse, a more joined up approach, supporting victims and cracking down on those that cause harm. By putting these central to our plan, we will transform our response to domestic abuse. We must all work together to stop domestic abuse.”

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