New definition of domestic violence

A new definition of domestic violence has today been adopted by the government.

A definition was adopted in 2004 which referred to domestic violence as “incidents of threatening behavior, violence or abuse.” That definition has now been widened to include “controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour.” This will cover verbal, psychological and financial abuse.

The new definition will cover victims aged 16 and 17 for the first time whereas previously a victim had to be aged 18 or over.

Greater Manchester is also part of a trial of Clare’s Law which allows people to check with the police to see if their partner has a violent past. The scheme is named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her former partner in Salford in 2009.

We hope that these two developments will help victims of domestic violence protect themselves. If you are in a violent relationship and need help we can advise on the issue of protective court orders as well as divorce, children matters and financial settlements. To discuss any of these issues with us please contact us for an initial appointment.

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