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Partnership to strengthen law on domestic violence

Three high-profile domestic violence charities have formed a partnership to campaign for the law on domestic violence to be strengthened.

Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service, the Sara Charlton Charitable Foundation, and Women’s Aid have announced that they are joining forces to address weaknesses in the way the law currently protects women experiencing domestic violence.

The charities are highlighting that domestic violence is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour, made up of many instances of abuse. However, the criminal justice system and the law are structured around individual instances of violence, meaning they are often unable to act to protect women experiencing domestic violence.

The charities are campaigning for coercive control to be criminalised and for the legal process for survivors of domestic violence to be altered to make the criminal justice system take account of repeat instances of domestic violence.

Rhea Gargour, (Chief Operating Officer) and Antonia Packard (Chief Executive Officer) of the Sara Charlton Charitable Foundation said:

“The domestic violence definition was amended in March 2013 to include psychological abuse and coercive control but currently there is no legal framework to support this.

“In the absence of an effective statutory framework, domestic violence is not seen as a pattern of abuse or the serious crime that leads to two homicides every week. We are very excited to work with Paladin and Women’s Aid to fill in the gaps that are vital to help saving lives.”

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