Domestic Abuse Bill - Proposed changes in the law for domestic abuse survivors driven to offend

I have been astounded by the number of female offenders who are victims of domestic abuse and how that is a significant trigger to their offending.

We have been working with legal and domestic abuse experts to call for improved legal protection for survivors of domestic abuse to be added to the Domestic Abuse Bill for those whose offending is driven by their experience of domestic abuse. This would address a gap in legal protection for survivors, strengthen recognition of the links between victimisation and offending and deter inappropriate prosecutions. In its report published in June, the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill recommended that this proposal be considered by the government. 

The Bill’s passage through Parliament ended in October when the General Election was called.  However both the main political parties have committed to reintroducing it after the election, at which point we plan to reintroduce our proposals.  In the meantime we aim to build further support and evidence.  Please get in touch if you would like to support the proposals and if you are able to contribute case studies illustrating why improved legal protection is needed.

Download our short briefing here.

Download our detailed submission to the Public Bill Committee here.

Our proposals are supported by:

Agenda: the alliance for women and girls at risk
Paramjit Ahluwalia, Lamb Building
Appeal
AVA (Against Violence and Abuse)
Dame Vera Baird QC, Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services
Professor Marianne Hester OBE, University of Bristol
Nicole Jacobs, designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales
Justice for Women
Lambeth Council
Legal Aid Practitioners' Group
Refuge
Dr Jo Roberts, University of Bristol
UKPAC, Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland
Surviving Economic Abuse
Clare Wade QC, Garden Court Chambers
Welsh Women's Aid
Harriet Wistrich, Centre for Women's Justice
Women's Aid Federation for England
Women in Prison
Working Chance

Download our report 'There's a reason we're in trouble: Domestic abuse as a driver to women's offending'

Download the Criminal Bar Association's accompanying briefing on the need for a statutory defence

 

Contact details

To find out more, contact us:

womensprogramme@prisonreformtrust.org.uk | 020 7251 5070