The Domestic Abuse Act 2021
On the 7th June 2022 new powers under sections 70 and 71 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 were introduced that enable abusers to be charged with specific non-fatal offences, namely, strangulation and suffocation. These offences are punishable by up to five years in prison.
The landmark legislation has widened the net to catch abusers who slipped through under previous laws due to many victims having no visible injuries to substantiate their claims or due to the defence of ‘rough sex gone wrong’.
Further, the powers aim to prevent deaths as studies have shown that victims are seven times more likely to be murdered by their partner if there has been a history of non-fatal strangulation (Glass et al).
The new legislation also applies to British nationals abroad meaning abusers can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed internationally.
Such measures will be welcome by domestic abuse victims. Particularly as domestic abusers do not discriminate in terms and there is no ‘typical victim’ of domestic abuse. It can affect men, women, boys, and girls, including those who are non-binary, of all ages, races and ethnicities.
The Government has confirmed that guidance and training have been developed for those involved in prosecuting abusers. The CPS and police are preparing specific guidance on non-fatal strangulation to ensure such professionals arresting, charging and prosecuting abusers have a solid understanding of the signs and symptoms of this type of abuse, and the correct procedures and policies to follow (Gov, 7 June 2022).
Domestic abuse looks different for each person who experiences it and it can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, status or any other defining feature, therefore Stalwart Solicitors is happy to confidentially talk to you regarding the facts and nature of your case. No one case is the same, thus each requires a unique approach.
Please contact us for a 30-minute free video chat, web chat or telephone call to start the conversation and to see how we can help. We are available 24/7 through the following platforms:
Telephone: 0345 222 0452