Domestic Abuse Act 2021 - a new dawn
The long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill gained Royal Assent on 29 April, providing additional protection to those who experience domestic abuse and strengthening measures to bring offenders to justice across the UK.
For the first time in history there is now a wide-ranging legal definition of ‘domestic abuse’ which extends beyond physical or sexual violence to also include, coercive or controlling, and economic abuse. New systems and measures for improved responses by professionals, are also now enshrined in law along with clear guidance and accountability.
New duties, powers and measures placed upon statutory agencies will help ensure that people who experience domestic abuse and their children will have access to better support and systems to keep them safe from harm and fear.
Hertfordshire County Council now has a legal duty to provide support to victims and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation settings, such as sanctuary schemes, dispersed accommodation and refuge provision. This duty is set out in new statutory guidance and will require the council to work in partnership with district and borough councils and wider stakeholders.
To do this, we have an additional £2m from a national pot of £125m for the coming year to further develop the local service offer. Future funding will be determined via the Government’s commitment to provide a more sustainable funding framework, based on local needs assessments.
More information about the Domestic Abuse Act is contained in this Domestic Abuse Act: Factsheet - Home Office in the media (blog.gov.uk)