The government has promised to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill so that it includes a provision which places a legal duty on all councils to provide support to domestic abuse survivors.

The new duty is set to come into force in 2021.

The move was confirmed by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick last week, in a press release on the government’s official website, while also announcing a further £15 million to run the support services in 2020 to 2021.

The Domestic Abuse Bill, which will contain the legal duty, will also include the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.

The proposed legislation will also create a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner and ban the cross-examination of alleged victims by their alleged abusers in the family courts. This ban is already in place inside the criminal courts.

The government also published its latest report on how the family courts protect children and parents in private law children cases involving domestic abuse and other serious offences. The progress update outlines the review’s objectives, its approach to evidence gathering and the next steps for the review.

The update confirms that the review’s panel members have finished the evidence gathering phase of the project and are now analysing the data with key stakeholders. The panel hopes to produce their final report in the coming months.

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