Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Justine Soper

July 2021

You would have heard in the news that the
new Domestic Abuse bill has been passed
by the Government. Its aim is to provide
further protection for those who experience
domestic abuse and strengthen measures
to tackle perpetrators.

You would have heard in the news that the

new Domestic Abuse bill has been passed

by the Government. Its aim is to provide

further protection for those who experience

domestic abuse and strengthen measures

to tackle perpetrators.

What does it mean?

For the first time, there will be a wide-ranging

legal definition of domestic abuse which

incorporates a range of abuses beyond

physical violence, including emotional,

coercive, or controlling behaviour, as well as

economic abuse.


The measures include new protections and

support for victims ensuring that abusers

will no longer be allowed to directly

cross-examine their victims in the family

and civil courts (seen as a further form of

abuse, so now stopped) and giving victims

better access to special measures in the

courtroom to help prevent intimidation,

such as protective screens and giving

evidence via video link.


Police will also be given new powers

including Domestic Abuse Protection

Notices providing victims with immediate

protection from abusers, while the courts

will be able to hand out new Domestic

Abuse Protection Orders to help prevent

offending by ordering perpetrators to

take steps to change their behaviour,

including seeking mental health support

or drug and alcohol rehabilitation.


How can we help you?

If you have been a victim of domestic

abuse, the Family Court offers protection

in the form of non-molestation orders and

occupation orders so that victims need

not live in fear of more violence or

threats - particularly as it is a criminal

offence to breach an Injunction.


We have an expert team of family law 

solicitors who understand what you are 

going through and are able to use their 

knowledge to advise andsupport you 

throughout the process of applying for an 

injunction.


Injunctions are there to offer you 

protection from your abuser. These

are court orders that require someone to

do (or not do) particular acts. The two main

injunction types available are:


1. A non-molestation order

• This prevents your partner, former

partner or associated person from being

violent or threatening violence towards

you or any children.

• It also prevents intimidation, harassment

and pestering (including in-person or

remotely by letter, email, phone or social

media) so as to ensure yours and your

children’s safety.

2. An occupation order

• This defines who can live in the family

   home.

• It can also prevent your abuser from

   being in the surrounding area.

• You can also get an occupation order if

   you have left home because of violent

   behaviour but want to return without

   your abuser living there.


Under recent changes to the law,

breaching a non-molestation order is now

a criminal offence and a power of arrest is

automatically attached to the injunction,

meaning your abuser can be arrested for

breaching the injunction itself without

needing to have committed any other

criminal activity.