Make ‘Domestic Abuse’ an additional charge in England and Wales

Make ‘Domestic Abuse’ an additional charge in England and Wales

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Flo Finch started this petition to Govern (Prime Minister) and

Make Domestic Abuse an additional charge in England and Wales

Hi, my name is Flo. Some of you may have seen my journey to recovery from domestic abuse over on tiktok @florahsrecovery when I went viral. I was subjected to all sorts of abuse including sexual, financial, emotional and domestic torture - but my abuser was never charged with the crime of Domestic Abuse.

And this is because - and It may come as a surprise for you - there is no law that definitively charges them with the crime ‘domestic abuse’, like it has been in our sister country, Scotland, since 2017.

Instead, the law currently breaks down offences of the experience of domestic abuse into individual charges; these include rape, coercion and control, harassment, common assault, and ABH (actual bodily harm).

While it’s progress to have new offenses like coercive control added, and long standing offenses like common assault not being timed out at 6 months, it’s not enough.

  • We still need to feel validated in our experiences. After speaking to 1000's of victims, I have found they want to see abusers being charged with rape, ABH, non fatal strangulation, AND an extra charge of domestic abuse. It will make us feel more seen and protected by those who are in charge.
  • We need a limitless time frame on reporting abuse. As you are all aware, everyone heals at different speeds and some women take years to find the bravery to safely report it. Having the charge of domestic abuse on the sheet could open the doors to this.
  • We need more protection so it doesn't happen to someone else. A clear register like those we have for sex offenders could lead to abusers being banned from dating sites, not being able to live near women shelters and even the possibility of mandatory anger management etc.

The government made massive progress with the Domestic Abuse Bill in 2021 in adding charges, extending time limits, and defining and describing the complexities of abuse, we still have a long way to go to build upon this work to provide victims and survivors the protection and justice they deserve. The bill still doesn’t apply for abuse experienced before the bill was passed, it still doesn’t have a limitless time frame for all charges (like rape and child abuser has), and it still doesn’t contain a focused, defined, single charge of Domestic Abuse.

What I want, and what I am proposing in this petition, is that we create an addition to the law where domestic abuse itself is added - alongside all the other charges that the abuser holds. This will help open doors for a modelled register, allow victims to feel validated and hopefully remove any time limits on pressing charges. All we have to do is model this update to the law on the existing one in Scotland.

Then, those that have experienced it can charge their abuser accordingly, we can reduce the chances of the defence being able to break down their client's charges, and in the end, allow victims to get the justice they deserve.

It’s shocking in the 21st century we still do NOT have this crime highlighted.It even states on CPS website;

’Domestic abuse (DA) cases are amongst the highest priority work being dealt with by the criminal justice system. They are regarded as particularly serious by the CPS.

There is no specific offence of 'domestic violence and domestic abuse'; however, the term can be applied to a number of offences committed in a domestic environment.’

How can the people in power recognise these cases are ‘amongst the highest priority work’ yet haven’t even recognised these perpetrators as domestic abusers?

Please - push this out, please sign, share, share and share again. This change won’t happen overnight, but if we come together and do the hard work to make sure our collective voices are heard by those in power, I believe we stand a fighting chance at getting justice for the thousands of men and women who have experienced the horror of domestic abuse. 

Because justice, starts with just us. 

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