Domestic Abuse Bill becomes law

On 29 April 2021, four years after it was included in the Queen’s Speech, the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent and was signed into law.

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, and 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, 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.