LGA responds to new sentencing guidelines around domestic violence incorporating text and email abuse

"Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, which often lies hidden behind the curtains of our communities. It can take the form of psychological, physical, emotional or financial cruelty, and this new guidance, which acknowledges that it can occur in a wide range of domestic settings and in various forms, including over text or email, is a positive step towards tackling it."


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Responding to the Sentencing Council’s publishing of new guidelines around domestic abuse, incorporating abuse over text and email into the guidelines, and emphasising the seriousness of the domestic context to this abuse, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, which often lies hidden behind the curtains of our communities. It can take the form of psychological, physical, emotional or financial cruelty, and this new guidance, which acknowledges that it can occur in a wide range of domestic settings and in various forms, including over text or email, is a positive step towards tackling it.

“The Government’s commitment to a comprehensive package of reform around domestic abuse laws, announced in the Queen’s speech, must be centred on a shift from dealing with the aftermath of abuse to focusing on early intervention and preventing it occurring in the first place. We have been supportive of the Safe Lives call for increasing the number of independent domestic violence advisers in hospital settings, as they play a crucial role in reaching the most vulnerable victims of domestic abuse so that families can achieve safety, sooner.

“Councils know the wider cost to their communities of domestic abuse, with evidence showing children exposed to domestic violence are at a greater risk of being involved in youth crime or to experience behavioural problems that can ruin their lives and damage society. That is why we have consistently called on the Government to fully resource children’s services departments - currently likely to operate at a £2 billion shortfall by 2020 - so that councils can include early intervention measures as part of a comprehensive package of reform to tackle this issue, and to ensure councils are fully funded to prevent and tackle domestic abuse in their communities.”


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Notes
Safe Lives, A Cry for Health report: Why we must invest in domestic abuse services in hospitals