Home Secretary Theresa May considers plans to implement new domestic abuse crime

Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May is consulting on creating a new office to cover domestic abuse.

Currently, laws cover coercive and controlling behaviour, but do not specifically apply to relationships.

Ms May is consulting on creating the offence in England and Wales as part of attempts to improve police performance.

Speaking about the consultation, she said: “The government is clear that abuse is not just physical. Victims who are subjected to a living hell by their partners must have the confidence to come forward. I want perpetrators to be in no doubt that their cruel and controlling behaviour is criminal.

“We will look at the results of this consultation carefully in order to continue providing the best possible protection and support for victims of domestic abuse.”

Jo Harvey Barringer, interim Managing Director of domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow UK, said: “Broken Rainbow UK welcomes the proposed new crime of domestic abuse, implemented correctly the new crime would provide clarity – giving victims the confidence to seek support, ensuring perpetrators understand their behaviour is criminal, and reduce ambiguity for police so they respond effectively.

“It is vital that implementation, including training for the police, recognises that domestic abuse is a crime that does not discriminate as the 4,000+ calls our helpline receives from LGBT people each year demonstrates.”

She continued: “Over the past 10 years Broken Rainbow has received more than 25,000 calls from members of the LGBT community in distress, with the number of calls continuing to have an upward trend.”