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Call for domestic abuse time limits to be scrapped welcomed

Very recently we saw the one year anniversary of the start of the first lockdown, which has subsequently seen further lockdowns that have affected all our lives.

We think it would be fair to say that very few will look back on the past 12 months or so with great fondness, but aside of the direct health and economic impacts of the pandemic, one aspect that has not got the coverage many would wish for is the domestic abuse many have suffered.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP who chairs the all-party Home Affairs Select Committee has brought this to the fore by saying that abusers are escaping punishment due to the six-month limit on reporting summary offences to the police, which means that after this they will not take action to prosecute.

These could be raised fists, being spat at, being pushed etc, which do not cause bodily harm, but can be the pre-curser to more sinister behaviour.

Yvette Cooper states that the limit should be abolished because it can take time for victims to leave a troubled relationship or build the courage to face using the criminal justice system.

Many in family law have welcomed the publicity Yvette Cooper has gained on this matter meaning those who are violently assaulted have just six months to take action.

As we know, being experts in family law, where we sometimes see such matters escaping an abusive relationship can take many years.

The past year has been hellish for some in violent relationships, and all has to be done to support  those victims.

We at Dale and Newbery welcome an increased focus on all matters involving domestic violence as it is such a difficult issue that causes so much heartache in society.

Thankfully, with the rollout of vaccines, we are at a point where the restrictions which have hampered us all in the past year look to be easing.

This should help more, in particular for those who are in a perilous position to seek help, and it is society’s responsibility to listen. We ask everyone reading this to always be on the lookout to protect in whatever way you can those who may be suffering from this awful crime.

If you wish to talk to our family department about any matters relating to this, we are happy to discuss it with you or you can find more information on the Refuge website who have a 24 hour national domestic abuse helpline.