Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, has welcomed Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab’s commitment to changing the reporting requirements for domestic abuse. The Commissioner is also encouraging domestic abuse survivors to take a survey set up by Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs.
Under the current legislation, victims of domestic abuse who report common assault or battery to the police have six months from the date of the offence to begin prosecution. An Amendment tabled to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill would take the time period to two years, ensuring survivors have enough time to seek justice and hold perpetrators accountable.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the changes to the Bill announced by the Secretary of State. It shows intent to make the justice system work better for survivors, and gives a clear signal that domestic abuse won’t be tolerated, and that perpetrators will be held accountable.
“In my Police and Crime Plan I have delivering justice for victims as one of my key priorities. These changes to the law will make it easier to seek and obtain justice for survivors of domestic abuse.
“It can take survivors a long time to report incidents to the police, and as a result the six month time limit can evaporate quickly. The extension which allows the additional time will offer survivors more reassurance that action can and will be taken.”
Dominic Raab. Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, said: “We’re giving the victims of domestic abuse longer to report the offence to the police – so abusers don’t evade justice.”
It is estimated that every year around 2.3m people experience domestic abuse, with both women and men victimised by perpetrators who use a variety of methods to maintain control.
Services that provide help and assistance for survivors can vary across the county, and Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs has launched a survey, asking survivors to share their views on the service they received.
The survey is open until 31 January 2022. Share your views here.
Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner, said: “It is important that all domestic abuse victims have the time and opportunity to report it to the police. This is especially important following Covid restrictions, when many victims faced additional challenges to seeking help and reporting abuse.
“I want to see increased prosecutions for domestic abuse, and hope to see that as these measures remove another barrier to bringing perpetrators to justice.”
John Dwyer added: “Like with any support service, there are always areas for improvement in how we support survivors of domestic abuse. People’s real-life experiences must be heard loud and clear in order for change to happen.
“I would encourage people to fill in the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s survey. Feedback is essential and can help us all work together across the criminal justice system to support survivors of domestic abuse.
More information about the Domestic Abuse Commissioner is available online.