Violence against women to be treated with same seriousness as terrorism under new domestic abuse register law
Violence against women will be treated with the same seriousness as terrorism under plans for a domestic abusers register, announced on Monday.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has categorised violence against women and girls as a national threat with a crackdown on the crime launched.
Home Office Minister Sarah Dines said new laws would make it a public policing priority “for the first time”.
Domestic abusers will have their names added to the sex offenders’ register, under the plans, while the most dangerous offenders will be monitored and electronically tagged.
“This is a national priority for us,” Ms Dines told GB News. “Both the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister are very clear that this is a very serious issue.
“For the first time violence against women and girls is going to a national priority for policing. That means it’s going to be on a par with other serious offences, such as terrorism and child sexual abuse.”
About 2.4 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last year, and around one in five homicides are related to the crime, according to Home Office figures.
Under new laws police, prison and probation services will have to jointly manage offenders with a conviction of controlling or coercive behaviour sentenced to at least a year or a suspended sentence.
Meanwhile, the Ask for Ani codeword scheme launched in pharmacies during the pandemic - which allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal they need help - will be piloted in Jobcentre offices.
The Government also said it will invest up to £8.4 million to fund specialist victim support schemes over the next two years .
Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales Nicole Jacobs said the proposals will make it a “strategic policing requirement” to “prioritise violence against women and girls”.
However she added that monitoring perpetrators would require investment and the scheme will need to be “properly resourced” if it is to work long term.
Ms Braverman said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable crime that leads to people’s closest relationships becoming a frightening existence of torment, pain, fear, and anxiety.
“It is completely unacceptable and as Home Secretary I will do everything in my power to stop it.”
Labour shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Labour first pushed for a domestic abuse register years ago and so we welcome the eventual commitment to introduce one. But the Government isn’t moving quickly enough.
“Ministers promised to make violence against women and girls part of the strategic policing requirement a year ago, after months of pressure from Labour, so it should never have been delayed for this long.
“They still haven’t agreed to Labour’s plan to put domestic abuse specialists into 999 control rooms, nor have they taken action to reverse the shocking collapse in rape charges or record levels of victims dropping out of the criminal justice system.”