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Domestic Violence

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to support during judicial processes those who have undergone domestic violence. (253542)

Since 1997 the Government have been working to ensure that all sections of domestic violence law support and protect all victims of domestic abuse. In 2004 the Government passed the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act which was the biggest overhaul of domestic violence law in 30 years

Aside from legislation, on a national level in criminal courts this has included practical system changes promoting a co-ordinated community response to domestic violence through a set of initiatives in and around the criminal justice agencies. This includes establishing 104 specialist domestic violence courts (SDVC) with a commitment to increase this to 128 courts by 2011. Linked to each SDVC is a dedicated independent domestic violence adviser service which provides invaluable support to victims of domestic violence and their families. Evidence shows that incidents of victimisation decrease and victims are less likely to withdraw from cases when this support is provided.