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July 21, 2022

Sections 65 & 66 of The Domestic – Abuse Act 2021 now in force….

Anyone who has ever worked front line with victims and survivors of domestic abuse will know how soul destroying it is to support a client through the family courts or civil justice system whereby the alleged perpetrator of the abuse is legally representing themselves. To watch someone be cross examined by their abusive ex partner in a court of law and further abused and humiliated and the alleged perpetrator given permission to do this by the same system that is supposed to protect someone, has to be the most cruel miscarriage of justice I have ever witnessed and unfortunately I have witnessed it many times over the years.

I am, therefore, so happy to hear that today, the 21st July 2022, sections 65 & 66 of The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, were put into force.

  • Section 65 – Prohibition of cross-examination in person in family proceedings
  • Section 66 – Prohibition of cross-examination in person on civil proceedings

They have transitional provisions which mean that these sections do not apply to proceedings which were started before today’s date – 21st July 2022. But I wanted to put this information ‘out there’ for victims and survivors to know about as quite often they are the people who are left in the dark when legislation changes. It has been prohibited in the criminal courts since 1999 when the practise was made illegal under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (1999).

The campaign to prohibit the same in the family and civil courts has been long and hard and I for one wondered if it would ever become a reality.

If you are interested to read the full legislation you can click on this link and scroll down to ‘Part 5’.

Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Congratulations to all the people, groups and organisations who have battled these archaic laws for so many years.

Collectively, we did it! Who says we can’t make a difference if we try hard enough?!

  • I first met Sharon back in 2000 when I went into a refuge she worked in after fleeing a violent relationship. I had two babies and virtually just a bag of clothes and a few toys with us. She helped me with appointments with the police, solicitors and..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I was fortunate enough to meet and work with Sharon when she was the Advocacy Manager at Woman’s Trust and I was working for Westminster City Council. During this time Sharon developed and managed the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service..

    Ainslie O’Connor – Principal Advisor for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Adelaide, Australia.
  • Thank you so much for all the support you have given me. You really have been amazing, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to cope with Child Protection without you. The amount of strength you have given me is totally priceless, even with..

    A survivor of domestic abuse.
  • I knew Sharon as a work colleague over ten years ago. At the time, she was supporting vulnerable people, some of them were homeless due to domestic abuse and substance misuse. For me, assisting such people was what anyone in her role would be expect..

    Ted Chanza, Head of Market Operations, Airtel Malawi Ltd, Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa.
  • I have known Sharon for 6 years and have had the pleasure of working alongside her when I chaired the Westminster MARAC. Sharon is a committed, empathetic supporter of women who are or have experienced domestic abuse. She regularly goes the extra m..

    Former Chair of The Westminster MARAC.
  • I was fortunate to have had Sharon as my support worker after 17 years of domestic violence and 4 children that had witnessed and gone through it with me. I was finally strong enough to stand up and protect myself and my children. Without Sharon’s ..

    A survivor of domestic violence.
  • Without the support and constant reassurance of Sharon, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am forever grateful to her. She is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable, having her on my side when dealing with someone as persistent..

    Anonymous survivor of Domestic Abuse.
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