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December 23, 2023

The Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO)

The Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO) is a significant legal measure introduced by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 in the United Kingdom. The pilot of the new DAPO is due to start in the New Year in Gwent, Greater Manchester and three of the London boroughs – Croydon, Bromley and Sutton.

What is the purpose of a DAPO?

The purpose of a DAPO is to provide immediate and long-term protection for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. It will offer more comprehensive safeguards than current orders contain, thus better protecting victims and survivors.

How will it work?

There are two components that make up the DAPO. The first is a Domestic Abuse Protection Notice (DAPN). This is a civil notice issued by the police immediately after an incident of domestic abuse and it requires the perpetrator to stay away from the victim’s home for 48 hours.

The Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO) is a flexible, long-term order that provides ongoing protection. This can be recognized and applied for in both the criminal and the civil court.

Breach of a DAPO will be a criminal offence and will carry a maximum of up to five years in prison, a fine, or both.

DAPO’s will protect victims from all forms of domestic abuse, including non physical abuse and coercive controlling behaviour. They can have various clauses e.g. staying away from a victim’s home, not contacting the victim in any way including via social media and could also include positive requirements such as attending behaviour change programmes. The court will also be able to use electronic tagging in order to monitor compliance of the DAPO.

Who can apply for a DAPO?

Anyone can apply! The Police can apply to the magistrate’s court for a DAPO. Victims and survivors can also apply directly to the family court. The Courts can also apply for DAPO’s as part of existing proceedings, even if they are not related to domestic abuse.

Although it may be quite some time before the new DAPO’s are rolled out across England and Wales, and as with every new piece of legislation or law, there will no doubt be some teething problems, it is hoped that they will eventually enhance protection, hold perpetrators to account and empower victims and survivors which will contribute to a safer environment for those people affected by domestic abuse and violence.


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  • 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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