What is Kay’s Law?
Kay’s Law, also known as the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, is a critical piece of legislation designed to protect victims of domestic abuse and violence. Named in honour of Kay Richardson, a woman who was brutally attacked and eventually died at the hands of her abusive husband in 2018 following his release from custody, under investigation, despite evidence of previous domestic abuse. Kay’s Law came into force on the 25 October 2022 as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
This law is intended to provide greater protection and support to victims of domestic violence. One of the key provisions of Kay’s Law is the requirement for police officers to take a more proactive approach when responding to incidents of domestic abuse and violence. Specifically, the law requires officers to make an arrest when there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed. This provision is designed to prevent abusers from continuing to inflict harm on their victims and sends a clear message that domestic abuse and violence will not be tolerated.
As well as the requirement for mandatory arrests, Kay’s Law also includes provisions that allow for protective orders to be granted, which can be used to stop perpetrators from contacting or approaching their victims. These orders can provide victims and survivors with a sense of safety and can be an important step in helping them to escape from abusive relationships.
Another key provision of Kay’s Law is the requirement for police to establish and maintain policies and procedures for responding to incidents of domestic abuse and violence. This includes giving police officers proper training on how to identify and respond to incidents of domestic abuse and violence and making sure that victims and survivor are given appropriate support and advice.
Kay’s Law is intended to also raise awareness of domestic abuse and violence and shine a light on the new reforms among the police and the public and encourage more use of pre-charge bail, rather than releasing a suspect from custody under investigation. as well as encouraging more engagement and contact with victims and survivors. Police will now have to take into consideration the victim/survivors view before releasing a suspect on bail.
Kay’s Law could be an important step forward in the fight against domestic abuse and violence. By giving victims and survivors more protection and support and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions, this law will hopefully help to make sure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence are able to escape from abusive relationships and live a life free from fear for themselves and their children.