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March 31, 2023

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.

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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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