UK PM to oversee new domestic violence law

London, Feb 18 (IANS) British Prime Minister Theresa May said she will directly oversee work on a new law to tackle domestic violence amid concerns that victims were being let down by the legal system, the media reported on Saturday.

Domestic violence prosecutions and convictions have started to improve in recent years, however, the premier said on Friday: “No stone will be left unturned in delivering a system that increases convictions, and works better for victims”, the BBC reported

“Domestic violence and abuse is a life shattering and absolutely abhorrent crime. There are thousands of people who are suffering at the hands of abusers – often isolated, and unaware of the options and support available to them to end it.”

“Given the central importance of victim evidence to support prosecutions in this area, raising public awareness – as well as consolidating the law – will prove crucial.”

Downing Street said work on the legislation would be co-ordinated by the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

Charities and groups supporting victims welcomed the plans.

Women’s Aid chief executive Polly Neate said there was “scope to make the legal framework surrounding domestic abuse clearer and more comprehensive”, while the NSPCC, UK’s leading children’s charity, called for the needs of affected children to be prioritised.

Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative charity, called for a “real step change” in supporting and recognising male victims of domestic violence, saying they made up a third of all victims.

Victims’ Commissioner Baroness Newlove said: “These long awaited changes will ensure those vulnerable victims and survivors are listened to and that they feel able to come forward and speak out against their abusers.”

–IANS

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