It's war on wife-beaters

By GEORGE PASCOE-WATSON
Deputy Political Editor

Published: 16 Jun 2003

The Sun

WIFE-BEATERS who breach court orders will get a criminal record in a domestic violence crackdown, it was revealed yesterday. Home Secretary David Blunkett will beef up laws to stop the thugs escaping justice. They will now face jail for breaching orders which ban them from abusing or harassing their partners again. Breaching the order is currently not a criminal offence. At present an injunction has to be brought before they face the threat of a prison sentence. That will no longer be necessary under the new laws. Mr Blunkett will close the loophole on non-molestation and occupation orders with the first changes in domestic violence law for 30 years. A Government insider said: "Women need protection. They need to feel the law of the land is there to ensure they have peace and security.“There are major loopholes that are exploited by brutish men all the time. That must stop."

Non-molestation orders are issued in the majority of domestic violence cases.

They forbid thugs who abuse and harass their former girlfriends and wives but have not been convicted of assault from reoffending.

Occupation orders ban them from moving into the same area as their ex-partner.

But every day women’s lives are made a misery by men who openly ignore the orders.

Few ever go to jail unless an injunction is taken out and they ignore it. Courts will get the power to jail repeat offenders.

Currently there is no stigma attached to breaking the orders because the offences are not classed as crimes.

Carrying a criminal record prevents people from travelling to certain countries. And it can also ruin their careers.

The loophole dramatically undermines victims’ faith in the criminal justice system.

And experts say it often makes the problem worse when the man takes revenge for being brought to court.

Mr Blunkett will introduce the measure in a green paper on Wednesday and he aims to bring in a Bill in the autumn.

A new domestic violence register will also be introduced.

Men convicted of assaulting partners will have to sign it.

Their names and addresses will be logged and they will be forced to inform authorities every time they move.

Research has shown domestic abuse accounts for one quarter of all violent crime in Britain. Two women are killed every week by a partner or an ex.

Article: It's war on wife-beaters

Created on: 2008-10-01 09:25:35