Stay up to date with the law series.
This is part 3 of the 3-part law series on the Domestic Abuse Act. You can remind yourselves of part 1 https://www.kingsleyknight.co.uk/are-you-up-to-date-with-the-domestic-abuse-act-2021/
and part 2
by clicking the links.
Prior to the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, vulnerable adults did and continue to have the protection of Section 42 of the Care Act 2014 which places a statutory duty on local authorities to make enquiries if it believed that an adult in their care is experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, abuse or neglect. This new act places a duty on local authorities in England to provide support to victims and their children within refuges and other forms of safe accommodation.
Further protection is now provided by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 for vulnerable adults if the victim and perpetrator are over 16 and “personally connected”, that is either the victim is in or were previously in a relationship or are related. It is important to note that the definition does not extend to paid or unpaid carers, unless they are also personally connected, such as family members.
The other support that is available to vulnerable adults as victims of domestic abuse are as follows:
- The act places a duty on local authorities in England to provide support to victims and their children within refuges and other forms of safe accommodation.
- The act amends homelessness legislation and makes victims automatic priority need for housing and the ability for the victim to retain a secure tenancy in social housing if they need to escape from the perpetrator.
- The victim can be entitled to domestic abuse support
- The victim or their social worker can apply for a domestic abuse protection orders (DAPOs)
- The victim or their social worker can apply for domestic violence disclosure (also known as Clare’s Law) from the police.
- The victim is entitled to access to special measures in the courtroom to help prevent intimidations by having separate waiting rooms, entrances and exists.
- The ability for the victim to give evidence in court in private, via video link or from behind a screen.
- Perpetrators will no longer be allowed to directly cross examine the victim in the family and civil courts.
- The victim will be entitled to protection relating to offences related to non-fatal strangulation, “revenge porn” or “rough sex” (see part 1 https://www.kingsleyknight.co.uk/are-you-up-to-date-with-the-domestic-abuse-act-2021/ for more information on this).
A helpful and practical resource has been issued by the ADASS for those working with vulnerable adults: Adult safeguarding and domestic abuse- A guide to support practitioners and managers.
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Disclaimer: The contents of this guide are for information and are not intended to be relied upon as legal advice