12 Jul 2022

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 statutory guidance published

On 8th July 2022 CIH were pleased to see Domestic Abuse Act 2021 statutory guidance published by the Home Office. This guidance is issued under section 84 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 about the effect of section 1 (the definition of ‘domestic abuse’), section 2 (the definition of ‘personally connected’), and section 3 (recognising children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right). It is intended to be a framework document to convey standards and promote best practice, as well as increase awareness and support organisations to identify and respond to domestic abuse. This guidance primarily applies to England and is aimed at organisations working with victims, perpetrators, and commissioning services.

CIH very much welcomes the broad definition of domestic abuse the statutory guidance provides, setting out that domestic abuse can take many forms including economic abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour. We also are very pleased that the statutory guidance includes children as victims in their own right and that children as victims are threaded throughout the guidance. Highlighting an employers’ role of care in the statutory guidance is also very positive. The recognition of the need for a ‘whole system’ response to supporting victims and survivors including children is most welcome.

This new statutory guidance is a needed step forward to ensure that the complexity of domestic abuse is properly understood to support a coherent multiagency response. However, it is disappointing to see the absence of any commitment to tackling the extra barriers that migrant survivors of domestic abuse face in accessing support.