Women’s Aid responds to Ministry of Justice law changes aimed at protecting women from domestic killers
Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, comments:
“These changes are an important step forward in recognising the seriousness of domestic homicide in our justice system and they’ve been tirelessly fought for by mothers and families who have campaigned for justice on behalf of their daughters.
“We know that the end of a relationship with an abuser poses severe danger to a woman’s life. Murder is not ‘a loss of control’, but instead a perpetrator taking ultimate control over a woman’s life, and it is important to finally see this reflected in sentences handed down by the courts. We are also pleased to see a mitigating factor being introduced for those who kill their partners due to their experiences of coercive control – this is critical for ensuring women in such circumstances are not unfairly punished after facing years of abuse.
“Sentencing is one important part of the picture, but there are many more. Training on the complexities of coercive control is essential across all parts of the justice system – including for judges, prosecutors and police officers. We continue to push for wider reform of the criminal justice system to ensure long term safety, independence and justice for all women who have experienced domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. For too long murders committed ‘in the home’ have been seen as less serious and it is vital that this changes. Immediately”.