Legal

Stalking Protection Orders planned

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced plans to introduce new Stalking Protection Orders, calling it a "practical solution to a crime happening now". Paladin - the national charity for victims of stalking - welcomed the news. Ms Rudd announced plans for the new orders, designed to intervene early to keep victims safe and stop ‘stranger stalking’ before it escalates, after visiting the National Stalking Helpline andsaid:

United Nations committee finds UK women still can't access justice

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Commission has published its findings after reviewing the UK Government’s submission on the impact of legal aid cuts on women affected by violence. The Committee finds some improvements but "notes the persistence of serious obstacles that still hamper effective access to justice by all women.".

The Committee recommends that, in its next periodic report due in July 2017, the Government provides information on further actions taken to: 

CPS prosecuting and convicting record numbers of VAWG crimes

The CPS's annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows that rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for 18.6 per cent of the CPS's total caseload and this figure has been increasing year-on-year. In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted 117,568 defendants for all crimes grouped together as Violence against Women and Girls. More than 100,000 defendants were prosecuted for domestic abuse, with over 75,000 convicted - the highest volumes ever recorded, also reaching the highest ever conviction rate of 75.4 per cent by March 2016.

Learning from CPS on Controlling or Coercive Behaviour

On 29th December 2015, Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate of Family Relationship came into force. The CPS has sent out an update on the six convictions to date implementing this new law:

•A man was sentenced to six months imprisonment and is a subject to a two year restraining order. He prevented the victim from seeing her friends and further isolated her by stopping her from using her mobile phone and controlling her social media, such as making her delete friends on Facebook.

Who can assist with Destitution Domestic Violence consession

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has confirmed that a level 1 adviser may provide advice and assistance with applications for a Destitution Domestic Violence Concession. The OISC regulates the provision of immigration advice in the UK and requires anyone providing immigration advice which is specific to a person's matter to be registered, unless they are a solicitor or barrister registered with the appropriate regulatory body.

FGM Screening Toolkit

Resolution has published a new screening toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to support family lawyers in raising the issue of FGM with their clients. Issues highlighted include: a potential victim may only have one chance to ask for help; any discussion needs to be taken in a way that is sensitive to the difficulties this subject raises; FGM is often one of a range of issues that the client will present with.

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