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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Domestic abuse still 'scourge' on society over 40 years after historic legislation, judge

Written by Brian Farmer

Domestic abuse continues to be a "scourge" on society more than 40 years after the introduction of historic legislation designed to protect women, according to the most senior family court judge in England and Wales.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court, says family court judges need to be alert to the problem and aware of "available remedies".

He has spoken out when publishing new guidance for family court judges analysing domestic abuse issues.

"Domestic abuse in all its many forms, and whether directed at women, at men, or at children, continues, more than 40 years after the enactment of the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976, to be a scourge on our society," said Sir James.

"Judges and everyone else in the family system need to be alert to the problems and appropriately focused on the available remedies."

Sir James said a new "practice direction" to family court judges would see the term "domestic violence" replaced with the "expanded" definition of "domestic abuse".

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Niall Carson / PA Wire.