Courts given new guidelines in domestic abuse cases

Domestic abusers facing harsher sentences
Domestic abusers facing harsher sentences

People who subject partners and family members to domestic abuse are set to face tougher sentencing under new guidelines.

Courts have been given an update set of guidelines to take into consideration when dealing with perpetrators before them.

The new guideline will ensure that courts have the information they need to deal with the great range of offending and help prevent further abuse occurring.

Jill Gramann

For the first time, there is a reference to abuse through the use of technology including emails, texts, tracking devices and social networking sites.

Currently there is no specific crime of domestic abuse - it can be a feature of many offences.

The guidelines aims to ensure where domestic abuse is a factor, how the seriousness of the offences should be assessed, as well as the need when sentencing to give though on how to address the offender’s behaviour and prevent re-offending.

Sentencing Council member Jill Gramann said: “Domestic abuse comes in many forms such as harassment, assault and sex offences. The increasing use of technology in offending has meant that it has also evolved in its scope and impact. The new guideline will ensure that courts have the information they need to deal with the great range of offending and help prevent further abuse occurring.”

“The guideline also emphasises that abuse can take place in a wide range of domestic settings and relationships, and that abuse can be psychological, sexual, financial or emotional as well as physical.”

The guideline replaces a domestic violence guideline, published in 2006.

It applies to offenders aged 16 and over sentenced on or after May 24.

For details visit the Council’s website: www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk