Domestic Abuse Bill receives Royal Assent

The Domestic Abuse Bill has received Royal Assent and will now become law. The new Domestic Abuse Act represents a step forward in keeping women safe.

We have campaigned since 2017 for serial perpetrators of domestic abuse and serial stalkers to be included on the Violent and Sex Offender Register (VISOR). Proposed amendments to the Bill called for a statutory obligation for serial perpetrators to be supervised, monitored, and managed under the multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA), but in the end this specific commitment was not included.

The new holistic domestic abuse strategy that forms part of the DA Bill does explicitly mention stalking that occurs within a domestic abuse context (although it excludes the roughly 50% of stalking victims who are/were not in an intimate relationship with their stalker). But guidance is not a statutory framework: it continues to rely on best practice. What is clear is that we need our databases to flag *all* previous behaviours, to have them recognised for the serious crimes they are, and to make sure the police and other agencies can easily “join the dots” if the person reoffends.

It is hard not to feel let down by this outcome but we will keep campaigning and, where possible, working with government to bring about the changes we need to see in order to prevent what happened to Alice—and to Jane Clough, Zoe Dronfield, Hollie Gazzard, Shana Grice and so many others—continuing to happen in the future.

Read our earlier posts about the Domestic Abuse Bill and the campaign for a stalkers’ register