New proposals to help women and children subject to domestic
violence to stay safely in their own homes have been published by
The consultation paper Safety and Justice proposes that
police are given powers to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence
as soon as an attack has taken place.
By making common assault an arrestable offence, the government
would enable police to immediately remove from the home someone who
had assaulted their partner.
The consultation also proposes to strengthen the protection of
those who are threatened with domestic violence by making it a
criminal offence to breach a civil order such as a non-molestation
order, and to extend the use of restraining orders so that they
will be available to courts in a wider range of situations.
Under the consultation the government is seeking views on other
ways to help the victims of domestic violence to stay in their
homes. Rehousing perpetrators is one option being considered.
Home secretary David Blunkett also announced that a place of
safety would be made available for asylum seekers who are victims
of domestic violence.