Mansfield set to play its part in new laws to combat domestic abuse and violence
Mansfield is set to play its part in a new national drive to combat domestic abuse, with the Government bringing in new laws to ensure victims can get access to safe accommodation, and tougher restrictions on perpetrators.
Nottinghamshire County Council will lead the drive in the county, with a £1.5m pot allocated by Government to provide emergency accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Mansfield District Council will work as a ‘partner organisation’ and will support the authority delivering help and assistance throughout the district, with direct funding of £31,238 provided to help it meet its duties.
The Domestic Abuse Act puts an onus on local authorities to ensure they can effectively serve victims of domestic abuse, and more carefully manage those who commit it.
And a new Nottinghamshire-wide strategy should be in place by August, a report to Mansfield District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee (communities) states.
Meanwhile, new Domestic Violence Prevention Notices (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Prevention Orders (DVPO) are being wheeled out - with Nottinghamshire Police agreeing to pilot the new drive.
A DVPN is a civil notice which can be issued by police attending any incident, preventing the perpetrator from returning to the address for up to 48 hours - allowing the victim immediate relief.
A DVPO is a longer-term programme to protect victims by placing restrictions on a perpetrator to limit access to their victims by preventing them visiting their homes, or contacting them directly or via social media.
Currently, the orders can only be issued by criminal magistrates’ courts following a petition from the police, but rules are being changed so a victim's third party, such as a social worker or solicitor, can apply directly to the family court - speeding up the process.
The report states: “The Domestic Abuse Act gives anyone suffering with domestic abuse an automatic priority need for housing under the Homelessness Reduction Act.
“The act is an opportunity for the council to work closely with the county in providing more safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and to explore stricter enforcement powers on perpetrators of domestic abuse to minimise the effect on the victim and the children involved.”
The new arrangement is set to be discussed by councillors on Tuesday, June 22.