As widespread and rampant as domestic abuse is all over the world, it was surprising to learn that the UK did not have a specific offense making domestic abuse a crime. But now lawmakers from all parties there are sponsoring a U.S. style law that would make sentences reflect whether domestic abuse, both physical and psychological, was part of a pattern of behavior which it usually is.
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“At present there is no specific offence of domestic abuse as defined by criminal law. Instead offenders are prosecuted for crimes such as rape or assault. However, in many cases the police, courts and prosecutors fail to take into account the previous abusive behavior of an offender. Experts say this is a concern because it is rare for domestic abuse to be confined to just one incident.”
Sponsors of this bill feel that it would encourage more women to report the crime that is usually neglected by the criminal justice system. Research shows that the average victim does not report abuse until there have been at least 30 incidents and that only 30% of these incidents result in arrest.
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