⚖️ Changes introduced by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 are now in effect
The ‘No-Fault Divorce’ Act which came into effect in April, means women no longer need to explain why they want to divorce an abusive partner. Victims can now claim the marriage has irretrievably broken down, meaning the marriage broke down permanently and can’t be fixed. Also, couples no longer have to live apart for five years for the divorce to be acknowledged. In many cases, abusive partners used this time to re-entrap their victims into the relationships again, harming them even more.
Many women have welcomed the law change. After ending an abusive relationship with her fiancé Elaine explained how hard it was to leave her partner, “The divorce law has been so antiquated for years”.
🙅♀️ Swale Councillors say no to violence
Swale Borough Council’s motion to condemn violence of any kind against women and children has been passed by councillors. Cllr Hannah Perkin, deputy cabinet member for health and wellbeing at the council said: “Violence against women is endemic and we have to do everything we can to change this”. In a survey Perking carried out on safety, less than 50% of women said they felt safe in Faversham at night.
The council committed to the delivering of the Violence Against Women and Girls action plan, that forms part of the Swale Community Safety Plan, delivered jointly with key partner agencies. The Home Secretary will be also asked to establish urgent royal commissions into male violence against women and for public sexual harassment to be made into a crime.
🏠 Rapes in domestic settings
According to Cumbria police, nearly one-third of reported rapes over the past year happened in domestic settings.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicki Coombes, Cumbria Constabulary’s lead officer on rape and serious sexual offences said: “There are so many myths when it comes to consent, particularly in a domestic setting. […] Sex without consent is rape. This is no different if you are married or in a relationship with someone”.
💐 We weren’t able to access figures for rapes reported in domestic settings in Kent and Medway, but we know that a local member of our community who had reported a series rapes committed by her husband, was murdered by him a couple of weeks ago in Canterbury. If you can / would like to, there is a space outside her place of work GothInk on Lower Bridge Street for tributes and flowers.
Sources: ITV News, The Independent, Coventry Telegraph, Swale Borough Council
Your weekly domestic abuse news roundup was curated by our volunteer Ekaterina Balueva ✨