Rights of Domestic Violence Victims Recognised

The Rights of Women have been campaigning against the evidence requirements for accessing Legal Aid, and thanks to their hard work and campaigning, they have had a victory today recognising that these requirements are legally ‘flawed’.

Today’s Judgment is a promising sign for Victims of Domestic Violence. Changes in legal aid funding have been placing victims of domestic violence at increased risk and harm in family courts. Victims are being forced to remain in contact with their abusers or stalkers. Some are being cross-examined by them or forced into court situations or inappropriate contact orders, all of which have a devastating impact on their lives, emotionally, financially and physically.

The cuts in legal aid have been denying victims of Domestic Violence access to justice and allowing abusers to use the court process to continue their abuse of their victims. Victims, through lack of legal aid support, are not able to access the support, advice and justice that they need to protect themselves from their abusers. Often gathering evidence or getting medical reports done in order to access the gateway to legal aid is timely and costly and is a great stumbling block to many victims.
Today’s judgement will hopefully put pressure on the government to rethink their legal aid strategy and ensure it is now accessible to those that need it most.

We continue to campaign for victims rights and we will be working closely over the coming months with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Citizen Advice Bureau, Veritas Justice and other organisations, to ensure the legal loopholes that are allowing abusers to stalk and harass their victims are identified and closed down.

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