phone    020 8974 7490   

Kingston Upon Thames and Central London, Waterloo


Legislation Changes to Stop Domestic Abuse Victims Being Cross-Examined by Abusers

Legislation Changes to Stop Domestic Abuse Victims Being Cross-Examined by Abusers

Introduced by a draft Bill published in January, a new government package tackling domestic abuse will put an end to domestic abuse victims having to face their abusers cross-examining them in court. The MoJ (Ministry of Justice) said it will also support more domestic violence victims in giving evidence in criminal courts by providing automatic ‘special measures’ eligibility.

Aiming to pursue offenders and support victims of abuse and their families, this new legislation package will also introduce a statutory Government definition (the first of its kind) of domestic abuse that will specifically include economic, manipulative and controlling non-physical.

In addition, it will establish a domestic violence/abuse commissioner to effectively drive the national response to issues concerning domestic abuse, as well as new domestic violence/abuse protection notices/orders to protect victims further and place restrictions on offenders’ actions.

Domestic Abuse in the UK

A Home Office report examining the social and economic cost of domestic abuse revealed that in 2016/17, this crime cost England & Wales a staggering £66 billion. Further research showed that £47 billion of this total was required to deal with the harm – both physical and emotional – done by domestic abuse. Other major factors included were cost to:

  • Police: £1.3 billion
  • Health Services: £2.3 billion
  • Victim Services: £724 million

Responses to the Bill

Speaking to ITV News, Zoe Drunfield said that current legislation is stacked in favour of abusers, because the mere thought of having to face their abuser – who potentially could be their rapist - cross-examining them is enough to stop many women from going to court in the first place. She went on to say that *: “These women do not wish to stand in court and be subjected to this.”

Zoe Drunfield has campaigned tirelessly to make court appearances less traumatic for survivors of domestic abuse since suffering horrific injuries at the hands of her now jailed ex-partner - including having her nose broken in two places, her eye socket cracked, and her neck stabbed.

In her response to the publication of the Bill, Diane Abbott (Shadow Home Secretary) stated that on average, every week two women are killed by current or former partners and that domestic violence survivors have been kept waiting for this Bill for far too long.

She further said*: “If the Conservative party is serious about combating the crime of domestic violence, ensuring sufficient resources for abuse survivors are available through long-term funding commitments is a must.”

Women’s Aid chief executive Katie Ghose said*: “The fact that the cost of domestic abuse to society in England/Wales is £66 billion per year and an average of two women’s life per week should be a serious wake-up call for everyone. The time to bring this into the spotlight and properly address domestic abuse’s impact is now.”

Adding that Women’s Aid are looking forward to working with abuse survivors, member services and the government to:

  • Ensure survivors get the support and resources they need
  • Address domestic abuse’s root causes to enable all women and children to live free from abuse and fear,

she continued to say*: “This domestic abuse bill can potentially create a step towards chance in national response and a more effective process of tackling the crime of domestic abuse. For our life-saving specialist support services’ network to really make a difference to the lives of survivors, sustainable funding must be at the very core of this.”

Stating that she has worked on ending domestic abuse and supporting survivors making the brave decision to finally leave their abusers and rebuild their lives throughout her political career, PM Theresa May said*: “The harrowing experiences of domestic abuse victims and victim’s’ families clearly tell us that there is still much to be done to stamp this life-shattering crime out once and for all. This bill will pave the way to ushering in the necessary changes to achieve this.”

Help for Domestic Abuse Victims

Victims of domestic abuse do not have to face the process of putting an end to their ordeal alone. We here at Rose & Rose have a team of highly experienced, helpful and sensitive family lawyers dedicated to helping women and children free themselves from the pain and fear of abuse and successfully rebuild their lives.

If you have decided to take the first step towards ending your suffering, please do not hesitate to call us on 0203 733 4480 or contact us online now. Please note that we will respond to online enquiries as soon as possible and/or at your convenience and with utmost discretion and sensitivity.

*All quotes have been paraphrased to prevent copyright issues.  

Your details

Please note we are unable to offer legal aid


Fields marked with a * must be completed.

  • We engaged Rose and Rose to recover a bad debt. Their service was excellent and we recovered the full amount plus costs with minimal effort. I have no hesitation in recommending their services and we will certainly use them in the future.
  • Trustworthy and efficient service from this team of friendly and professional solicitors. I would recommend Rose and Rose.
  • Rose and Rose Kingston provided extensive support to me whilst selling my property. We had a number of challenges to overcome but at no point did I feel I did not know what was happening in the process. They are extremely helpful, supportive and explained everything to me in simple terms. In future I will only recommend and use Rose and Rose.
  • We have recommended the services of Rose and Rose many times to either our clients selling properties or their buyers. Every time we have a transaction where they are involved it gives us great reassurance that the deal will be done efficiently, that updates are always available and that the parties involved have a clear understanding of the transaction. Those that we have referred to Rose and Rose have always been extremely happy with the service and have achieved the right end result.
  • Rose and Rose are now officially my favourite and most helpful solicitor.
  • Rose and Rose were exceptional to deal with. Instructed by a buyer of ours they were nothing but helpful and pleasant throughout the transaction, always at the end of the telephone if needed, and as a result of their obvious expertise the sale went through effortlessly. I can highly recommend them.
  • Both my sister and I used Rose and Rose for our conveyancing. We were extremely happy with the service provided, it was professional, friendly and expedient. I would definitely use Rose and Rose in the future.
  • Rose and Rose provided an excellent service when it came to selling our property and buying another. We were able to contact them when needed and we found them approachable and efficient. We would have no hesitation in recommending this solicitor.
  • I have no hesitation in recommending Rose and Rose who acted for me in the sale and purchase of my home.
  • Rose and Rose are the best solicitors that I have dealt with, and the only one I will be dealing with from now on. The professional approach and service they offer is second to none. Their ability to always keep you informed with what is going on has been extremely helpful and given me peace of mind.
  • Rose and Rose recently handled the conveyancing for the sale of our property and we were extremely impressed with the level of service we received. The overall process was quick and efficient. Although these matters can be extremely stressful the staff involved were friendly, thoughtful and approachable yet totally professional throughout. This in effect enabled the sale to proceed relatively smoothly. I would therefore not hesitate to employ the services of Rose and Rose in the future. Robert P
  • Rose and Rose have helped me with conveyancing but also with my divorce and not only have they done a good job, they have ensured my costs have been contained as much as possible. They offer an exceptionally good service and explain the law in plain English, they are very friendly and easy to deal with.
  • Great, helpful advice and support from people who understand what you want and deliver in a straightforward manner in plain English. I highly recommend Rose and Rose Solicitors in Kingston.
  • I have used Rose and Rose Solicitors on a number of occasions and have always found them to be extremely friendly and helpful. They always provide excellent advice and do so in a cost effective manner whilst maintaining an extremely personal service and they really seem to care about you. I would have no problem in recommending their services to any of my friends, family and clients.
  • Rose & Rose Solicitors have a surprisingly refreshing approach to the Law. Whilst obviously highly committed and professional they are relaxed, friendly and approachable making all your dealings with them, in often very difficult circumstances, as stress free as possible. Highly recommend. Rose & Rose is a well rounded solicitors' firm, they have managed to help us through our business legal requirements with their fast, reliable and cost effective service. They have met our demand and need every time. Rose & Rose in Kingston successfully assisted my girlfriend's business in clawing back a large chunk of bad debt that a company were refusing to pay. I was so impressed with the simplicity and ease in which they dealt with the situation that I will use Rose & Rose Solicitors to represent all my own company's legal requirements including employment contracts, conveyancing, dispute resolution, etc. Rose and Rose provide their considerable expertise in a relaxed, friendly and unstuffy way. They have assisted my company and my clients and I would not hesitate to recommend them.
  • We have been involved in a number of sales where Rose and Rose have represented either the buyer or seller and on every occasion they have been a pleasure to deal with. The team make themselves very available and always respond to messages and emails quickly and always seem to be in command of a situation. This is so important to us as we need to keep our customers up to speed at all times. We aspire to delivering excellent service to our customers and they certainly help a great deal in this respect. Our customers who have used Rose and Rose have all been complimentary about the service they have received and how easy everyone there is to deal with.