A step forward for victims of domestic abuse

AS the organisers of the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Conference, Morecrofts have welcomed new measures to increase criminal sentences for the offence.

New guidelines issued by the Sentencing Council mean that anyone convicted of domestic abuse is now more likely to go to prison and non-physical abuse such as online threats will also now be treated as domestic abuse.

Julie Waring, a partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, which has organised the multi-agency conference for the past five years, said: “Tougher sentencing is very much a step in the right direction and is a clear acknowledgement of the severity of the offence, which wrecks countless lives every day.

“It says this crime is now properly recognised and will no longer be tolerated or brushed under the carpet.

“Hopefully it’s a shot across the bows of would-be perpetrators, both male and female, and provides a greater deterrent to make them think twice before subjecting their victims to physical or emotional abuse.

“There is still more that could be done to protect victims, especially in the area of funding for refuges. Greater support for male victims and members of the LGBT community is acutely necessary, as well as wider provision of programmes to help reform perpetrators and stop the cycle of abuse.”

The Merseyside Domestic Abuse Conference brings together professionals from a range of sectors including health, social care, law enforcement, policymaking and academia. This year’s event takes place at the Suites Hotel, Knowsley, on Tuesday 24 April.

Tickets to the conference are £45 + VAT and include free parking, light breakfast and full lunch as well as refreshments throughout the day.

Speakers announced so far and more information can be seen here