Go-orders to fight domestic violence

Date published: 27 November 2010

Victims of domestic violence across Greater Manchester will no longer have to flee their homes — but instead their partner could be banned from the property for up to a month.

Domestic Violence Orders will allow police to step in and ban suspected abusers from victims’ homes even if there is insufficient evidence for them to be charged, if they are too afraid of taking action themselves or if no criminal proceedings are possible.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday announced the scheme would be trialled across Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia.

The Government say the “go orders” will fill the current gap where victims only receive immediate protection once the attacker is arrested and charged. In cases where no action can be taken or civil injunctions impossible, an order will be used. Police will have the power to put an initial ban in place for 48 hours until a court can rule on a longer period — normally a period of 14 to 28 days.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “If abusers breach the order it could then lead to a prison sentence.

“As part of the scheme, victims will also be offered help and advice by caseworkers on the options open to them if they left the relationship — including securing a longer-term injunction.”

Similar schemes already operating in Austria, Germany, Poland and Switzerland have been successful.

Theresa May said: “Our aim is clear — we want to end violence against women and girls.

“We must ensure offenders are brought to justice, victims are given support and most importantly challenge attitudes and behaviour.

“Ending violence against women is a priority for me but central government cannot solve this complex problem alone.

“I want to send a clear message to police, councils and the health service — that tackling violence against women should be a priority.”

The powers will be trialled for 12 months from June, 2011.

GMP says victims can call the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525 for help and advice.

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