Today (29 April 2021), a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill has passed both Houses of Parliament and been signed into law.
The Domestic Abuse Act will provide further protections to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse and strengthen measures to tackle perpetrators.
For the first time in history there will be a wide-ranging legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including emotional, coercive or controlling behaviour, and economic abuse.
The measures include important new protections and support for victims ensuring that abusers will no longer be allowed to directly cross-examine their victims in the family and civil courts, and giving victims better access to special measures in the courtroom to help prevent intimidation – such as protective screens and giving evidence via video link.
Police will also be given new powers including Domestic Abuse Protection Notices providing victims with immediate protection from abusers, while courts will be able to hand out new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to help prevent offending by forcing perpetrators to take steps to change their behaviour, including seeking mental health support or drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Founder of the Hollie Gazzard Trust, Nick Gazzard, said: ”This is much needed protection for those who have suffered domestic abuse. This act should see those responsible are punished for their crimes, and brought to justice for their abuse, violence and controlling behaviour. A strategic approach to tackling this is long overdue, but now survivors know they are not alone and deserve much, much better.”
Hollie Guard is a free personal safety app that can be downloaded onto any iOS or Android device within the UK.
The app is widely used by victims of domestic abuse and/or stalking to help them feel safe and report incidents. Hollie Guard also has many features that make it suitable for general use.
The report feature allows users to record an incident quickly and easily with supporting photo evidence that is automatically categorised, time stamped, and geo tagged. This feature can be used to create a log of events which can be used as evidence if required. This fits with the Domestic Abuse Bill as users can log incidents and be able to provide the required evidence to demonstrate the pattern of behaviour they have experienced.
Hollie Guard, now downloaded by over 250,000 users is endorsed by multiple Police Forces throughout the UK and is Secured by Design accredited.
Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner said: ”I really welcome the work of the Hollie Gazzard Trust in developing the Hollie Guard Extra app, which makes use of new technology to bring reassurance to victims and survivors and provide round-the-clock and immediate response to an alert or incident. I am particularly encouraged that evidence collected by the app is admissable in court, vital if we are to bring perpetrators to justice.”
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is an independent voice that speaks on behalf of victims and survivors. The Commissioner will use her statutory powers, which are set out in the Domestic Abuse Bill, to raise public awareness and hold both agencies and government to account in tackling domestic abuse.
We urge anyone who feels unsafe at home or away from home to consider downloading Hollie Guard by visiting www.hollieguard.com or by searching ‘Hollie Guard’ in your app store.