Domestic Violence and the Law

Domestic Violence (DV) definition
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act   amended the definition of DV to reflect the new cross government definition.
Para 4 “domestic violence means any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other.”
The definition of DV is ever changing to meet social times. Before 2012, there was no statutory definition in England & Wales with the definitions deriving from cases.   An issue with definitions from case law regarding DV is that the judiciary has a heavy gender imbalance.   This leaves the definition of DV open to issues arising from a patriarchal influence around an area that affects mostly women,   evidenced by the use of the term domestic. The term “domestic serves to neutralise the viciousness and habituation of the violence.”  
The legal approaches
Civil Response-
• Family Law Act 1996 Part IV
Criminal Approach-
• Protection from Harassment Act 1997
• Crime and Security Act 2010
This report will focus on the Family law act in regards to the civil response of the law. Furthermore, the report will consider the criminal approach of the Crime and Security Act and Protection from Harassment Act.
The Family Law Act 1996 Part IV
The FLA provides two orders: non-molestation orders and occupation orders. The acts, procedures and prosecution are calculated for the DV context.  
The non-molestation order
The act does not define molestation but relates to a broad definition. Molestation “encompasses any form of serious pestering or harassment and applies to any conduct which could properly be regarded as such a degree of harassment as to call for intervention of the court. ” Non-molestation orders are merely command someone not commit a crime against another.   A problem in practice is that the police often use these orders to delay...