Tougher domestic abuse laws to be introduced as part of a Jersey crackdown
Tougher domestic abuse laws are expected to be introduced in Jersey later this year.
The island's new Domestic Abuse Law will create a statutory definition of domestic abuse for the first time.
Jersey's Home Affairs Minister says the new law will acknowledge controlling and coercive behaviour as an offence.
A register could also be launched to crack down on serious and repeat offenders.
Constable Len Norman says he is working on flagship legislation which would recognise "domestic abuse as more damaging and complex than simple violence" and offer victims the strongest protection.
The Minister believes a cross-agency approach is needed and tackling abuse is not just about enforcement but also education and prevention.
The government will host a number of campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of abuse including a high profile initiative to tackle issues around consent.
Constable Norman says the new laws will protect all genders but it is understood that women and girls are much more likely to be victims of abuse.
The announcement was in response to a question by Deputy Louise Doublet in the States Assembly about the Minister’s plan to tackle domestic abuse.
Constable Norman says legislation has started to be drawn up and he fully expects to bring it before the States Assembly by the end of this year.
It would also allow for the creation of a domestic abuse register, similar to the sex offenders register, to manage serious and repeat offenders so potential partners could be protected.
He added that capital funding had been secured for a new premises to house the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for adults and Child’s Health for children who have been victims of sexual abuse.
Constable Norman took over as Home Affairs Minister in 2018, stating the new domestic abuse laws was one of his ‘highest priorities’.
For domestic abuse help and support you can contact Jersey Women's Refuge on 0800 7356836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org