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Abused partners legal aid u-turn

The Government has made a u-turn on its justice reforms by making it easier for the victims of domestic violence to claim legal aid.

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Government to adopt new definition of 'domestic violence'

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke acknowledged women may be forced to make a 'formal complaint' Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said the Government acknowledged some women might be forced to make formal complaint when they did not want to in order to claim legal aid. The change follows the Government's u-turn on legal aid reforms.

Under the Government's original plans, only women who had pursued their domestic violence case through the courts would be able to claim legal aid.

But campaigners said that many women were too scared to make a complaint to police for fear of reprisals and so would be unable to claim the legal support they needed.

He told the Commons the Government would be adopting the Association of Chief Police Officers definition of domestic violence, which also includes emotional and psychological harm.

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