Responding to new guidance on domestic abuse from the Sentencing Council, APCC Victims Lead Dame Vera Baird QC PCC said:
“This change in emphasis in the way that Courts will treat sentencing which involved domestic abuse is to be welcomed as the new guidance now better reflects the seriousness of these types of offences.
“The guidance makes it clear that offending behaviour in a domestic context is more serious because of the violation of the trust and security that normally exists between people in an intimate or family relationship. The previous guidance in which domestic abuse was treated as ‘no less serious’ was clearly in need of updating, domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident and can inflict lasting trauma on its victims.
“It is also worth highlighting that the guidance makes clear that an offender’s good character in domestic abuse cases should generally be of no relevance where there is a proven pattern of behaviour. Whilst it is often the case that perpetrators may have a public face, they often have a very different one inside the home.”