Changing the Law on Domestic Abuse

Following a three day hearing before Recorder Meacher in the family courts, 10 KBWs’ Niall Macpherson Mickel succeeded in his submissions that domestic abuse by omission could competently be regarded as a form of abusive, coercive and controlling behaviour.

In this case, the applicant mother of the child had separated from her husband and claimed that her husband (the child’s father) was knowingly allowing his own mother ( the mother-in-law) to abuse the applicant when in the home.

After three days of difficult and culturally sensitive examination and cross-examination, Macpherson Mickel persuaded the Court that by actively refusing to become involved in protecting his wife from his mother and by knowingly failing to prevent his mother from abusing his wife, a finding of domestic abuse by omission in relation to the fathers conduct was well founded.

After a thorough consideration of all of the relevant and available evidence, the Court held that the existing definition of domestic abuse could be expanded to take into consideration the fathers’ failure to protect his wife and further found that it was unreasonable of the father to have done nothing and to have failed to intervene.

This new expansion of domestic abuse in terms of practice direction 12J, will bring hope to women currently trapped in a cycle of abusive and coercive behaviour perpetrated by other household members and at 10 KBW, we specialise in taking on these difficult, culturally sensitive cases and fighting for those that can’t fight for themselves.