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Category: States of Jersey

Domestic Abuse Law – Appointed Day Act

Jun 16, 2023

• The legislation recognises domestic abuse as an offence itself

• Significantly improves the protections available to victims 

• Penalty of up five years imprisonment and an unlimited fine

The Minister for Home Affairs has today (Wednesday 14 June) brought to the States Assembly an Appointed Day Act, which brings into force the Domestic Abuse (Jersey) Law 2022, which was approved by Members on 28 April 2022, creating a new legal framework for addressing domestic abuse in Jersey.

The three key elements of the legislation are the domestic abuse offence itself, the new powers for the courts to impose Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs), and to impose notification requirements on people convicted of domestic abuse or similar offences. It will allow a court to treat the involvement of a child as an aggravating factor in relation to sentencing. 

This is intended as a mechanism for risk prevention, following the same structure as the Sex Offenders Law, and the court may order such a person to provide police with relevant details or any relevant changes, for a specified time. 

It provides a definition of abusive behaviour which occurs when someone commits an offence which involves physical or sexual abuse, violence, threats, harassment or neglect. Coercive or controlling behaviour is also defined as domestic abuse. 

Domestic abuse will be an offence where both parties are personally connected, they are aged 16 or over and on more than one occasion one person is abusive to another. 

The law strengthens protection for survivors and creates the new offence of domestic abuse with a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. It also includes acts committed outside of Jersey if the offender is usually resident in Jersey.

Jersey Courts will be able to issue DAPOs if there is a risk to the same victim of further abuse and will consider the wellbeing of any children involved. 

Deputy Helen Miles, Minister for Home Affairs, commented: “One of my key priorities over the lastyear has been in bringing the new Domestic Abuse (Jersey) Law into force. The legislation is acritical step forward in addressing domestic abuse in Jersey, by strengthening legal protections and providing additional support for survivors and sends a clear message that domestic abuse will notbe tolerated. Domestic Abuse is deeply damaging, invidious behaviour, and we know that it causes much harm in our community. 

“We are also working closely with the Violence Against Women and Girls Taskforce to identify any further resources, additional legislative reforms and required methods of protection, and I look forward to their forthcoming report findings and recommendations.” 

Sarah Elliott, Pan Island Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Board, added: “Tackling domestic abuse continues to be a key priority for the Safeguarding Partnership Board as it blights the lives of so many people living in Jersey. The enactment of the new Domestic Abuse Law will support delivery of our current strategy which seeks to change attitudes, prevent harm, provide early help to victims and survivors of domestic abuse and continue to pursue perpetrators.”

The Domestic Abuse (Jersey) Law 2022 will come into force on Wednesday 21 June 2023. 

Government of Jersey Press Release.

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