Government Launches Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan

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Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

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The government has announced a new plan, which aims to tackle domestic violence and provide help for those in need of support. Here we discuss the realities of domestic abuse in the UK, and how the government’s new plan aims to make a change.

The police recorded around 1.5 million domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022, and around one in five homicides are related to domestic abuse. As a result of this, The Home Secretary, Priti Patel has launched a new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan which is informed by victims and survivors.

Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan

Pursuing Abusers

The plan includes new measures to tackle perpetrators including:

  • options for creating a new register for domestic abusers which could require perpetrators to take actions such as reporting to the police when changing address or opening a bank account with a new partner.
  • invest £75 million out of the £81 million budget to tackle the abusers’ behaviour.
  • increasing electronic tagging to anyone who is at risk.

Preventing Abuse

The plan sets out key actions to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place. These include:

  • a package of support for teachers to deliver the relationship, sex, and health education curriculum to ensure children learn about healthy relationships at an early age;
  • making it easier to access information on a partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending;
  • working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to review police forces which record the highest rates of domestic homicide and serious domestic abuse crimes.

Supporting Survivors

To help all victims and survivors, the plan includes:

  • a doubling of funding for the National Domestic Abuse Helpline;
  • a commitment to reviewing the statutory leave laws for victims of domestic abuse;
  • funding 700 independent domestic violence and sexual violence advocate roles with additional funding for 300 roles later this year to refer and support victims and survivors.

Creating a Better System for Tackling Domestic Abuse

The plan intends to improve the systems and processes that underpin the response to domestic abuse. This includes:

  • the expansion of the successful Ask for Ani codeword scheme to be piloted in Jobcentre offices across the UK;
  • £7.5 million over three years to enable healthcare professionals to better identify, refer and support victims and survivors of domestic abuse;
  • more work to support police to help identify and reduce the risks of suicide in cases involving domestic abuse.
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Domestic Abuse Stats - 2023

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and Office for National Statistics show that in the last year 4.4% of people aged 16 years and over have experienced some form of domestic abuse. It also shows that 5.1% of people between the ages of 16-59 experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

The CSEW took into consideration the number of reports that were made to the police. Between March 2022 and March 2023, there were 889,441 domestic abuse offences reported. This shows hardly any movement from the previous year (2021 – 2022), which saw 889,311 recorded offences of domestic abuse.

Domestic Abuse and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

In addition, victims of domestic abuse may also be able to make a compensation claim as a result of the abuse. The Criminal Injuries Scheme is a government-funded scheme set up to compensate victims of violent crime including physical abuse, sexual abuse and sometimes emotional/psychological abuse. To make an Abuse Claim for compensation, your abuse must have been reported to the police. Read more about this in our article: Criminal Injury Compensation Payouts for Abuse Explained

Domestic abuse can happen to males as well as females. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in three victims of domestic abuse each year are men. Despite this, the level of awareness around domestic abuse towards men remains relatively low. 

Recently in the news was the case of a man killed by his girlfriend. Paul Lavelle, 50, was attacked by his partner, Sarah Lewis, with the shard of a broken dinner plate while at home in May 2017. Following the murder, Paul Gladwell, a friend of Mr Lavelle’s told the Liverpool Echo: “We asked the question as to why he didn’t tell us what was going on.

"We found out later on that it wasn’t an isolated incident, so we started wanting to raise awareness and getting men to speak out about being abused.”

It is sadly common for survivors of any kind of abuse to keep it to themselves for the fear of repercussions. For anyone who has experienced abuse, we understand that it can be difficult to speak up. In a recent article, we discussed a new UK law that means domestic abuse survivors could get more time to report domestic abuse, where you can learn more about time limits for domestic abuse claims.

Can I Make a Claim if a Family Member Has Been Killed Because of Domestic Abuse?

If a person has died as a result of being an innocent victim of a violent crime it is possible for a qualifying relative to make a claim under the Criminal Injuries Scheme.

Who is a Qualifying Relative?

A qualifying relative is:

  • a spouse or civil partner who was living with the person who has died in the same household.
  • the partner of the person who has died who was living in the same household for at least two years prior to their death.
  • a person who is a spouse, civil partner, or partner who was unable to live with the person who had died due to their ill health or infirmity.
  • the spouse, civil partner, or former spouse who was financially dependent on the person who has died.
  • a parent of the deceased.
  • a child of the deceased.

What Compensation Will be Paid by the CICA?

A bereavement payment will be paid to a qualifying relative in the sum of £11,000. Where there is more than one qualifying relative each person will receive £5,500.

A child’s payment will be paid if the child/children of the person who has died was under 18 and dependent on the deceased for parental services. Payments will be calculated from the person’s date of death  untilthe child/children reach18. They will receive £2,000 per year plus any additional expenses as a direct result of a loss of parental services.

A dependency payment may also be made for a qualifying relativewho was financially or physically dependent on the person who has died. The rules relating to dependency payments can be quite complex and depending on the situation.

A funeral payment of up to £5,000 may be made for reasonably incurred expenses.

Our Abuse Claims Solicitors can advise you on whether you can make a claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme and how much compensation you’re likely to receive.

Protecting Survivors

While you are making a claim for compensation, your information will be kept protected. The application process is completely confidential, which means that only the organisations who are directly involved in your case are aware of the details whichwill include your GP and any other medical professionals you have seen, the police, the CICA, and your legal representatives.

What Can I Claim Compensation For?

If you have experienced domestic abuse, you may be able to claim compensation if you can show evidence that a violent crime has been committed. What you can make a claim for includes:

  • any physical or mental injuries you sustained.
  • sexual abuse or violence.

How Our Abuse Solicitors Can Help

Specialist Abuse Solicitors can help in domestic abuse cases by offering practical support and advice. 

If you have experienced domestic abuse and would like to make a claim please contact our Specialist Abuse Solicitors today for a free consultation on how we can help.


Cica. (2020). The ultimate guide to Criminal Injury Compensation (CICA) Claims. [online] Available at:

GOV.UK. (n.d.). Claim compensation if you were the victim of a violent crime. [online] Available at:

GOV.UK. (n.d.). Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. [online] Available at:

Office for National Statistics (2022). Domestic abuse victim characteristics, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at:

National Centre for domestic violence (2023). Domestic Abuse Statistics UK • NCDV. [online] Available at:

GOV.UK. (n.d.). Home Secretary launches new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan. [online] Available at:

Domestic Abuse Commissioner Annual Report of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner 2022 to 2023. (2023). Available at:

UK Government (2015). Serious Crime Act 2015. [online] Available at:

GOV.UK (2021). Domestic Abuse Act 2021. [online] Available at:

Nathalie Swanwick

Abuse Claims Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Nathalie began her legal career in 2009 after completing her law degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008. She has specialised in abuse claims since 2010, and went on to qualify as a Solicitor in 2013.

Following her qualification Nathalie specialised in a range of personal injury claims including abuse claims and criminal injury claims. She has acted for clients who have suffered life-changing injuries such as brain injuries.

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