Advocating for Children in the Domestic Abuse Act

The Statutory Guidance for the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has been published on 8 July 2022.

A Pro Bono team, led by Michael O’Donoghue, were able to support Hestia with drafting an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill to recognise children as direct victims of domestic abuse, alongside Gordon Nardell QC. When the Domestic Abuse Act gained Royal Assent in 2021, this concept was put into force in the legislation. The need for children to be designated as victims, and not as bystanders to abuse, was critical in ensuring that they could access more services to aid their recovery. This need was shown to be important by the expert voices of charities in the domestic abuse sector and people with lived experience.

Now, after four years of advocating, we are proud to say that designating children as victims is not only threaded throughout the Statutory Guidance, but that children who are having to leave their homes as a result of domestic abuse will not lose their place on NHS waiting lists.

Read about Hestia’s work, and the impact of this guidance on their client, Azra, here. Our press release from the Royal Assent of the Domestic Abuse Act can be found here.

Thank you to Jo-Tilley Riley, the team at Hestia, and Gordon Nardell QC. The Hogan Lovells team included Susannah Moody, Katie Dunn, Michael O’Donoghue, Rhian Lewis and Yasmin Waljee.


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