Calls for serial domestic abuse and stalking offenders to be tracked to prevent further abuse

A group of cross-party MPs and select committee chairs have tabled an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill to stop serial abusers “re-offending with impunity and wrecking more and more lives”.

Jun 9, 2020
By Paul Jacques

The proposed change would see serial domestic abuse and stalking offenders registered and monitored in the same way as other serious violent and sexual offenders.

The amendment would require offenders to be registered on VISOR, the Dangerous Persons Database, and subject to monitoring and management through MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements).

It has been tabled by Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and has the support of Caroline Nokes, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Harriet Harman, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and Labour MP Rosie Duffield.

“Domestic abuse and stalking destroy lives,” said Ms Cooper. “There are too many heartbreaking stories of people who have suffered terribly or even lost their lives as a result of domestic abuse or stalking by someone who had committed similar atrocious crimes before.

“That’s why we need much stronger action against serial abusers who go from victim to victim, and arrangements to track and monitor those perpetrators in order to protect future victims and prevent further abuse.

“Serial domestic abuse and stalking offenders should be proactively identified and monitored in the same way that other violent and sexual offenders are. Action must be taken to protect others from them in the future. They must not be allowed to keep re-offending with impunity, wrecking more and more lives.”

Laura Richards, founder of Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service, added: “I have worked on many cases over the years and the same failures, same patterns, repeat. The lessons are never learned.

“Women are being spectacularly failed every day. It is systemic failure and we need urgent law and culture change to focus on the perpetrator’s behaviour.

“I strongly urge the Government to look at the evidence base of hundreds of women and girls who have been abused, terrorised, raped and murdered by serial domestic violence offenders and stalkers who were allowed to offend with impunity and ensure this important amendment is supported in the Domestic Abuse Bill. This will save lives.”

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