Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is the new Domestic Violence Act a success?

Apparently not. It has been suggested by the President of District Judge's in June's Family Law that there may be fewer applications for non molestation and occupation orders. Why? Perhaps because victims do not want to criminalise their ex partner, especially if a bout in prison is likely which would jeopardise the main source of income for the family. However, what is now being suggested is that the Crown Prosecution Service are not recommending prosecution for many breaches due to lack of any corroborative evidence. Nobody foresaw this somewhat obvious barrier with hindsight. The CPS need a reasonable chance of success, the higher burden of proof in criminal matters - beyond reasonable doubt - makes it very difficult to proceed on a his word against hers basis. I know someone who's husband allegedly broke her jaw and knocked out all her front teeth. He said she had been driving drunk without a safety belt and had a crash and hit her head on the windscreen. She said he hit her. He was charming and plausible, a professional. She was tongue tied and displayed outbursts of anger. Who would you believe? What if she then changed her story and said that she wanted to drop it, that she had lied and he had never hit her? Prosecute her for wasting police time?

I think someone should invent a fail proof lie detector and that negative assumptions can be made if anyone refuses to take the test. Oh no - the latest research is now suggesting that we do indeed have false memories. That we can be convinced our recall is correct when it is not!!

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