Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 18:10 UK

Domestic violence: Your comments

Domestic violence victims will be able to get greater protection from courts in England and Wales from next month.

Here BBC News website readers tell us their stories of domestic violence and their reaction to the news. All of their names have been changed to protect their identity.

YOUR COMMENTS

I welcome the changes to the law. My daughter was only 17 and 30 weeks pregnant when her then partner assaulted her. The police at our local station couldn't assist her so we had to take her nine miles away to one that could. It then took ages for the injunction to be granted through the court. The new law will be a great improvement.
Claire, UK

It is good that the government is recognising that more needs to be done to offer protection. However, it should be realised also that there is a criminal element for whom a restraining order has a similar effect to waving a red flag at a bull.

As my ex told me, if I were to take out a restraining order on him, he would be very angry and all the more determined to break it. And when he came around and I called the police, then what? Needless to say, I didn't do it!

I still live in fear of him. I have to move home every so often even after nine years. What protection is there for me and my daughters? I have no evidence to lay before the police or a court that he is still harassing me. He is too clever and subtle for that.
Janet, UK

In response to the alleged increase from 60% to 72% for people charged being convicted at court. In most cases many of these cases are one word against another situations and the victim has no visible injuries. If the Crown Prosecution Service is only charging the people that they know will probably get convicted then there is no wonder that the conviction rate has increased!
Sarah, UK

I left my ex-husband in the middle of the night due to domestic violence. My son, who was only six then, witnessed the assault. I was put up in emergency housing with my four children, but managed to put my life back together again by finding my own house and a good job. Although the police and courts knew about the violence, I was ordered to take the two youngest children to see my husband every weekend, although the children did not want to see him. Nobody asked the children's opinion, and I was told that I would be arrested if I defied the court order. The children were hiding in the woods in order not to be taken, it was a desperate situation. It took another assault from my husband for the court order to be dropped.

I think that children of victims of domestic abuse should also be protected, and their opinions and wishes should be taken into account. Most importantly someone should talk to them before court orders are imposed. I am certain that this year of pain and court orders left a lasting damaging impact on my children, and they are still angry about it now.
Melanie, UK

MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

As a male victim of abuse at the hands of a woman in the past, I am both annoyed and saddened to, once again, hear this issue spoken about like it is always women getting abused by men.

Politicians, representatives from charities and even your television presenters seem to be almost continually referring to the protection this new legislation offers to "women", as if men don't ever suffer violent abuse at the hands of their partners.

Please stop implying this issue only affects female victims.
James, UK

Having been the victim of domestic violence (my ex-wife being the abuser) I finally gained enough courage to divorce my wife for the years of abuse I'd suffered. What I found was that due to the stereotype portrayed in modern Britain I was disbelieved and my ex-wife was encouraged to file false allegations against myself. Being a man I found I had no chance under UK law with "law of probability" on her side. This change in law just makes it easier for false allegations to be made and is an indication of the feminisation of our society. It is time for the truth to be made clear that domestic violence is not gender biased. ALL victims should be protected but under current social perceptions this is not the case!
Richard, UK



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