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Harsh evidence rules leave 40% of domestic violence victims at risk
“Rights of Women” brought a legal challenge to the High Court over the lawfulness of the rules requiring domestic violence victims to provide a prescribed form of evidence in order to apply for legal aid for family law matters.
A hearing commenced on 28 January at the Court of Appeal, the result of which will be for the Court to decide whether to overturn the High Court’s ruling. The hearing coincides with new figures from Rights of Women which shows that 40% of victims still cannot produce the evidence required to allow them to access legal aid, despite further amendments to the rules in 2014.
The rules relating to evidence which were brought in as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) prevent those suffering domestic abuse from accessing legal aid for family law cases, even when there is an ongoing risk of violence.
1.2 million people experience domestic abuse, in its many forms, every year meaning around 480,000 are unable to provide the required evidence and remain at risk.
At Tozers we have specialist solicitors in Domestic Violence based in the South West.