Statutory guidance: Domestic Abuse Act 2021

The Home Office has published statutory guidance supporting the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Act’s wide-ranging statutory definition of domestic abuse and providing guidance to those working with victims, including the police and local authorities.

The statutory definition introduced in the Act incorporates a range of abuse beyond physical violence, including controlling or coercive behavior; emotional abuse and, for the first time, economic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 also recognises children who see, hear or experience domestic abuse as victims in their own right.

The statutory guidance is issued under section 84 (2) of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 about the effect of section 1 (the definition of ‘domestic abuse’) and section 2 (the definition of ‘personally connected’), and section 3, recognising children as victims of domestic abuse in their own right.

This new statutory guidance is intended to ensure that the complexity of domestic abuse is properly understood to support a coherent ‘whole system’ response to supporting victims and survivors, including children. By setting out best practice approaches and encouraging multi-agency working, a whole system response will deliver the step change needed to tackle domestic abuse, recognising that everybody has a role to play in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

It is aimed at statutory and non-statutory bodies working with victims, (including children), or perpetrators of domestic abuse, and to those dealing with other consequences of domestic abuse.

For the guidance please see