A Sheffield woman has started a new petition to give tougher sentences to domestic abusers.
Currently there is no specific criminal offence of ‘domestic abuse’ – although crimes committed in cases in cases of domestic abuse include harassment, sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Victoria Miguel – the creator of the petition – said in her change.org post that: “Sentences [that] domestic abusers are given are too low”.
A new domestic violence law targeting ‘coercive control’ was began in 2015, which sought to target actions of ‘serious harm or distress’ that would otherwise go unpunished.
However, the maximum sentence for this is five years in prison.
In South Yorkshire, 65% of legal decisions resulted in a charge for domestic abuse related crimes in 2020 – according to a report from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
The average across England and Wales was 73%.
Ms Miguel said: “Some [offenders are] receiving quite low sentences for horrific crimes – domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, it is likely to become more frequent and serious the longer it continues”.
34,864 incidents related to domestic abuse were recorded in South Yorkshire by police in the same year – which is around 25 instances per 1000 people.
The petition can be found at Petition · Tougher sentences for domestic abuses · Change.org