Bedford counsellor and therapist Caroline Bygrave from CB Counselling Services has welcomed the news that victims are to be given more time to report episodes of domestic abuse.
The current timeframe for reporting someone for common assault is six months. Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has agreed to extend the time frame to two years. The change will come into force once the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill has made its way through Parliament and become law.
Two years instead of six months to report domestic abuse
The problem with the current arrangements is that the six month clock starts ticking from the date of the incident. In reality, in my experience of treating in Bedford who have suffered in this way, they are initially reluctant to report incidents and the cases can be complex. An extended period to report incidents is common sense and is overall a fairer period of time in my opinion.
The evidence of how the six month timeframe is insufficient is shown up in data provided in a report by HM inspector of constabulary. Three-quarters of all domestic abuse cases – including sexual assaults – are closed early without the suspect being charged.
The definition is common assault is a wide one in legal terms. The impact on people who have suffered is particular to each individual. In my work as a counsellor I work with clients in and around Bedford to help them with the healing process and to provide tools to help them start-over and re-build their confidence.
If I can be of help or for a confidential conversation, without obligation, call 07525 346998