Examination of Witnesses

Part of Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 2nd July 2019.

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Professor Trinder:

Hugely, I would say. At the moment, probably about 20,000 petitioners are alleging domestic abuse in behaviour petitions. That is a very substantial number. I led the first major study of divorce law, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. One of the things we did was to talk to people who have been going through the process. Certainly, where there has been a background of domestic abuse, people had a strong sense of not wanting to inflame the situation or put themselves more at risk by alleging particulars of behaviour. About 20,000 petitions annually involve allegations of domestic abuse and not to have to put those allegations forward would put those petitioners, particularly women, in a much safer position.