We would agree with that. As part of my role at Rights of Women, I regularly advise survivors on our telephone advice lines. They have a real concern about issuing a divorce petition at all, and about the perpetrator’s reaction, but they have particular concerns if they are having to cite domestic abuse on the petition. The Bill will also, we hope, prevent perpetrators using the threat that they will defend petitions to try and control her or have the upper hand in negotiations about finances and children.
We also find, often, that if the perpetrator issues a divorce petition first, she has to agree to a divorce based on her unreasonable behaviour, when in fact the reason why the marriage broke down was his abuse towards her. We support the Bill.