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Domestic Violence: Legal Aid Scheme

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much his Department spends each year on legal aid to support women suffering from domestic abuse.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Prior to 2013, when people applied for legal aid they were not asked to declare whether domestic violence had occurred. Since 2013, applications for legal aid do not routinely request this information as it is not required. Therefore the data requested is not available.

People seeking protective injunctions, like restraining orders, remain eligible for legal aid. Legal aid also remains available in private family cases that involve domestic violence. We have listened closely to any concerns about how the system has been operating, and made changes in response, such as making it easier to prove abuse and so get legal aid.

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