To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many vexatious or meritless applications were taken out by perpetrators of domestic abuse where the subject of the application was the victim in each of the last three years.
The Ministry of Justice does not hold data relating to whether individual cases were taken out on a vexatious basis, as there is no statutory definition for this. In addition, data relating to domestic abuse cases handled by the family courts does not identify whether the applicant has previously been a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
However, it is unacceptable for someone to use court processes to harass or abuse a former partner. The family court has wide powers to manage such situations, including striking out an action it views as an abuse of process, and the power to prevent a person from making further applications without prior permission of the court.
This Government is committed to transforming the response to domestic abuse, and the recently published draft Domestic Abuse Bill and consultation response set out our ambitions in this area. We want to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can both to protect and support them and their children and pursue their abuser.