Gender stereotypes should not play a part in the sentencing of domestic violence cases, new guidelines have confirmed following pressure from Coalition member the ManKind Initiative.
Following the Sentencing Council’s announcement on Thursday of new sentencing guidelines for those convicted of domestic abuse, Mark Brooks, Chair of the ManKind Initiative, a national charity supporting male victims, said:
“The new guidelines are a clear step in the right direction in reflecting the seriousness of domestic abuse and the additional psychological effect and impact it has when it is someone you personally trust who is committing this terrible crime.
“Recently we have seen light sentences that have not truly reflected the long lasting damage that domestic abuse causes so these guidelines will go some way in redressing this for the future. Often victims never start up any other relationships because of the lifelong psychological damage and fear of never trusting anyone again that this can cause.
“We are particularly pleased that the guidelines make clear that the gender of the victim should not be taken into account and that gender stereotypes should not play a part in sentencing. The former was considered in the draft guidelines. We made clear that this would mean that both male and female victims and perpetrators would not be viewed equally when it came to sentencing.
“Taking into account the aggravating factor regarding the disobedience of court orders is a vital new piece of guidance if it starts to include the continual and wilful breach of child arrangement orders issued by the family courts. This pernicious form of domestic abuse must be taken into account and is an important step in formally recognising parental alienation as a domestic abuse crime – which it clearly is.”