Search Legislation

Domestic Abuse Act 2021

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

Changes over time for: PART 1

 Help about opening options

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, PART 1. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

PART 1E+WDefinition of “domestic abuse”

1Definition of “domestic abuse”E+W

(1)This section defines “domestic abuse” for the purposes of this Act.

(2)Behaviour of a person (“A”) towards another person (“B”) is “domestic abuse” if—

(a)A and B are each aged 16 or over and are personally connected to each other, and

(b)the behaviour is abusive.

(3)Behaviour is “abusive” if it consists of any of the following—

(a)physical or sexual abuse;

(b)violent or threatening behaviour;

(c)controlling or coercive behaviour;

(d)economic abuse (see subsection (4));

(e)psychological, emotional or other abuse;

and it does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

(4)Economic abuse” means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on B's ability to—

(a)acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or

(b)obtain goods or services.

(5)For the purposes of this Act A's behaviour may be behaviour “towards” B despite the fact that it consists of conduct directed at another person (for example, B's child).

(6)References in this Act to being abusive towards another person are to be read in accordance with this section.

(7)For the meaning of “personally connected”, see section 2.

Commencement Information

I1S. 1 in force at 5.7.2021 for specified purposes by S.I. 2021/797, reg. 2(1)

I2S. 1 in force at 1.10.2021 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2021/1038, reg. 2(a)

2Definition of “personally connected”E+W

(1)For the purposes of this Act, two people are “personally connected” to each other if any of the following applies—

(a)they are, or have been, married to each other;

(b)they are, or have been, civil partners of each other;

(c)they have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(d)they have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(e)they are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other;

(f)they each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child (see subsection (2));

(g)they are relatives.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(f) a person has a parental relationship in relation to a child if—

(a)the person is a parent of the child, or

(b)the person has parental responsibility for the child.

(3)In this section—

  • child” means a person under the age of 18 years;

  • civil partnership agreement” has the meaning given by section 73 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004;

  • parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989 (see section 3 of that Act);

  • relative” has the meaning given by section 63(1) of the Family Law Act 1996.

Commencement Information

I3S. 2 in force at 5.7.2021 for specified purposes by S.I. 2021/797, reg. 2(1)

I4S. 2 in force at 1.10.2021 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2021/1038, reg. 2(b)

3Children as victims of domestic abuseE+W

(1)This section applies where behaviour of a person (“A”) towards another person (“B”) is domestic abuse.

(2)Any reference in this Act to a victim of domestic abuse includes a reference to a child who—

(a)sees or hears, or experiences the effects of, the abuse, and

(b)is related to A or B.

(3)A child is related to a person for the purposes of subsection (2) if—

(a)the person is a parent of, or has parental responsibility for, the child, or

(b)the child and the person are relatives.

(4)In this section—

  • child” means a person under the age of 18 years;

  • parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989 (see section 3 of that Act);

  • relative” has the meaning given by section 63(1) of the Family Law Act 1996.

Commencement Information

I5S. 3 in force at 1.10.2021 for specified purposes by S.I. 2021/1038, reg. 2(c)

I6S. 3 in force at 1.11.2021 for specified purposes by S.I. 2021/1038, reg. 3(a)

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources