Being psychologically bullied by your partner – Not our problem according to the coalition

We have known for a while that legal aid was being reviewed by the Government because they believed that too many people were abusing the system.   Such examples as anyone at Crown Court could claim legal aid, regardless of personal circumstance, added fuel to this passion to restrict funding, and on the face of it, why not?  If you can afford to represent yourself, then you should, surely!

The problem has now been highlighted that these “Fair” cuts will not be as fair as we would really like.  Take things like divorce, currently you could claim legal aid, but under new legislation, it will have to be funded privately, unless you are suffering from domestic violence, then you would get legal aid.  I would not have a problem with this, apart from the fact that they have redefined Domestic Violence as Physical only.  Therefore, all those partners coming under psychological abuse have now been abandoned until they get a good ole beating.  In Family law, 62% of applications are by women, what does that tell you?

What really grips me about this type of cut is that it is the poor and needy that are being penalised for the actions of the rich.  It is because those who could fund their own defence, who are just claiming legal aid because they can, and not thinking of the wider issues.  I guess that’s like any benefit, people claim because they can, not because they need to.  Critics are quick to blame the previous government for this, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Some people have lost their moral backbone, just because they think they are entitled.   This is where the welfare state falls over, not because of its intentions, but because people are inherently human.  Everyone points to the benefit snatchers, but take a broad look and take int he tax avoiders and evaders too!  Who is worse?  The benefit snatchers who are generally (not all) doing it to survive, or the tax avoiders who are just wanting to evade what they should be paying to get an even bigger slice of pie!

Anyway, I got off track, Legal Aid should be trimmed, should be means tested in all courts, but the redefinition of Domestic Violence and abuse for Political reasons is just wrong.



7 Comments so far:

  1. Eddie says:

    What gripes me about this post is the run from domestic violence to the usual it attacks the poor and needy. Rubbish imo

    I have never seen why I should pay for legal action by those who blithley promised until death do us part. No one forces you to get married. If you do then bear responsibility for your actions. Don’t expect the rest of us to pick up YOUR bill

  2. bazkirby says:

    That just shows you that you have only read what you wanted to read and not what I wrote.

    I quote “I would not have a problem with this, apart from the fact that they have redefined Domestic Violence as Physical only.”

    I agree with the fact that divorce should not be legal aid in itself, but the change in Domestic Violence definition is a backward step. Domestic Violence is terrible, and males are the main culprits, often psychologically manipulating and abusing their new partners for a period of time before physically abusing them. Some of the outcomes of this I have seen are truly horrific.

    So, no, its not rubbish, its real and exists. Its already hard enough to deal with domestic violence for many reasons, and this will make it worse.

    However your point in the broader sense of “I have never seen why I should pay for legal action” is a good one and is really directed at the UK system as a whole. Why should we have legal aid whatsoever – what’s the point? Many people think that there is no smoke without fire and all that. For me, access to justice is a fundamental right and I would prefer to ensure that this right always exists, regardless of class or status.

  3. Eddie says:

    I can read as well as any Barry. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. Physical abuse still gets aid, and women are no more saintly than men.

    I don’t know what your last paragraph was about. No one suggested that this was about anything other than legal aid for divorce, and of course you only partly quoted what I said. I actully said

    I have never seen why I should pay for legal action by those who blithley promised until death do us part. No one forces you to get married.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MyProLaw.
    MyProLaw said: Being psychologically bullied by your partner – Not
    our problem … […]

  5. bazkirby says:

    I’d disagree with you in that its a sad fact that men abuse women much more than women abuse men. In my experience, there is a significant problem with domestic abuse. It is a gross generalisation that those who are being abused are those who just “blithely” made their vows.

    Again I say I think your right in the general case, why should the Tax payer fund a normal divorce, and i think Domestic abuse cases, shoudl still be funded. I just disagree with the reclassification of Domestic Abuse to be physical only. In fact, to pick up your point about woment being no more saintly than men, in cases of Women abusing men, that is more psycological abuse than physical. Unfortunaly many people think that they should just “man up” rather than seek help.

    But my point in the last paragraph was a though for conversation, IE yes I’m talking about domestic abuse here, but taking your quote for the general case, why should we, the tax payer, pay for any legal action at all? Where do we draw the line?

  6. bazkirby says:

    Thats a great article, thanks Eddie.

    It highlights the issues we still face in domestic abuse being recognised. Female against Male and Male against Male is a rising trend, as more men are feeling able to report it.

    It is something I got quite passionate about during my JP training when the only cases brought forward were Men against Women, when there are a broader range of victims and issues involved.

    There is also another issue with the definitions too, is that Domestic Violence is believed just to be between partners, but it is almost any violence between relatives is highlighted as DV. Hoever, there is no actual offence of Domestic Violence, it is a aggrivating factor in Assault, Common Assault, ABH, GBH etc.

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