Victim Of Domestic Violence Starts Campaign

  • A domestic violence victim is campaigning through social media for the law to be changed in order to stop abuse sufferers having to reveal their secret addresses in open court.

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    Eve Thomas was verbally and physically abused for years prior to leaving her ex-husband in 2010.

    She is using social media to promote her campaign, One Voice Never Silenced.

    Her petition to change the law currently has more than 1,200 signatures.

    Manchester Evening News reported that:

    "Eve Thomas, who was appearing at Bolton County Court , was told she would be held in contempt, and could be jailed, if she did not comply with giving her address."

    She still refused but offered to give the address to the judge in private.

    She feared that her ex-husband may find the address.

    A friend paid off the debt of £450 and the case was dropped.

    She has however launched a campaign, which is supported by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP.

    Eve is now calling on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to meet her and domestic abuse charity Refuge to discuss the issue.

    Eve, 45, said:

    "What I've uncovered is this loophole, this flaw in the law, which is putting victims of domestic violence at risk.

    "If I had been a convicted child abuser my address would have been protected.

    "Commonsense needs to prevail." 

    Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said:

    "Many of the women we support access the courts and many are asked to disclose their address details. This is incredibly dangerous and simply gives the perpetrator a quick and easy way to find his ex-partner.

    "We need to be doing more to keep women and children safe - not increase their risks further by sharing confidential contact details."

    An MoJ spokeswoman also said:

    "In rare cases where victims of domestic violence are also debtors in small claims cases - and refuse to pay their debt or comply with attempts by the court to arrange payment plans - judges are left with no option but to take action that allows the debt to be enforced.

    "It is wrong to claim that victims of domestic violence are required to disclose their addresses in court.

    "The courts regularly handle extremely sensitive cases and have a range of measures to support vulnerable court users, putting their safety and security first."

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1432157

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