Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

Change in Common Assault Law in Domestic Abuse Cases

13 January 2022

Dawn Hughes

Man holding hand out

The Government has proposed to extend the time limit for reporting offences of common assault where committed in a domestic situation.


At present there is a 6-month deadline from the date of the incident, which in a lot of domestic violence cases is insufficient, as many victims are often too frightened to report the assault straight away. Many who tried to bring charges against their perpetrator in the past failed, as the law stated that assaults happening more than 6 months ago could not be acted upon by the Police.


This new proposal will extend the time limit to 6 months from the date of it being reported to the Police rather than 6 months from the date of the assault itself. This is subject to an overall time limit of 2 years from the assault.


The Justice Secretary Dominic Raab MP stated that the Government is:


“committed to doing everything we can to protect women, make them feel safer and give them greater confidence in the justice system”


It is important to say that it is not just women who are subject to domestic abuse. This change has been brought about to protect all victims of domestic violence who may find it harder to have the courage to make a formal complaint within a relatively short period of time after the assault has taken place. This change is intended to help protect people who have suffered domestic violence and offer them some confidence in the justice system.


If you require any further information in relation to domestic abuse, or any other family matter, then please contact our Family Team on 01302 341414.