Have the Legal and Social Concepts of Domestic Abuse Been Profoundly Revolutionised, or Is Further Reform Required?

  • Sophie Rowland Student
Keywords: Domestic Violence, Patriarchy, Children, Gender, Coercive Control, Law Reform


Domestic abuse is an important aspect of family law that is governed by everyday attitudes, personal beliefs, legislation, and legal precedents. These are important to consider when assessing how society has reacted, and still reacts, to ‘controversial’ issues that challenge the norm. This article analyses to what extent domestic abuse law may be reforming and how these changes will influence future decisions. It is suggested that although the definition of domestic abuse has broadened to include coercive control and recognise women, men, and children as potential victims. There is a need for more to be done to eliminate patriarchal views and attitudes that shape society’s understanding of domestic abuse and legal responses.