VICTIMS and survivors of domestic abuse will be better protected through the criminal justice system in a change of legislation being welcomed by West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

The draft bill going before MPs will ensure victims are better protected in court and no longer have to face cross-examination from abusers.

It will also create new powers to force perpetrators into behaviour-changing rehabilitation programmes such as the Drive Programme, launched by West Mercia PCC John Campion.
The scheme aims to reduce the number of child and adult victims of domestic abuse by challenging perpetrator behaviour.

Mr Campion said: "My commitment is to always put victims first and I’m pleased to see the holistic approach to tackling this complex and important issue, at a local and national level. It’s vital that victims and survivors have specialist support to cope and recover.

"I am also committed to tackling offender behaviour at the root, and ensuring the police and criminal justice system do all they can to protect victims and bring offenders to justice."

The law change will also create a legal definition of domestic abuse, to include economic abuse and control. A national "Domestic Abuse Commissioner" will also be established and tasked with improving the response and support for victims across public services.

Victims of domestic abuse can contact West Mercia Women's Aid on 0800 9803331, Victim Support on 0808 1689111 or West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre on 01905 724514.

For more information on the Drive Programme, visit