My attention this week has been drawn towards the devastating case of Poppi Worthington. Poppi was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow in December 2012 and died in suspicious circumstances at the age of 13 months. Her father, Paul Worthington, 48, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault but was not charged with any offence. Following the findings of senior Family Court Judge, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, the CPS is now reviewing the case. It is understood the case will be re-examined at the highest level.

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Coercive Control – New Law Comes Into Force

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

A much anticipated addition to the domestic violence legislations has come into force. The new law, brought into force in England and Wales, follows a Home Office consultation in which 85% of participants said the existing law did not provide sufficient protection. This new addition provides for criminal sanctions for coercive control which stop short of actual physical violence. It comes as Citizens Advice published figures showing a 24% rise in those seeking advice for domestic abuse.

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More New Borns In Care

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

A report prepared by the University of Lancaster has indicated that in 2008 there were 802 babies involved in care proceedings from birth and more recently that number has sadly risen to 2,018. Of these children approximately half were removed from the care of mother’s who already had other children in the care system and a third were from women who became mothers as teenagers.

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Recently published reports show prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in relation to domestic violence against females have reached record figures with more than 107,000 prosecutions made throughout England and Wales - an increase of approximately 18% on the previous year. It is believed that the rise in reported cases of domestic abuse is a positive result of victims gaining the confidence to come forward and speaking out against their experience of domestic violence. It is thought that in the past domestic violence against women had been under reported but due to the welcomed improvements made by the Police and prosecutors more victims of domestic violence are willing to come forward and to rightly speak out.

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Easier divorces for Roman Catholics?

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

Pope Frances recently announced changes to the way in which the Catholic Church will deal with the issue of annulment of marriages. In what is only the third revision of the process in the Church’s 2000 year history, the Vatican is making it easier for Catholic marriages to be annulled as Pope Francis pushes the reform to create a more accessible and less complicated process. The move is somewhat of a dramatic departure from Pope Francis’s more conservative predecessors who made efforts to make annulments more difficult to obtain.

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