Home secretary vows new domestic abuse law will save lives in wake of Kerri McAuley murder

Kerri McAuley

Kerri McAuley - Credit: Archant

Home secretary Amber Rudd has vowed new laws set to be passed in the wake of the brutal murder of Kerri McAuley will save lives.

Home secretary, Amber Rudd, during her visit to the Magdalene Group in Norwich, to talk about domest

Home secretary, Amber Rudd, during her visit to the Magdalene Group in Norwich, to talk about domestic violence and vulnerable people, with the Group's chief executive, Suzi Heybourne. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Ms McAuley was killed by her former partner and serial abuser Joe Storey at her home in Southalls Way, Norwich in January 2017.

The mother of two suffered 19 separate injuries to her head and face during the attack.

Setting out plans to toughen the domestic abuse laws while visiting Norwich's Magdalene Group – who work with vulnerable women and young people – Ms Rudd said an overhaul of the way society deals with domestic abuse was needed.

'We see nearly two women a week killed by their partners and the case in Norwich where Kerri was killed was a totally horrific situation, so it is absolutely right that we try to introduce new measures to stop that taking place,' Ms Rudd said.

Staff at the Magdalene Group, from left, Deb McCormick, Jonna Barry, and Lesley McNay, during the vi

Staff at the Magdalene Group, from left, Deb McCormick, Jonna Barry, and Lesley McNay, during the visit by Home Secretary, Amber Rudd. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018


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'I would like to see a complete change in the way people approach domestic abuse. I want it to be something that women are much more comfortable talking about, we know that it is much more prevalent than we actually see being reported. I want women to feel they can talk to their friends or talk to health workers if it is going on so we can get interventions taking place early.

'And I want to see men being much more aware of their own communities – perhaps asking their friends if they think it is going on and making it more normal for people to engage in so we can get in early, stop it taking place and save lives.'

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Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has been working closely with Ms McAuley's family in a bid to bring new legislation which could see abusers being tagged or even banned from drinking alcohol.

'I really do hope Kerri's death might not have been in vain because we have the opportunity to improve the law through consultation.'

MP Chloe Smith, left, with Home secretary, Amber Rudd, during the visit to the Magdalene Group in No

MP Chloe Smith, left, with Home secretary, Amber Rudd, during the visit to the Magdalene Group in Norwich, to talk about domestic violence and vulnerable people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

The bill will seek to introduce new civil orders to expand the restrictions courts and police can impose on criminals who torment partners.

Perpetrators could be required to attend parenting programmes or drug and alcohol treatment. And for the first time courts would be given powers to impose electronic monitoring as a condition of the Domestic Abuse Protection Orders.

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