An Insight into Domestic Abuse and related Laws

This edition of A Question of Law will focus on the crucial subject of domestic abuse. Our guest, Gemma Lindfield, Barrister at 5 St Andrew’s Hill, will provide a comprehensive explanation of this dreadful problem and share her opinion on the Domestic Abuse Bill currently discussed in parliament.  

Gemma will first define domestic abuse (4:41) and offer her preferred definition (5:50). Drawing from her professional experience, she will explain how domestic abuse creeps in relationships ( 7:24). She’ll describe the manipulation used by perpetrators to exploit victims’ vulnerabilities from love bombing to bullying, threatening, gaslighting (10:07) and controlling the narrative (12:02).

Then, she will discuss whether there is a category of people more likely to fall victim of domestic abuse (12:27) and conclude with a negative answer (12:57). However, she’ll underline that some specific factors can play a critical role (13:09) and explain that education is vital to fight domestic abuse (13:52). She’ll then reveal her personal ordeal (16:05).

Talking about why victims stay in abusive relationships, she’ll describe the danger they face when they leave (19:07), and will confirm that the pandemic has put victims at heightened risks (20:49). We will also talk about how domestic violence impacts children (21:27).

Then she’ll examine the Domestic Abuse Bill (24:11), underlining the positive improvements (27:00) before addressing the shortcomings, particularly regarding the issue of non-fatal strangulation ( 30:27).

Finally, we will talk about her career, job (33:42) and clients. She will share why she decided to become a barrister with her father’s instrumental role (35:37), before talking about her greatest success (38;17) and the hurdles that she had to push through (38:33). Utterly proud to be a barrister, she will provide inspiring advice to aspiring barristers (41:08).

Referenced books:

Pat Craven: Living with the Dominator

Lundy Bancroft: Why Does He Do That?


National Domestic Abuse Helpline (Women only): 0808 200 0247

Men’s Advice Line ( Men only): 0808 801 0327

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

National Stalking Helpline:  0808 802 0300

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