Charities have joined TV host Rachel Riley in calling for the immediate introduction of a domestic abuse register.

In response to the amendments made to the Domestic Abuse Act last week, charities and Countdown host Rachel Riley are calling for a national register for repeat abusers.

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Following the harrowing murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year, the government suggested they would again look at introducing a register - however they have since backtracked. 

In an interview with the Independent, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley said she will hold the government personally responsible for the next death from domestic abuse if they fail to input adequate measures. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Rachel Riley says she will hold the government responsible (PA).

Although high risk serial offenders are already monitored through the multi-agency public protection arrangement, charities have warned that this is not full-proof as many high risk, serial perpetrators of domestic abuse are not convicted of their crimes and therefore fall through the gaps. 

Sharon Bryan, head of partnerships and development of domestic abuse services for the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) said:

"As a society we need to hold perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable.  There needs to be a system in place that does this and serves as a deterrent. 

"By rejecting this amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill and by also rejecting the amendment to ensure that judges and magistrates are provided with specialist training in domestic abuse and sexual abuse, plus the rejection of the amendment to give migrant women equal protection against perpetrators -  the government are clearly sending out a message to victims and survivors, that they are still not listening.

"People need to be able to trust the system in order to report the crime.

"They can not do this if the people that can make a difference are not listening to them.  These rejections need to be revoked and passed through on the Bill." 

Since the start of the pandemic a rising level of domestic abuse has been alarming charities across the country as they try to fire-fight the onslaught of abuse happening behind closed doors.

Bournemouth Echo:

The introduction of an abuse register as part of the Domestic Abuse Act has been rejected (PA).

A spokesperson for BCHA in Bournemouth said: "We have seen an increase in the numbers of referrals into our domestic abuse services since lockdown restrictions were imposed.

"A ‘stay at home’ order to protect the public and prevent the spread of infection has left many people experiencing domestic abuse and forced to live with perpetrators. 

"For many people, home is not a place of safety. The national lockdowns have restricted and reduced peoples social support system, preventing them from seeking emotional and practical support."

A woman is killed by a current or ex-partner every four days in England and Wales, while one in four women will suffer domestic abuse at some point during their lives.

Ms Bryan said: "The NCDV have seen a concerning increase in referrals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"For the month of March 2020, the total number of referrals were 8,272.  This is compared with 6,809 referrals for March 2019, a year before. This is a 21% increase for the time period around the commencement of the first lockdown. 

"For the period March 2020 to August 2020, which covers the first lockdown total referrals to NCDV were 50,291 – a 20.5 per-cent increase on the same time period the year before. 

"We expect the same to happen now as restrictions are gradually being lifted from the most recent lockdown."

If you have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse there is a range of support and advice available - irrespective of lockdowns or coronavirus restrictions. 

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are unable to speak on the phone, call 999 and if you can, respond by coughing or tapping on the handset to communicate with the operator.

BCHA Domestic abuse helpline number 01202 710777 or visit