The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received royal assent on 29 April 2021, with the provisions coming into effect throughout 2021 and 2022. Some provisions, such as the definition of domestic abuse and the appointment of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner are currently in force in England and Wales.
When the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 came into effect it created the role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner, currently held by Nicole Jacobs who was appointed in September 2019. The role of the Commissioner will be to raise public awareness, as well as to hold the government and agencies to account in tackling domestic abuse. An advisory board shall be appointed by the Commissioner, with members including those who represent the interests of victims of domestic abuse, individuals working in health care services and individuals working in policing or criminal justice. The Commissioner will make recommendations to public authorities about the exercise of their functions. The Domestic Abuse Act creates a legal duty on all statutory agencies and government department to respond to the recommendations made by the Commissioner within 56 days of a report being published.
Some provisions of the Domestic Abuse Act are yet to come into effect, such as the provisions relating to Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders. Before these provisions come into effect throughout England and Wales, they will be piloted to test their operation.