Legal 'loophole' protecting child abusers closed
By Charlotte Fantelli
Finally, the laws surrounding child abuse and domestic violence have been reviewed. Out-dated and frankly completely shocking laws have been in place until now, allowing child abusers to walk free. Today is a momentous day for those seeking to protect the most vulnerable in society.
This coming Monday (2nd July) anyone who deliberately causes or allows serious physical harm to a child or vulnerable adult faces up to 10 years in prison. Some may be surprised to hear these laws were not already in place, but sadly this area of law was one that has seen child abusers walk free.
Also the amendment sees those who falsely blame someone else, or stay silent, allow abuse to continue, or protect an offender, can also be punished.
Most of us will never forget the horrors of the Baby Peter or 'Baby P' case, where the beautiful toddler was brutally murdered after months of abuse, in 2007. His abusers were prosecuted, however, sickeningly, under the old law this would not have been the case had Peter not died. There was no law that would have brought justice (if it can be called that) to his attackers, should the boy have survived his assault.
"All the people with an interest in protecting vulnerable people will agree that we have closed an obvious gap in the law and from now on if you fail to take steps to stop a child being killed you're equally responsible," said Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke.
Child abuse does untold damage, not just physically, but psychologically. Often the mental scars take far longer to heal than the physical ones, so we at Mental Healthy are delighted with this ruling toward better child protection.
Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC, said the change in the law was "a real victory for children and has the potential to bring many more child abusers to justice".