STRONGER protections for domestic abuse victims have been welcomed.

Abusers will be unable to cross examine their victims in the family courts and controlling someone’s finances will be added to the legal definition of domestic abuse, under proposals outlined by ministers this week.

Anyone will have the right to check whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse. Known as Clare’s Law after murdered Salford mum Clare Wood, the disclosure scheme will now have the full force of the law.

Robert Buckland, South Swindon MP and Solicitor General, said the new bill should give victims more confidence in coming forward and reporting their tormentors. He had been moved by a case early in his career as a barrister where a woman had dropped charges against her former partner after seeing him from the witness box.

“I can remember her withdraw her complaint because she still loved the perpetrator and felt she was not able to prosecute the allegation in his presence,” Mr Buckland said.

The government plans have been welcomed by women’s charities, although others have said the proposals do not go far enough.

Olwen Kelly, director of Swindon Women’s Aid, said: “I think anything we can do that provides further protection for victims and survivors and domestic abuse is a good thing, as is the ability to provide more of the rehabilitation programmes for offenders, the protective measures for victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

She welcomed the appointment of a new domestic abuse commissioner, but stressed the need for the role to hold local authorities and police forces to account in protecting victims and bringing abusers to justice.

Nationally, Women’s Aid chief executive Katie Ghose called for the government to do more: “We look forward to working with the government to introduce greater protections in the family courts for survivors, such as special measures to safeguard them in the courtroom, and ensure that children’s safety is put at the heart of all decisions made by the family courts.”