Wife-beaters to be prevented from bringing back new partners from abroad

Majority of Parliament wants to deny domestic abusers in family reunification cases

A majority in Parliament is aiming to ensure that men with a history of domestic abuse won’t be allowed to bring new spouses into Denmark.

The majority wants the government to look into how wife-beating men can be denied family reunification when they try to bring back their new or potential wives – even if the men have never actually been convicted.

“Some men bring an Asian or eastern European woman to Denmark, then beat and rape them, and when she wants a divorce, they get a new one,” Mattias Tesfaye, the Socialdemokratiet MP behind the proposal, told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: Law gives support to foreign domestic abuse victims

Venstre shows conviction 
The exact extent of the problem regarding violence against foreign spouses is unknown to the Danish authorities, but a survey at Danish women’s refuge shelters has shown it is a common problem they encounter.

As of now, Socialdemokratiet has the backing of Dansk Folkeparti and Socialistisk Folkeparti to form a majority, although Venstre has said it can’t accept the proposal in its current form.

“Naturally, we are positive about the intent of the proposal,” Marcus Knuth, the party’s spokesperson on the issue, told DR Nyheder.

“But because it concerns people who haven’t be convicted of anything, it goes completely against one of Denmark’s founding rules of law: that you are innocent until proven guilty. So we can’t support it.”

In 2013 the government passed a law that meant foreigners suffering domestic abuse at the hands of their partners would no longer be automatically deported from Denmark for leaving their abusive relationships.