The Domestic Abuse Bill is scheduled to have its remaining stages in the House of Commons today. The Bill delivers on the Government’s manifesto commitment to “support all victims of domestic abuse and pass the Domestic Abuse Bill”.
In 2019 Maria Miller, Basingstoke’s local MP, was appointed to chair the Joint House of Lords and House of Commons cross party Committee which scrutinised the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill. In its inquiry report published in June 2019, the committee made detailed and wide-ranging recommendations that affect many aspects of the Bill, drawing from the excellent evidence received including oral evidence from those who have survived domestic abuse themselves. These include important recommendation relating to the treatment of domestic abuse cases before the courts, children who witness domestic abuse and access to support for migrant women with no recourse to public funds and the need for new Domestic Abuse Commissioner to be fully independent and have the powers they need to enforce improvements in the provision of services.
Maria has welcomed the changes made by the government in response to the Joint Committee Report which reflect a number of the crucial recommendations made.
Maria said, “The Bill is the culmination of many years of work, commanding strong cross-party support and has been said by the sector to be a ‘once in a generation opportunity to address domestic violence’ and having the potential to create a step change in the national response. The changes made by the Government following the Joint Committee’s report mean that now victims of Domestic Abuse will no longer have to endure being cross examined in court by the alleged perpetrator of the domestic abuse. Furthermore, the impact on children who witness domestic abuse will also be recognised fully in guidance.
“In the debate I will be urging Ministers to explain further how we can better support young people who experience abusive behaviour in their own relationships, how we can support and protection migrant women regardless of their immigration status, and ensure we better understanding victims and survivors over the age of 74 to ensure that resources and support will be properly allocated, and no victim or survivor of domestic abuse will be disadvantaged purely because they are in later life.”
Claire Lambon Chief Executive Officer of Stop Domestic Abuse Hampshire said, “The Domestic Abuse Bill includes many welcome measures and is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a step change in the response to domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls. However, the Bill must go far further if it is to deliver the changes that victims and survivors need. We need this new legislation to tackle gaps in the system and ensure equal protection and support for all survivors. To be truly transformative this legislation must deliver the changes survivors urgently need – from housing to health, the immigration system, welfare reform, the family courts and support for children.”
Watch the debate at https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/7a4b98aa-319c-4379-960b-e27997e2f…