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Leeway - Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

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Reactions to the Publication of Draft Domestic Abuse Bill

31 JanDraft bill being amended

The government published the draft Domestic Abuse Bill on the 21st January 2019, highlighting the measures they hope to bring in to raise awareness of domestic abuse and support those experiencing it.

Features of the Domestic Abuse Bill

You can read the full draft of the bill on the government’s website or our blog that contains a summary of the proposals, but the key features include:

  • Introducing a Domestic Abuse Commissioner
  • Creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse
  • A prohibition on perpetrators of abuse cross-examining victims in the family court
  • Placing Claire’s Law on a statutory footing.

The Bill was devised following a consultation period, which had over 3,000 responses.

Reactions from Leeway and Women’s Aid

We are supportive of the proposals set out by the government but feel that there’s still more to be done. In particular, we wonder if the government is missing an opportunity to fix the long-term funding of refuge places and resolve issues surrounding the payment of Universal Credit. 

In her response to the publication of the draft Bill, Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“The Domestic Abuse Bill has the potential to create a step change in the national response, to create a more effective approach to tackling domestic abuse; sustainable funding for our life-saving network of specialist support services must be at the centre of this if we are to make a real difference to survivors’ lives.”

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, posted this tweet in response to the publication of the draft Bill:

Mandy's response to draft domestic abuse bill

What Happens Next?

The Domestic Abuse Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament, highlighting any amendments that need to be made. After this, it will proceed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords before being passed for Royal Assent. This process means that there is still some time to go before the proposals set out in the Domestic Abuse Bill are made law. We hope that the Bill is enacted as a matter of urgency, as this is an issue that cannot afford to wait.

If you would like to know more about any of the services that we provide to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse, please get in touch. You can call Leeway on 0300 561 0077 or email admin@leewaynwa.org.uk.

Stay up-to-date with the progress of the Domestic Abuse Bill through parliament by following us on Twitter.


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