Leeway - Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

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Select Committee Makes Domestic Abuse Bill Recommendations

07 Novhouses of parliament

Earlier this year, the government outlined their proposals for a Domestic Abuse Bill and launched a consultation to get opinions of organisations, charities and individuals. The consultation closed a few months ago. The outcomes of the consultation are due to be released soon. In the meantime, the Home Affairs Select Committee – made up of representatives from the three largest political parties – has released a report highlighting recommendations of what should be included in the upcoming bill. 

The Select Committee has made the following recommendations:

  • Increase refuge provisions. Put in place long-term national funding to make more bed space available to those fleeing abusive relationships.
  • Change the way Universal Credit is paid. Remove the option for a payment into a single bank account when applying as a couple. We talked about the implications of this change in a recent blog on financial abuse
  • Paid leave for victims of abuse. This would give people who have experienced domestic abuse financial security when they are fleeing an abusive relationship and may not be able to attend their work. 
  • Register for Serial Stalkers. To work in a similar manner to the Register of Sex Offenders.
  • Appoint a commissioner. The creation of a national post to be filled by a person who can ensure that good practice is carried out by agencies and organisations. 

Yvette Cooper, Chair of the Select Committee, said:

"Domestic abuse is one of the most dangerous and the most common crimes there is. Millions of people are affected each year, and two women a week die at the hands of a partner or ex. The Government is rightly proposing new legislation and a new strategy, but our inquiry found much stronger action is needed across the board.”

Read more of Yvette Cooper’s comments on the parliament.uk website.

Our View on the Select Committee’s Proposals

We are supportive of the major recommendations outlined by the Home Affairs Select Committee. Refuge funding is a key issue and it is important that these services are adequately funded, long-term, to ensure that there are safe places available for all people fleeing abusive relationships. We have also raised concerns about Universal Credit, highlighting that it could facilitate financial abuse and provide an unnecessary barrier to those trying to leave. 

It is essential that the Domestic Abuse Bill works to protect those experiencing domestic abuse and we eagerly await the outcomes of the consultation that was launched earlier this year.

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

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