The landmark Domestic Abuse Bill passed through the House of Commons, the first step towards protecting victims of this heinous crime and ensuring perpetrators are properly punished.
Rebecca was proud to be a part of the Government’s efforts to deliver greater protection and support for victims of Domestic Abuse. Rebecca, in her role as a Government Whip, she took through the Committee of MPs which heard from survivors of domestic abuse ensure that the victims were at the heart of the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill and then debated each line of the new law.
The Domestic Abuse Bill, sets out the first ever comprehensive definition of domestic abuse in all its forms, making it easier to bring charges against perpetrators. It also requires local authorities to provide support and ensure safe accommodation for victims and their children. The bill will also recognise for the first time that children can also be victims if they are in a home where it takes place, will end the practice of alleged abusers cross examining their alleged victims in all court setting and end the so-called “rough sex” defence in murder cases.
The Bill will also be accompanied by a wider package of measures to support the victims of domestic abuse and bring abusers to justice, including:
- Piloting polygraph testing of domestic abuse perpetrators.
- Establishing a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse.
- Prohibiting the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.
- Introducing Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders. The former will provide immediate protection following an incident, while the latter will provide longer-term protection.
- Making 120 additional commitments to tackle domestic abuse. This includes £8 million of Home Office funding to support children and additional for services for disabled, elderly and LGTB victims.
The Bill also builds on the Government’s previous actions to tackle domestic abuse and support the victims, including:
- The criminalisation of forced marriage.
- New stalking offences.
- An offence for failing to protect a girl from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
- Lifelong anonymity for victims of forced marriage and FGM.
- A mandatory reporting duty on FGM.
- The national roll-out of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as ‘Clare’s Law’).
- A new offence of domestic abuse covering controlling and coercive behaviour.
It also follows the announcement in February of a £16.6 million to fund 75 projects to support victims of domestic abuse.
Commenting, Rebecca said: “Too many people have to live in fear of abuse – whether it be physical, emotional or economic – from those who should make them feel safe and loved. That is why I am proud to play my part in supporting the Domestic Abuse Bill in Parliament, which will empower and protect victims and survivors in Castle Point and across the Country, while tackling perpetrators of this horrific crime at the earliest stage. Through this Bill, and by bolstering law enforcement, we will be able to keep millions of victims safe and ensure abusers are brought to justice.”
More Helpful information
- To find out more about the Domestic Abuse Bill and monitor its progress through Parliament please click here.
- If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Abuse and need help you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247, there is also further information on the Government website here.
- The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.