On 21 January 2019 the government published its draft domestic abuse bill, its response to the domestic abuse bill consultation as well as its research into the social and economic cost of domestic abuse.
For Women’s Aid, the bill has the potential to create a step change in the national response, to create a more effective approach to tackling domestic abuse. Women’s Aid are delighted that the government has listened to our Child First campaign and acted by introducing a ban on abusers cross-examining victims in the family courts.
We will continue campaigning to ensure that the bill improves the response to domestic abuse at the earliest opportunity, across housing, health and social care, children’s services, the family courts and many more.
We’ve been highlighting the vital importance of ensuring survivors are able to escape to safety, and access the support they need to recover from abuse. An estimated 21,084 referrals to all refuges in England were declined in 2017/18, averaging over 400 referrals declined each week. Women’s Aid is calling for sustainable funding for life-saving specialist support services to be at the centre of the bill if we are to make a real difference to survivors’ lives.
Women’s Aid has spoken to survivors and services that support them, and we have brought their voices together to create a bill that works for survivors.
For more information:
- Read our media statement in response to the bill’s publication
- Read the draft bill and consultation response
- Read the government’s research into the social and economic cost of domestic abuse
- Read our submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry on Domestic Abuse.
- Watch Sian Hawkins, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, giving evidence to the committee
- See our response to the government’s consultation.
- Read our press release.
- Download Women’s Aid’s briefing on priorities for the new domestic abuse bill
- There is now a Joint Committee of both the Commons and the Lords scrutinising the draft domestic abuse bill. You can keep up to date with the Committee’s progress here. You can also read the evidence Lucy Hadley, Campaigns and Public Affairs Manager, gave to the Joint Committee and read Women’s Aid’s submission to their enquiry for additional evidence