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Domestic Abuse Bill

We welcome the return of the Domestic Abuse Bill on 3 March 2020, following the fall of the Bill as a result of the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November 2019. We continue our commitment to carry through the stories of survivors and Pioneers who have trusted us to help them make the case for change. With the return of the Bill, we will be continuing to call on the Government to #Invest2EndAbuse, asking them to match their ambitions to end domestic abuse with the appropriate funding.

Find out about the #Invest2EndAbuse campaign

 

How we got here

In 2018 we responded to the government consultation on the need for the Domestic Abuse Bill.

  • In March 2018 we released a press release calling for the Government to aim high and end domestic abuse for good through comprehensive support for all victims/survivors and aiming to stop harm before it occurs.
  • To inform our consultation response, we undertook a project called Every Story Matters in April 2018, launching an online platform and inviting as many survivors as possible to say in their own words what needs to change. 
  • In May 2018 we submitted the DA Bill Consultation Response, honouring the hundreds of voices who responded to Every Story Matters. 

On 21st January 2019, the government published its draft Domestic Abuse Bill. 

We welcomed the proposals, but urged the government to go further in order to drive systemic change, to end domestic abuse for good.

On 26th April, SafeLives submitted evidence to the Pre-Legislative Committee on the reforms proposed in the draft Bill.

Our evidence calls for the prohibition of cross examination by perpetrators to be strengthened and challenges the government to do more on prevention, including a bold new strategy for men and boys at risk of harming themselves or other people. 

Our response honours the voices of hundreds of survivors who responded to our online platform, Every Story Matters, telling us what they wanted the Bill to achieve. 

We also submitted joint recommendations to the Pre-Legislative Committee, working alongside Women's Aid, Imkaan, Surviving Economic Abuse, Latin American Women's Rights Service, Step Up Migrant Women, AVA, Southall Black Sisters, End Violence Against Women, Welsh Women's Aid, Agenda, Galop, Rights of Women, Solace and Refuge.

On 14th June, the Joint Committee of Parliament released their report on the Domestic Abuse Bill. 

We welcomed the recommendation that Government must find the funding needed to tackle perpetrators of domestic abuse and better crackdown on intimidatory tactics - changes which must sit alongside a full range of support for victims. 

On 16th July, the Government tabled the Domestic Abuse Bill in Parliament.

We welcomed the formal introduction of the bill but called for a fully funded duty on local authorities to assess all the needs of domestic abuse victims and survivors and provide services accordingly, as part of our #Invest2EndAbuse campaign.

On the 2nd October, the Domestic Abuse Bill had its second reading in Parliament. 

On 6 November 2019, Parliament was dissolved due to a general election taking place on 12 December 2019.

This meant the Domestic Abuse Bill fell.

The Bill is returning to Parliament on 3 March 2019

We are continuing to call for the Bill to deliver the appropriate funding to enable us to end domestic abuse for good. Find out more about our #Invest2EndAbuse campaign.

Acknowledgements

We'd like to thank everyone who has played such an integral role in providing the evidence we've been able to draw on in our responses, including colleagues from Aafda, Agenda Alliance, Aurora New Dawn, AVA, Being Mankind, Blackburn & Darwen Without Abuse, Buttle Trust, Citizen's Advice, DAHA, the Employer's Initiative on Domestic Abuse, the End Violence Against Women coalition, Galop, Hampton Trust, Leap Confronting Conflict, Lime Culture, the Nottingham Women's Centre, Respect, Social Finance, Standing Together, Stonewall Housing, Surviving Economic Abuse, Victim Support, VOICES and Women's Aid.

We would like to extend a big thank you to the nearly 50 professionals who took the time to respond to our specific practitioner survey on the Bill.

We’d also like to thank the hundreds of survivors who responded to our Every Story Matters project, raising their voices to say what really needs to change. In particular, thank you to anyone who said that they still feel afraid, but took part despite that fear. Every Story Matters included links to support services - we hope that everyone who needs a service will be able to reach for that, and get it. 

Together we're going to end domestic abuse.