Response to the second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill

On the 2nd October, the Domestic Abuse Bill had its second reading in Parliament. We welcomed this but urge the Government to go further to ensure the Bill supports all victims and survivors and is accompanied with an investment in the full range of domestic abuse services.

Liz Thompson, Director of External Relations at SafeLives, said:

Domestic abuse is a crime affecting over two million adults in the UK each year. At the time they start school, at least one child in every classroom will have lived with domestic abuse since they were born. The Domestic Abuse Bill presents a huge opportunity to make real improvements in the response to abuse. We welcome today’s second reading in Parliament, but the Government must back up its ambition with investment in frontline services.

We need fully funded support to help families stay safe in their own homes, and challenge perpetrators to change, asking ‘why doesn’t he stop?’ Instead of ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ Exactly the same principle applies regardless of the sex of the victim or perpetrator, and in any kind of relationship.

It is vital the Bill looks at the whole picture for the whole family, identifying risk for different family members before harm occurs, and taking preventative measures to ensure we can end domestic abuse for everyone and for good. The courage and persistence of countless survivors has got us to this point, and it’s now up to MPs to listen to those voices.