Domestic Abuse Act

There are more than 2 million survivors of domestic abuse in England and Wales. And these victims face a postcode lottery in accessing life-saving support.

This is why, together with survivors, practitioners and partners, we worked tirelessly to ensure the needs of victims and the frontline were listened to and understood as the Domestic Abuse Bill moved through Parliament.

Find out more about the four-year journey to ensure this milestone legislation was a true leap forward.

Our influencing on the Bill:

    We want to continue seeing

  • A 'Whole Picture' approach

    A whole picture approach for the whole family.

  • Perpetrator accountability

    A national strategic response to all perpetrators focusing on prevention and holding perpetrators to account.

  • Investment

    Long-term, sustainable funding for the full range of frontline specialist domestic abuse services.

Our collaborations with the wider Domestic Abuse sector

Perpetrator Quality Assurance amendment

SafeLives backed Respect’s amendment to ensure that perpetrator interventions, which can be issued by a judge through a DAPO (Domestic Abuse Prevention Orders), meet a safe minimum standard.

Letter to Matt Hancock

SafeLives coordinated a letter from 6 Royal Colleges and additional specialist domestic abuse organisations to Matt Hancock calling for a greater role for health in the Domestic Abuse Bill. We need to open more avenues for survivors to access care, and with only one in five victims call the Police, it is vital that victims can access a non-criminal route to effective support.

Now, that the Bill has become an Act, take a look at how our influencing and collaborations with the wider sector shaped the Act’s current form:

  • Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship was recognised as a form of Domestic Abuse.
  • Protection for victims, witnesses in legal proceedings were strengthened, notably prohibiting cross-examination in person.
  • Children were recognised as victims in their own right.

See our #Invest2EndAbuse campaign

Within the Domestic Abuse Act, we wanted to see more investment in specialist domestic abuse services. We called for the UK Government to strengthen legislation to include full statutory duty on local authorities to provide both accommodation-based and community-based services for all victims, as well as perpetrators of abuse.

Take a look
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Watch: Are you domestic abuse bill ready?

SafeLives webinar setting out the key opportunities from the Domestic Abuse Bill and ways local areas – commissioners, services and multi-agency partners – can use it as a springboard for improving their domestic abuse approach for the ‘whole family’.

Download the slide deck

Implementing the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 webinars

We developed two free webinars to support areas in implementing the Domestic Abuse Act. Each takes a deep dive into the partso of the legislation areas we received the most feedback and queries about.

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Webinar 1: Local Partnership Board Needs and Assessment

This event aimed to equip areas to maximise the opportunities this key piece of legislation offers. Presenters included SafeLives Practice Consultants and expert partners.

A special thank you to:

  • Tamar Nwafor, Lioness Circle
  • Ioana Hania, Staying Safe East
  • Rod Landman, ARC UK
  • Ferdous Khanam, Beverley Lewis House
  • Lisa Scivetti, Beverley Lewis House
  • Eliza Freeman, Dewis Choice
  • David Cowsill, Dewis Choice

View slide deck

Play video

Webinar 2: Local domestic abuse strategy and measuring your outcomes

This webinar focused on local authorities’ domestic abuse strategy, in line with the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, how this affects public and voluntary agencies and what their roles and responsibilities are. The session also gave attendees the chance to discuss their thoughts and the challenges they are facing implementing the new elements of the Act in to a ‘business as usual’ plan of action.

Thank you to the local authority areas who participated, including West Sussex and Cheshire East, and to the local area survivor voice coordinator who shared their expertise and experience.

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