“There needs to be a greater focus on prevention and early intervention measures to tackle the root causes, support more victims, and stop domestic abuse occurring in the first place."
Responding to measures announced in the Queen’s Speech on the Domestic Abuse Bill, and government plans to place a statutory duty on upper tier councils to commission accommodation-based domestic abuse services, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Tackling domestic abuse is an issue that councils take very seriously and it is good to see the legal definition of it widened to support more prosecution cases and help more victims of this despicable crime.
“The new statutory duty has only been placed on councils, but they cannot tackle this crime alone. Councils will need the cooperation of other public services, including the police, to work together on this. Where possible, victims of domestic abuse should be supported to remain in their own home if it is safe to do so.
“There needs to be a greater focus on prevention and early intervention measures to tackle the root causes, support more victims, and stop domestic abuse occurring in the first place. This will require funding and investment for evidence-based perpetrator programmes and for key learning and best practice from Domestic Homicide Reviews to be shared on a national level.
“However, the ability of councils to fund services for victims is limited by significant pressures on their budgets. Next year’s Spending Review needs to provide the long-term, sustainable settlement councils need to ensure councils can protect individuals and families from the physical and psychological harm of domestic abuse.”