“Addressing all forms of domestic violence and abuse - which have a profound and devastating effect on victims and their families - is a high priority for councils."
In response to the Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Addressing all forms of domestic violence and abuse - which have a profound and devastating effect on victims and their families - is a high priority for councils.
“We support the Bill’s objectives of ensuring that victims feel able to report abuse and are confident that organisations will do everything possible to support them and their families and pursue their abusers.
“Providing a clear definition in law of domestic abuse will provide useful clarity for councils and other agencies in undertaking their work, as well as underpinning the remainder of the Bill. It will be important that this definition encompasses the different forms that domestic abuse can take.
“The creation of a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner will be a useful step in raising the profile of domestic violence abuse and ensuring momentum in strengthening organisations’ approach to it, as has been seen with the appointment of a Modern Slavery Commissioner.
“Councils will expect to work collaboratively with the new Commissioner to support the objectives of the Bill and embed good practice across the country.
“It will be important that there is consistency between the approach of the new Commissioner and the National Statement of Expectations for councils on violence against women and girls (including domestic abuse) which was published by government last December and covers five key areas for councils that will support the objectives of this Bill: putting the victim at the centre of service provision; managing perpetrators; a strategic approach to commissioning; safeguarding individuals, and raising awareness.”