Domestic Abuse Bill, Second Reading, House of Commons, 2 October 2019

In order for the Bill to have real success in tackling domestic abuse and creating consistency of services, it must be underpinned by adequate, long term funding in key services including children’s services and housing.


Key messages

  • Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, and councils want to do all they can to tackle and prevent it. As part of our #CouncilsCan campaign, we have been calling for greater action to reduce and eventually eliminate domestic abuse, so it is positive to see the Domestic Abuse Bill being taken forward.
  • We support the creation of a statutory definition of domestic abuse, and the inclusion of economic abuse within this. We are also pleased to see the establishment of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner role.
  • Alongside the Bill’s focus on crisis interventions and criminal justice, tackling domestic abuse requires a cross-Government response incorporating health, housing and education. We need an equal focus on, and funding, for prevention and early intervention measures that aims to prevent domestic abuse happening in the first place.
  • While it is right that we should prioritise and support victims, breaking the cycle of domestic abuse will also mean stopping perpetrators from reoffending. This requires funding and investment to be put towards evidence-based perpetrator programmes.
  • We are calling for the key learning and best practice from Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) to be shared on a national level. This learning should contribute towards the Commissioner’s Annual Report.
  • With domestic abuse a factor in the majority of child protection cases, we would like to see more emphasis on how children can be supported when they have experienced domestic abuse. There must be greater investment in child and adolescent mental health services and early intervention work to mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences based around domestic abuse.
  • This legislation comes at a time when local government, and particularly children’s services, are facing unprecedented demand. Councils have worked hard to protect budgets for essential child protection services, but funding pressures have led to difficult decisions in other parts of the service, reducing vital early intervention work and leaving children and young people unable to access support until they reach breaking point.
  • In order for the Bill to have real success in tackling domestic abuse and creating consistency of services, it must be underpinned by adequate, long term funding in key services including children’s services and housing.

Read the full briefing
Domestic Abuse Bill, Second Reading, House of Commons, 2 October 2019