We particularly welcome the Government’s allocation of £8 million towards support for children who witness domestic abuse, which followed the LGA’s call for an urgent injection of funding into early intervention initiatives that provide support for children experiencing domestic violence.
- Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, which can have a long-term and devastating impact on families, particularly children. It can take the form of psychological, physical, emotional or economic abuse, and occur in a wide range of domestic settings.
- The Government’s consultation on the Domestic Abuse Bill and other non-legislative announcements is a positive step towards tackling domestic abuse. We particularly welcome the Government’s allocation of £8 million towards support for children who witness domestic abuse, which followed the LGA’s call for an urgent injection of funding into early intervention initiatives that provide support for children experiencing domestic violence.
- Councils want to prevent domestic abuse from happening, rather than just tackling the impact of it. The safety of victims has to be paramount, and where necessary they and their families should have the support to move somewhere safe. However, it still feels as if our default approach is to disrupt the lives of the victims, rather than disrupt the lives of perpetrators and this is not fair. Where it is safe and appropriate to do so, we should ensure it is perpetrators that have to move out the family home, not the victims.
- The LGA has called for an early intervention and preventative approach, to tackling domestic abuse. Reducing domestic abuse over the longer term means looking at what young people are taught about relationships. It must also include looking at what children and young people are watching online and the impact this is having on their views about appropriate behaviour in a relationship.
- It also means looking at funding perpetrator programmes. With a lack of evidence available regarding the most effective interventions for perpetrators, we need to know what works and why it works so we can put in place effective interventions. There is an important role for the Commissioner in this agenda.
- We will continue to work with the Government and our local government partners on this important issue – and will be encouraging councils to respond to the Government’s consultation.
Download the full briefing
Support for survivors of domestic abuse, House of Lords, 22 March 2018