The Domestic Abuse Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons, in an emotionally charged debate, and has moved on to the committee stage for line-by-line scrutiny.
The Bill is being carried over into the new session, which began after the Queen’s Speech on 14 October, with the government’s blessing. There had been concern it would fall by the wayside when Prime Minister Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament last month.
Tearful MPs applauded and gave a standing ovation – a rare event in Parliament – to Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield after she told them of the abuse a former partner had subjected her to.
She recounted the slow-burn of what becomes coercive control when the door to one’s home is locked. “Then you really start to learn what power and control looks and feels like. That is when you learn that ‘I’ll always look after you,’ ‘I’ll never let you go,’ and ‘You’re mine for life’ can sound menacing, and are used as a warning over and over again,” she said.
“It is when the ring is on your finger that the mask can start to slip, and the promises sound increasingly like threats.”
Reward, punishment, promises of happily-ever-after, alternated with abject rage, becomes the pattern, she added.
The debate marked Theresa May’s first speech in the Commons since stepping down as Prime Minister. She said: “Passing the legislation is only one step. This is about changing the attitude that people take to domestic abuse.” She wants the Bill to be part of her legacy as PM.
The committee scrutinising the Bill is due to report by 21 November.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]