Groups urge priority for DA legislation
The new government should introduce domestic abuse legislation as a matter of urgency say 33 organisations and academics in the domestic abuse, children, and violence against women and girls’ sectors.
The call, in an open letter to the three main Westminster party leaders, comes as progress on the Domestic Abuse Bill fell with dissolution of Parliament on 6 November.
The new legislation should include a statutory duty on local authorities to commission a full spectrum of specialist domestic abuse services for all victims of any age, as well as perpetrators. “That would mean support would be available for the whole family, to prevent coercive control, violence and harm, and to help them forge a positive future. Victims who want to stay safely in their own homes would be supported to do so, and provision would be available for those who really have to leave,” the letter reads.
The authors point out that children affected by domestic abuse are some of the most vulnerable, with domestic violence the most common factor in assessments of children needing support from local authority children’s social care services.
“Yet children are too often the ‘hidden victims’ of domestic abuse – left without the care and support they need to recover from harm and risk continuing the cycle of abuse in later relationships,” the letter reads.
Turning attention to helping those who commit domestic violence or abuse, the letter states: “Fewer than 1% of perpetrators currently receive any intervention to challenge or change their behaviour. Without tackling the root cause of the problem, domestic abuse will not be stopped.”