Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 19th March 2018.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 5:30 pm, 19th March 2018

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

I am delighted to move the Bill’s Second Reading. Hon. Members will know that domestic abuse is a devastating issue that has a serious impact on the lives of the victim and their family, and on society as a whole. It can be physical, psychological, sexual and financial, and when violence is involved, the victim and their family are placed in immediate physical danger. All forms of domestic abuse have long-term damaging emotional effects on the victim and their family, and place huge costs on society and the public purse. An estimated 1.9 million people in England and Wales suffer from some form of domestic abuse each year, according to crime survey statistics.

This short and focused Bill is an important part of the Government’s wider aim of supporting victims of domestic abuse to leave their abusive situation and ensuring that they and their families are provided with the stability and security that they need and deserve. We are fortunate that the Bill has reached us after scrutiny in the other place. The amendments made there have improved its consistency and extended protections for victims of domestic abuse. I am aware that the Bill has strong cross-party support. I commend the Minister for faith, Lord Bourne, for successfully steering it through the other place and pay tribute to domestics abuse charities, particularly Women’s Aid, for their contribution to ensuring that it is in such good shape.