Domestic Violence

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th June 2018.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government have introduced a new offence of coercive or controlling behaviour, rolled out new tools such as domestic violence protection orders, and committed £100 million to support victims of violence against women and girls, including a £17 million service transformation fund that supports 41 areas to promote early intervention and prevention. We are of course working towards the introduction of a draft Bill before the end of this Session.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

Does the Minister support the concept of family hubs in local communities, which would mean that, if a relationship were under strain, people would have somewhere to go at an early stage? That might prevent the escalation to violence.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I thank my hon. Friend for her important work on supporting children and families. The Government are committed to early intervention in and the prevention of domestic abuse. We already fund schemes—such as Women’s Aid’s “Ask Me” scheme—that create safe spaces in communities so that victims can disclose. Following the closing of our domestic abuse consultation last week, we are considering all options on doing more.

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Will the Minister please strengthen the domestic violence services in North Yorkshire, where the Tory council has closed its refuge, meaning that victims flood over into Labour Durham and put our refuges under unacceptable pressure?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I am concerned to hear that accusation. If the hon. Lady feels that local commissioners are not meeting their obligations, will she please write to me so that I can look into the matter?