Domestic Abuse

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Conservative, Daventry

What steps he is taking to tackle domestic abuse.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Conservative, Copeland

What steps he is taking to tackle domestic abuse.

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

Ending domestic abuse remains an absolute priority, which is why I am delighted to announce that tomorrow we will be launching the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, which will contain a groundbreaking series of measures to promote awareness, support victims and children, tackle perpetrators and improve services.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Conservative, Daventry

I thank the Minister for answering my supplementary question before I had asked it—I am delighted that the Bill will be introduced tomorrow. Can she confirm that it will support my constituents in Daventry who have experienced or been victims of domestic abuse, and protect others from experiencing it in the future?

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

Very much so. I thank my hon. Friend for the work that he has done to raise with me the issues in his constituency. We are delighted that the Bill will be introduced tomorrow. There is also a package of non-legislative measures that will be critical in ensuring that we are supporting victims, preventing further opportunities for abuse and, also importantly, helping children who live in abusive households.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Conservative, Copeland

Will my hon. Friend join me in commending the new and excellent Women Out West centre in Whitehaven, which is having a huge impact on women and their families in my constituency in partnership with the Copeland hub, which she recently visited?

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

I would be delighted to commend the centre. It was a pleasure to visit the Copeland hub—a great example of multi-agency working, which, as everyone in the House knows, is essential if we are to tackle this pernicious crime of domestic abuse effectively across our country.

Photo of John Woodcock John Woodcock Independent, Barrow and Furness

It is great news that the Bill is going to be published tomorrow—real credit to the Minister personally for sticking with this. Can she confirm that she has listened to the survivors of abuse, particularly of emotional and economic abuse, through the draft process and strengthened the final Bill as a result?

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

Very much so, and may I thank the hon. Gentleman, too, for all his work and his lobbying of me to support and protect victims of domestic abuse? I must also record my thanks to the Joint Committee —a brilliant Committee of parliamentarians from both Houses who scrutinised the draft Bill in great detail, heard lots of evidence from incredibly important stakeholders and produced a report, to which we will publish a response tomorrow alongside the Bill.