Domestic Abuse Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:14 pm on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 1:14 pm, 2nd October 2019

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

I am mindful of the information with which you have kindly furnished the House, Mr Speaker. You will know that historically I have been generous in accepting interventions. I will tailor my generosity today, because I want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to take part in this landmark debate. I look around the Chamber, and in all parts, I see colleagues who have made a huge contribution to getting where we are today. We still have a long way to go, but I am pleased, encouraged and proud to see parliamentarians of all colours who have put their shoulder to the wheel to tackle the challenge that we face. It is a challenge that has been too big for too long, and the Government have consistently made clear our continued determination to tackle the scourge of domestic abuse. Legislation, including the Bill, whatever its landmark status, is only one aspect of the work that needs to be done and that we are undertaking across Government to diminish the prevalence and impact of domestic abuse, and to make it clear to the public that we have zero tolerance of abusers.

This is not just a matter for the Ministry of Justice—it is for the Home Office, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care. I am glad to be supported by Ministers from all those Departments and, indeed, all of Government, as we need to put our metaphorical shoulder to the wheel. The Bill puts the needs of victims front and centre, by providing additional protections, strengthening the agencies’ response, and amplifying the voice of victims. We are determined to ensure that victims feel safe and supported, both in seeking help and in rebuilding their lives.