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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to remind us of the economic as well as the moral cost of domestic abuse, and the Sally Challen case is one that will live with all of us as an example. Carolyn Harris and I have spoken about it at length. I look forward to her contribution because, although we are political opponents, we are also friends. Working together on issues such as this, we can show that, as friends, we can make that change.

The Government are absolutely determined not just to stamp out this crime but to provide better support for victims and their families. We have shown in our response to the pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposals that we are open to means of strengthening this Bill. Indeed, we expect to bring forward some proposals of our own. Before the summer, we made it clear that, subject to the outcome of the then open consultation, we would bring amendments to the Bill to place new duties on first-tier local authorities with regard to the support services to victims and their children in secure accommodation. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is currently considering more than 400 responses to that consultation, but it remains our intention to bring forward appropriate provision to enshrine those duties in law and to provide the necessary funding to do so.