Domestic Abuse Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact 4:32 pm, 2nd October 2019

It is a pleasure to follow the many fantastic and powerful speeches that we have had today. When I have spoken before in this place about domestic abuse, I have talked about the fact that it can happen to anybody. Over the last year, a number of people have come forward with very similar stories, including that they have subsequently found out that the person involved was a repeat offender, and they were perhaps the second, third, fourth or fifth individual that that person had got to, abused and then discarded.

There are some really important measures in the Bill; I will not go through them all for reasons of time. We have been working for a long time with organisations such as Women’s Aid on cross-examination in the family courts. Although this does not particularly need legislation, I would also like more awareness in the family courts of cluster B personality disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder, so that people hearing the evidence are not taken in by a perpetrator’s superficial charm.

We have talked about economic abuse. I commend the work of organisations such as Lloyds bank, which is offering extra support to people it discovers are experiencing financial, economic and domestic abuse. It is so important that we educate others, including GPs. We heard from the former Secretary of State for International Trade, my right hon. Friend for—