New Clause 15 - Children as victims of domestic abuse

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 6th July 2020.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings 7:00 pm, 6th July 2020

I think there are times and places to have these debates. We take different views, but this is not the time or place to have the debate, and to say more would be to worsen that sin.

I mentioned the research about particular kinds of relationships. The Office for National Statistics research from the year ending March 2019 shows that cohabiting women are almost three times more likely to have suffered domestic abuse than married women or women in civil partnerships. The figures also demonstrated that separated women were significantly more likely to suffer abuse than those in relationships, so there are issues around the connection between abuse and particular family circumstances.

My new clause 3 calls for the Government to look at the character of these crimes and the sentences they attract, with a view to raising the minimum and maximum sentences. Frankly, we ought to be doing that in all kinds of cases, but this crime in particular warrants the Government looking at these things again. I hope that the Government will look at my new clauses. I will not press them because, rather in the spirit that I have just suggested, this is a time for the House to come together in common cause, not to be divided, which is another reason why I am disappointed with new clause 28 and hope that the hon. Lady will have the grace not to press it.

C. S. Lewis said:

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good”.

Supporting my new clauses will help do good, as will the Bill.