Part of Domestic Abuse Bill - Committee (5th Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 8th February 2021.
My Lords, I am delighted to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Bull. I agree with all she said and give my unreserved support to both these amendments.
In a long Committee stage, some amendments are, very properly, probing amendments. Others stand out as improving amendments. I really hope that this amendment, so eloquently moved by my noble friend Lord Young of Cookham, and the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, will be incorporated into the Bill. Perhaps there will have to be the odd change of word, but I have referred to the Bill on a number of occasions as a landmark Bill, and a landmark Bill, in this area, has to be able to deliver as near perfect, total security as it can.
In common with many constituency Members of Parliament, I saw young women—they were mostly young women—who had been harassed, bullied, tormented and beaten, who needed somewhere to go. They needed a safe and secure refuge. In the immediate future that was often a home of refuge, where others were similarly placed. But what they needed most of all, as they came out of the trauma they had suffered, was a secure permanent home. Very often, for the reasons given by my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge, that had to be some distance from where they had suffered.
Between them, these two amendments close a gap in the Bill. It needs to provide a safety net, and a safety net is no use if it has holes in it. I appeal to my noble friend on the Front Bench who will reply to this debate to accept the thrust and spirit of these amendments, and to say that they or something like them will be incorporated in the Bill on Report. I give my wholehearted support.