Examination of Witness

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:29 am on 29th October 2019.

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Nicole Jacobs:

I think so, because the approach is very much based on the idea of mapping and understanding needs. Anyone who is doing that properly will understand this gendered nature. What I want to get across and achieve is, at the very least, a prominent statement about that in the statutory guidance, because that would have an influence and would be something tangible to point towards. It does not happen in every single place, but it is not unusual for services to be commissioned in such a way that people think: “Well, we have to take a gender-neutral approach, so that is not fair, so it has to be a much more generic service.” That flies in the face of all that we know is likely to work.

I feel comfortable with what you describe. I would very much welcome your views on whether you think it should be in the law versus the statutory guidance. At the very least, it has to be prominently put in the statutory guidance. A lot of the mechanisms that are being promoted in the statutory duty, such as the mapping and multi-agency planning of services, should, I hope, address that as well, if done properly.