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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:24 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Eleanor Briggs:

That is where the Bill offers a real opportunity. Two things can happen in the Bill that would contribute. The first is to put children as victims into the definition. Our view is that that being in the statutory guidance is not strong enough. We can talk in more detail about the definition.

Secondly, the duty on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government should be extended. We really welcome the duty and the fact that it will look at accommodation-based support but, as the previous witness said, we really feel that the refuge should be the person’s home and that the support needs to be there in the community for children. That will build into the whole cycle: if we get the support for children early on, they will learn what healthy relationships look like. We know that Sally’s excellent service in Newcastle is Big Lottery funded and only has two more years to go, so what happens to it after that? If we had the statutory duty extended out, we could have secure, proper and long-term funding for services for children, and that would help to break the cycle.