Definition of “personally connected”

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Liz Saville-Roberts Liz Saville-Roberts Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities) , Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 2:15 pm, 9th June 2020

That broader awareness of what constitutes a household has been brought home to us in the past few months, as well as the nature of the tensions that can exist in such households. The thing that comes to my mind is younger households where house-sharing is common. One can imagine those are quite small households. But this applies more broadly than that.

If we were to assume that the nature of the coercive or abusive relationship is based on whether there is a sexual relationship between the two individuals in a formal sense, we would close our eyes to the wider experience and we should consider whether we should capture them in this legislation. That also applies where there are informal sexual relationships, which can be imposed on people to a degree in certain household environments.

I am aware that we have already voted on the specific aspect of this in relation to people and their carer. I would be grateful if the Minister would consider our experiences in the past few months and the inherent tension between whether we are looking at this on the basis of household—where someone is physically located—and those people who are intimately related, or whether this is an opportunity to capture a wider question.