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 Julie Marson Julie Marson Conservative, Hertford and Stortford 2:15 pm, 9th June 2020

This amendment and the previous amendment speak to a common motivation to protect against an abuse that takes place in our society among many abusers of different relations of the powerful against the weak. I know that we are all motivated by a desire to address that.

I was a magistrate in a general court for several years before specialist domestic abuse courts were even envisaged and came into being. I saw a whole range of different contexts of abuse, but I wanted to be a part of the domestic abuse courts because it spoke to something special: a specific context of abuse based on a very intimate relationship. I do not want to dilute that, because that direction of travel—to have fought so hard to get recognition for domestic abuse as the uniquely invidious and insidious crime that it is—is something I do not want to go against.

While I completely empathise with the desire to prevent abuse wherever we find it, I believe that the direction of travel that is encapsulated in this landmark Bill is where we want to go. That is why I would resist attempts to dilute that aim, context and direction of travel.