Provision that may be made by notices

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 10th June 2020.

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The right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), not normally a union firebrand, herself the originator of this very Bill—[Interruption.] I would not like to speak to what Government Members know of the right hon. Lady’s union firebrandery, but she agrees with me, and on Second Reading of this Bill she very clearly spoke of the need for improvements in the workplace and safety in the workplace. In fact, on Second Reading of the sister Bill, the predecessor to this Bill, the right hon. Lady bravely spoke about specific issues of domestic abuse in the workplace when people work in the police force. She has been a constant champion of this particular issue, and she found many bedfellows on Second Reading of this Bill in people I would definitely describe as union firebrands.

The Bill rightly and nobly includes economic abuse, and the definition is clear—it would be abusive to perpetrate any behaviour that has “a substantial adverse effect” on a victim’s ability to “acquire…or maintain money”. It is clear that perpetrators will use a victim’s workplace as part of their pattern of control, and we have an opportunity in the Bill to stop that. A victim should be safe in the knowledge that they can attend their workplace without their abuser being able to reach them, and all that my amendments would do is simply add the words “and workplace” where the Bill refers to the provisions of a DAPO.

Currently, DAPOs cover homes, travel from home, travel on the way to work, school or college, regular social venues, extended family homes—Gosh, those were the days, when we could go to extended family homes; it seems like I must have written this briefing note in a different time—or when taking children to school, rightly, or when socialising with friends. Actually, what is currently being covered is remarkable, and it reflects the life of a victim. It reflects their life, but it does not reflect their life at work.