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Results 21–40 of 500 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Carolyn Harris

Business of the House (3 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I thank the Leader of the House for his remarks—I think. In September 2005, 17-year-old Ben Bellamy, the son of one of my constituents, was brutally murdered in Swansea. The Parole Board has recently recommended that one of his killers be moved to an open prison ahead of an early release. Ben’s family are understandably upset about this, particularly about the lack of communication from...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: Let me take this opportunity to thank the Lord Chancellor and the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Louth and Horncastle (Victoria Atkins), for the productive way in which we have managed to work together on this Bill to date. May I also say that, as a proud Welsh woman, I am delighted that most of the Front-Bench speeches today will be delivered by a...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I will talk about housing later in my speech, as it is an issue that is very important to the Labour party. This is our golden opportunity as parliamentarians to transform the domestic abuse agenda in this country. We have a duty to survivors, victims and their dependants —and to generations to come—to get this right.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I could not agree more. This is something that we all see every day when we talk to people who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence. In many cases, it is learned behaviour and we really need to look at that. As it stands, although there are some welcome and vital changes in the Bill, it is too narrow. There are many areas that are crying out for wider scope. I hope that this can...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I just want to make a little progress. We have volumes of data relating to victims of domestic abuse, but at present this only accounts for those aged 74 and under, even though we know that domestic abuse has no age limit. Older people must have their rights protected too, and the Bill needs to recognise that. Statistics consistently demonstrate that the vast majority of domestic abuse...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: My right hon. Friend makes a very good point; I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments. The Bill needs to include a legal duty to fund a national network of accommodation-based domestic abuse services as a matter of priority, to meet the needs of all survivors and, very importantly, their children. The protection and provision of support for children who experience domestic abuse—either...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I do agree. I also join my hon. Friend in congratulating those organisations. I have yet to meet an organisation that deals with this issue that has not done excellent work, and all struggle for every penny they are able to get from wherever. They truly deserve our praise.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: My hon. Friend is absolutely right and later I will talk about a scheme that helps in that situation. The protection and provision of support for children who experience domestic abuse—I am repeating myself. I have already read that bit, so we will scrap that, thank you very much. [Laughter.] That is the Welsh in me; never ashamed to say when we are wrong. As well as ensuring access to...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: It certainly does and I think we all recognise, as I said previously, that experience and learnt behaviour can cause perpetrators of the future.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I am going to make progress. Operation Encompass, which is an excellent example of what we are doing in communities, was set up to enable police forces and schools to confidentially and quickly share information about vulnerable children who need support and safeguarding.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I am delighted to congratulate Gwent police. On Monday, my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi) and I visited the Liberty stadium in my constituency, where South Wales police launched their Operation Encompass. I pay particular tribute to Russell Dwyer, the head of St Thomas Primary School, who was a pioneer in ensuring that it came to Swansea.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I am going to make progress. We need to secure better outcomes for child victims of domestic abuse. The only way that we will do that is by ensuring that such initiatives are available throughout the country. The Bill also needs to legislate to improve the experiences of survivors and their children in the family courts. Contact arrangements must be based on the child’s best interests, and...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I thank my hon. Friend. We have worked closely on many cases where children have been put at risk by being allowed access to potentially, if not very, dangerous parents. That is something that I feel passionately about. I believe we need a complete overhaul to ensure that the courts are prioritising the victims, not the perpetrators.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I am going to make progress.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: Never not give way to a Whip—I have learnt that much since I have been here, and it always helps when it is a Whip with a Welsh accent. As I had a chair at the conference and my hon. Friend did not, I will certainly agree with her and say that Rachel is an absolute inspiration and someone we should all look up to.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: indicated assent.

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: I agree that we need to look at the definition and the impact on children. That is something that we can look at closely in Committee, and we would welcome amendments guided in that direction. It is not just the courts that we need to look at; we also need to look at housing, which is another thing that currently allows perpetrators to control their victims. In cases of joint tenancy, only...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: My hon. Friend makes a powerful point about housing. We have grave concerns about the housing of victims, which is another issue that we will pursue in Committee. Reforms are also needed in the benefits system to ensure that survivors do not suffer further financially when escaping domestic abuse. The introduction of separate universal credit payments by default and the abolition of the...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: Without question, the victim is central and we need to look closely at that. We also need to see changes in relation to migrant women and the economic abuse that they experience due to having no recourse to public funds—a situation that often leaves them in violent and dangerous relationships, as they simply cannot afford to leave. The Bill must change the legislation to ensure that all...

Domestic Abuse Bill (2 Oct 2019)

Carolyn Harris: That was a very powerful point from a well-known champion on such issues who has now taken the opportunity to put those sentiments on record.


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