Domestic Violence: Victim Support Schemes

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Oliver Colvile Oliver Colvile Conservative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Church of England provides for people affected by domestic violence and abuse.

Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner

On 15th March 2017 the Church of England’s House of Bishops published “Responding Well to Domestic Abuse: Policy and Practice Guidance”, which urges church communities to address the issue of domestic abuse and raise awareness of its impact on adults and children. The document can be seen at: https://www.churchofengland.org/media/3896806/responding-well-to-domestic-abuse-2017.pdf

The updated practice guidance and policy encourages churches to become places of safety where domestic abuse is taken seriously, survivors are believed and respected, and alleged or known perpetrators challenged. The updated document reflects legislative and other changes since guidance was last issued in 2006.

Under the policy Church leaders and Officers working with children, young people and vulnerable adults will be expected to undergo domestic abuse training, with the issue being raised in appropriate contexts within church life including youth groups, marriage preparation and ordinand training. They will also be expected to work closely with statutory and other specialist organisations.

In the House of Lords this session bishops supported the passage of the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill.

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