A draft bill amending on the law on domestic abuse should be strengthened, a parliamentary committee has concluded.
In a newly published report, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill said the provisional new law needs greater protection measures for the most vulnerable.
Children should be treated as victims and given appropriate support even if they only witnessed domestic abuse, the report stresses. Meanwhile, it continues, local authorities should be required to ensure that suitable support services are available to all victims.
The report also considers one of the central recommendations of the draft bill – the establishment of a Commissioner for Domestic Abuse. The Committee stressed the importance of the role being fully independent and suggested the addition of government departments to the list of those organisations which should be required to co-operate with the Commissioner. In addition, the Minister responsible for overseeing the government’s strategy on domestic abuse should be based in the Cabinet Office and not the Home Office they insisted.
Conservative MP Maria Miller is
“The Government’s draft bill on Domestic Abuse has been widely welcomed by organisations representing survivors of Domestic Abuse and those providing support services. The Bill is the culmination of many months of work and consultation and has been said by the sector to be a ‘once in a generation opportunity to address domestic violence’ and having ‘the potential to create a step change in the national response’.”
“The committee has made detailed and wide-ranging recommendations that affect many aspects of the Bill, drawing from the excellent evidence we have received including oral evidence from those who have survived domestic abuse themselves.”
Read the report here.
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