28th Apr 2020

Parliament to consider Domestic Abuse Bill today

Parliament is considering the Domestic Abuse Bill at a second reading today (28/04/2020)

The Independent reports figures recently released by the Met Police that show that domestic abuse calls have risen by around a third in the last six weeks. At the same time the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25 per cent increase in callers.

Against this backdrop of soaring numbers of people seeking help and potentially huge numbers of individuals at risk during lockdown, a second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill is to take place today. The Bill includes plans to introduce a law to force the government to set up an emergency fund to support domestic abuse victims through this crisis.

Measures in the Bill include:

  • introducing the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse, which will include economic abuse.
  • establishing a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to champion victims and survivors
  • introducing new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders.
  • prohibiting the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.
  • providing automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts.

According to a recent BBC article, the home affairs select committee said that “without a comprehensive government strategy to cope with the consequences of the violence, we will be dealing with serious consequences for a generation”.

MPs will debate the Domestic Abuse Bill later today.

You can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline​ on 0808 200 0247. In an emergency you should call 999. 

For more information on how Family Law in Partnership can help you if you are faced with domestic abuse, please visit our website page Abuse in Relationships or contact director Helen Greenfield who focuses on this area of law on T: 020 7420 5000 or by email at hg@flip.co.uk. Helen is also a member of the Only Mums and Dads Family Law Panel, offering 20 minutes of free advice for individuals in urgent need of advice. Helen’s details can be found here