Domestic Abuse Bill Falls As Parliament Dissolves Ahead Of Election

Domestic Abuse Bill Falls Ahead Of General Election

A landmark bill seeking to “transform” the UK’s response to the “terrible crime” of domestic abuse has fallen as Parliament prepares to dissolve ahead of the snap general election on 12 December. 

The Domestic Abuse Bill – which will criminalise the economic control and manipulation of a person, as well as non-physical abuse such as domestic violence – had reached committee stage, and it was due to be discussed in the House of Commons on 21 November.

However, an update posted online reads: “Due to the imminent dissolution of this Parliament and the forthcoming general election, the bill will not progress any further and the Public Bill Committee will no longer meet.”

The bill would have created a legal definition of domestic abuse and put an end to cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.

It also sought to install further protections for victims in the form of domestic abuse protection notices and orders.

Suzanne Jacob OBE, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Safe Lives, tweeted that she had been due to give evidence at the committee stage.

“This isn’t it! Now we pivot to push for manifesto pledges from all political parties,” she wrote, reacting to the news the bill had fallen.

A spokesperson from charity Women’s Aid said: “We will continue campaigning to ensure that the new parliament brings in legislation to protect survivors and improves the response to domestic abuse at the earliest opportunity, across housing, health and social care, children’s services, the family courts and many more.”

“It is vitally important to ensure survivors are able to escape to safety, and access the support they need to recover from abuse.”

The charity estimates that 21,084 referrals to refuges in England were declined in 2017/18.

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Featured Image Credit: Pexels. 

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About the Author

Aaron Walawalkar

News and Digital Editor
Aaron is an NCTJ-accredited multimedia journalist focussing on human rights. His extensive reporting on rough sleeping in east London has been nominated for multiple awards. He has worked for regional and national newspapers and produced illustrations, infographics and videos for humanitarian organisation RedR UK. View all posts by Aaron Walawalkar.
Domestic Abuse Bill Falls Ahead Of General Election
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