Refuge responds to announcement of Domestic Abuse Bill second reading


In response to the announcement today that the Government intends to bring forward a second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill to next week, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of the national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Refuge is delighted that the Government has today announced that the Domestic Abuse Bill will progress to second reading in parliament. Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in our society and this legislation represents an unparalleled once in a lifetime opportunity to save lives.

In England and Wales, two women are killed every week by a current or former partner. Women and children have a right to live in safety.

On any given day, Refuge supports over 6,500 survivors of domestic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill has the potential to transform the response to domestic abuse. We hope the Bill will enact meaningful change for survivors of abuse and commit to five key provisions: funding for specialist services and a legal duty to fund accommodation-based domestic abuse services; a gendered definition of domestic abuse, which reflects that women make up the overwhelming majority of victims; reforms to aspects of Universal Credit that encourage economic abuse by perpetrators; ensuring all survivors have priority need for housing; and changes to immigration law so that migrant survivors can access protection more easily.

Refuge looks forward to working closely with the Government to ensure survivors receive the justice and support they deserve.’

For more information, please email or call 0207 395 7731.