Refuge responds to Queen’s Speech Domestic Violence and Abuse Act announcement

 

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said:

“Refuge welcomes the announcement that the Government is to bring forward a new draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill.  It is heartening to see that the Prime Minister remains committed to addressing an issue that claims the lives of two women every week in England and Wales, and blights the childhoods of at least 750,000 children every year.

“Refuge has protected abused women and children for 45 years, and supports almost 5,000 women and children fleeing domestic violence on any given day.

“We are working with the Government to ensure that this new Act will bring the sea change that is needed to give survivors the protection and support they need and deserve, and end domestic violence once and for all. We hope that the pre-legislative scrutiny process will give sufficient time to allow Parliament to consider all necessary reform, including in the criminal justice and legal systems.

“We are delighted to see that the Bill will include a new statutory definition of domestic violence and abuse. Refuge also welcomes confirmation that there will be a new Courts Bill which will finally prevent domestic violence victims being directly cross-examined by their perpetrators in the family courts.

“It is vital that the Government makes available sufficient funding and training to ensure that the new legislation has a meaningful impact on the lives of women and children who experience domestic violence.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to the danger that women and children face on a daily basis. Therefore we are also pleased the Government is committed to looking at what can be achieved outside of the bill process to deliver fast improvements for women at risk of violence.”

For more information, contact the Refuge press office on press@refuge.org.uk or 0207 395 7731. For out of hours and weekend press enquiries, please call 07970 894240.