Refuge responds to the Home Affairs Committee report on domestic abuse

 

The Home Affairs Select Committee has published a report on domestic abuse today (22 October 2018) ahead of the Government introducing a Domestic Abuse Bill.

The Committee recommends national refuge funding, a new stalkers register, and an end to single Universal Credit Payments should be part of the new Government Bill on Domestic Abuse. The report also urges the Government to widen it to be a Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill.

In response, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said:

“The Domestic Abuse Bill is a huge opportunity to tackle domestic abuse and gender-based violence which must be seized. We endorse the Home Affairs Select Committee recommendation that the Government could and should go much further than its proposed bill in order to deliver meaningful change for women and children experiencing abuse.

“Refuge wholeheartedly agrees with the Committee that the Bill should be expanded to cover all forms of violence against women and girls and be met with additional funding for specialist refuges so that no woman or child is turned away.

“We are delighted to see the Committee support Refuge’s call for Universal Credit payments to be split for all couples. Refuge supports 6,500 survivors on any given day and can see that the current system makes it harder to flee abusers.

“The Committee also recommends that the Bill explicitly recognises the gender inequality underlying domestic abuse. This is critical. Gender inequality is the cause of domestic violence. Women are abused in disproportionate numbers because they are women. Any measures to address domestic violence must name it as a gendered crime.

Refuge urges the Government to act on the Committee’s recommendations, doing so would be a big step forward in both preventing gender-violence and increasing services for survivors.”

Read the Home Affairs Committee’s report in full here