Refuge welcomes the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill

 

Refuge welcomes today’s announcement of the Domestic Abuse Bill and seeing the Government tackle the vital topic of domestic abuse.

Reforming the criminal justice system is vitally important but so is providing emergency accommodation.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said:

“Refuge welcomes the Domestic Abuse Bill and the important changes it will bring. Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today.

“The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has championed the issue of domestic abuse and has brought this important piece of legislation to bear.  As the Bill stands it will bring about changes to the criminal justice system and improve the response of state agencies to women and children who experience abuse. This is much needed and Refuge supports these positive developments.

“But the criminal justice system is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to addressing domestic abuse.  It is essential that within the Bill there is a duty to provide sustainable funding for life-saving specialist domestic violence services, in particular refuges. Refuges are much more than a roof over a woman and child’s head – they provide emergency support and save lives.

“Refuge also hopes that the Bill will incorporate the suggestions made by MPs and Peers and will address the welfare system so it meets the needs of survivors, whilst giving priority access to housing and funding for women with insecure immigration status.

“Making the Bill broader in its terms of reference will ensure this once in a generation opportunity brings about much needed change to an epidemic which claims the lives of around two women every week in England and Wales alone.

“Refuge looks forward to working with the Government in the weeks to come to ensure the voices and needs of survivors are enshrined in this essential piece of legislation.”

For more information, please email press@refuge.org.uk or call 0207 395 7731. Outside of working hours, please call 07970 894240. A spokesperson is available