The Domestic Abuse Bill: How will it protect victims and when will it happen?

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A follow up from the last update about the progress of the much-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill.

When I last wrote, the Bill has just been through the First reading of Parliament.  Given the current climate, and what the world is currently experiencing with the Pandemic, the issues of Domestic Abuse and how victims can be protected in lockdown has been widely debated and awareness for this topic raised as a result.

Being  forced into lockdown has had a significant impact upon those living in an abusive relationship. Women’s Aid reported that 2/3 of women living in this situation found that the abuse towards them worsened during this time and 3/4 found it harder to escape the situation as a result of the confinement.  These figures show the desperate situation for victims who remain trapped as a result of lockdown, and highlights how crucial it is for awareness of this topic to be raised – especially over any future isolated lock down that the country experiences.

The concerns that have always been at the forefront regarding protecting victims of abusive relationships: trying to ensure professional bodies intervene before a situation gets out of hand for victims and their families and supporting victims following the reporting of an incident or upon leaving a violent relationship, remain high up on the agenda.

The Bill is currently on its journey through Parliament and is now awaiting a date for the Second reading in Parliament, which allows for a general debate regarding all aspects of the Bill. There is still a long way to go until the Bill has  Royal Assent. However, the process has begun, and given how important it is that the area of Domestic Abuse is not only supported by legislative reform but that some further Governmental structure and support from the relevant agencies placed to support families and victims for Domestic Abuse at an early stage is all addressed within the Bill I am hopeful that things are at least moving in the right direction.

I will keep you informed of the progress

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