The Government must invest more money in victims’ services alongside new Domestic Abuse bill, Sarah Champion MP says.

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, has responded to the publication of the Government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill. The bill includes several measures including defining economic abuse as a form of domestic abuse for the first time, new protection orders to mandate perpetrator’s to take part in rehabilitation programmes and the creation of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

 

Commenting on the announcement, Sarah said:

 

“It is welcome that the Government have finally brought forward the draft of this vital piece of legislation. Victims and survivors have been waiting for two years for this bill and the Government still cannot tell them and us when it will be given Parliamentary time.”

 

On funding for victims’ services, Sarah commented:

 

“The Government’s analysis says domestic abuse costs the UK £66bn a year, however only £724m of this is expenditure on victims’ services. Women are being turned away from services who don’t have the funding to keep up with rising demand. Without a comprehensive increase in funding, this bill will prove nothing more than words on a page.”

 

The Government also announced additional measures to support children affected by domestic abuse. Sarah said:

 

“Given that over half of the 480,000 child protection assessments in England last year found domestic abuse present in the home. The £8m announced to support children affected by domestic abuse is a drop in the ocean. It is a scandal the Government is doing so little to end the cycle of violence.”

Jim Pomeroy