Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster has welcomed the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill passing its first major step in parliament, Second Reading, with unanimous support.
The Bill will introduce the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse, recognising abuse can take many different forms – including psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional.
It will strengthen protections for victims of domestic abuse, and crack down on perpetrators. Measures include banning abusers from cross-examining their victims in court and launching new protection orders to restrict abusers.
Commenting, Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster said:
"Over recent weeks the too often hidden issue of domestic abuse has been brought into the spotlight in our bay by some thoughtful and investigative coverage by our local media, with many residents looking at what we can do to tackle this problem. This Bill will make a difference. I was pleased to be on the Government’s front bench for its introduction and to see it receive unanimous support.”
The Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins MP, said:
“I am delighted the Domestic Abuse Bill has passed its Second Reading – it represents a huge step forward in our response to domestic abuse and will help us to stop the cycle of violence.
“This legislation underpins this Government’s commitment to clamp down on all types of crime and improve the criminal justice system for victims.”
For more information please contact Kevin Foster on 01803 214 989
Notes to editors
The Domestic Abuse Bill and a wider package of measures will bolster the protection for victims and will help expose and bring the vile abusers to justice:
- Introducing the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse. This will recognise that abuse can take many different forms – including psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional.
- Piloting polygraph testing of domestic abuse perpetrators. High-risk domestic abuse offenders could face mandatory lie-detector tests when released from prison.
- Establishing a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse. They will stand up for victims, monitor the provision of domestic abuse services and hold the government to account.
- Prohibiting the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts. It is estimated that there are 11,000 cases each year which may be affected by this new provision.
- Introducing Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders. The former will provide immediate protection following an incident, while the latter will provide longer-term protection.
- Making 120 additional commitments to tackle domestic abuse. This includes £8 million of Home Office funding to support children and additional for services for disabled, elderly and LGTB victims.
- Rolled out Clare’s Law nationally to protect people from potentially abusive situations. This allows the police to disclose information about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.