Domestic Abuse Draft Bill – Report of the Joint Committee

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Resolution welcomes the report of the Parliamentary committee examining the draft Domestic Abuse Bill, which has been published today.

The report refers to a number of points made by National Committee Member Elspeth Thomson, when she gave appeared before the committee earlier this year, and we hope the actual Bill will reflect many of the recommendations they have made. The devil will be in the detail, of course, but we welcome the extension on mandatory prohibition on cross-examination to anyone who can produce evidence that would satisfy the requirements for the legal aid gateway.

We also welcome the recommendation to ‘future-proof’ the definition of domestic abuse, while at the same time including specific abusive behaviours; as well as expanding the definition of harm in the Children Act to include the trauma caused to children by witnessing coercive control between two adults in the household.

There are further areas that we believe must change, and Resolution will continue campaigning to ensure that the most vulnerable retain access to justice. Nevertheless, we hope the Government will pay close attention to the Committee’s report and bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity, and make much-needed progress in protecting the rights and safety of survivors of domestic abuse and their children.