This ground-breaking Bill has strengthened the protections available to victims and significantly improved the legal action that can be taken against perpetrators, as well as future-proofing the legislation to take account all types of domestic abuse.
Selected to sit on the Bill Committee for her previous work and experience with domestic abuse victims, Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, said “I have been proud to sit on the Domestic Abuse Bill Committee. We have heard some harrowing evidence over the past few weeks in order to make this legislation robust and fit-for-purpose. I am confident that the Domestic Abuse Bill will provide a new level of protection and support for victims of this horrific crime.”
This landmark legislation encompasses measures including:
- Introducing new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders placing restrictions on offenders
- Providing a statutory definition of domestic abuse covering many different forms of abuse including emotional, coercive and economic abuse
- Establishing in law the role of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, helping to drive forward the response to domestic abuse
- Giving victims priority for accommodation to ensure that no one is made homeless as a result of domestic abuse
- Overhauling family courts to provide additional protection for victims
- Banning the so-called “rough sex” defence
Speaking in the Chamber during the Third Reading, Ms Crosbie highlighted the work of North Wales and Ynys Môn domestic abuse charity, Gorwel, and thanked them for providing local context to the debate. In response to overwhelming feedback from her constituents, Ms Crosbie successfully lobbied against the last-minute introduction of an amendment by the Labour Party which would have permitted home abortion up to 24 weeks in cases of domestic abuse.
She said “The matter of abortion under any circumstances is a complex one and should be given sufficient time for full and proper debate before being enshrined in law. Had the amendment gone before Parliament I would have voted against it.”