Domestic abuse inquiry – Home Affairs Committee

SEA welcomed the proposals set out in the government’s consultation on transforming the response to domestic abuse. We were particularly pleased to see the new focus on economic abuse within the proposed statutory definition. Where this has happened in parts of Australia and the United States of America, policy and law makers have identified the responses and resources required to tackle the many different forms that this type of abuse takes.

Yet, we also noted that the proposals set out within the consultation paper were narrow in scope. If the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill is to represent a ‘once in a generation’ attempt to end abuse and protect survivors then, in addition to criminal law compliance, there must be a clear legislative commitment to the adequate provision of advocacy and support services. This is a requirement of the Istanbul Convention. In addition, we are disappointed that this Bill is limited to domestic abuse and not all forms of violence against women.

For these reasons, we are delighted that the Home Affairs Committee is taking steps to learn what further measures are needed. Whilst much has changed since the Committee last held an inquiry into the issue of domestic violence, there is still some way to go. See SEA’s written evidence to the inquiry here.