On 4th September 2018, SEA Director, Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, gave oral evidence at the Home Affairs committee on the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill expected to be published in November this year – discussion explored what measures should be included in the bill and whether there are other non-legislative policies that could be pursued for the Governments strategy to be most effective.
SEA welcomes the proposals set out in the consultation on transforming the response to domestic abuse.
We particularly support the work that has been undertaken to recognise that domestic abuse is not just characterised by physical abuse, but control and coercion which permeates all aspects of a victim’s life.
We are really pleased to see the new focus on economic abuse within the proposed statutory definition, however, we call on Government to ensure that the new focus on economic abuse within the definition is not inadvertently undermined by other Government policies such Universal Credit.
SEA recommends that the Violence Against Women and Girls National Statement of Expectations is revised to ensure that commissioners require local services to build an understanding of economic abuse and the negative economic impact of domestic abuse more broadly into the design and delivery of services.
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of ensuring that the Bill sits alongside sustainable investment in specialist support services which address every element of a victim’s journey – including working towards economic independence. This should be closely linked to the provision of therapeutic services, since economic and psychological abuse are closely connected.
For more information you can read SEA’s written evidence to Home Affairs committee.
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