With the general election now confirmed for the 12th December 2019, the Domestic Abuse Bill, which was introduced to parliament in July and had reached Committee stage, has fallen.
For the past 2.5 years SEA has been focused on getting economic abuse recognised within policy and legislation. As a result of these efforts we led the call for Government to incorporate it within the proposed new statutory definition of domestic abuse. This was a crucial opportunity to make much-needed provision for domestic abuse survivors.
Of course it’s fall is hugely frustrating – for SEA and our partners within the sector – and for all victim-survivors including SEA’s Experts by Experience Group, who have shared their stories, helped us raise awareness and trusted us to make the case for change.
However, along with the existing cross-party support for the Bill, our focus and resolve remains the same.
We’ve written to leaders of political parties asking them to write the Domestic Abuse Bill into their General Election 2019 manifestos.
Our primary ask is that this manifesto commitment will introduce a stronger Domestic Abuse Bill that includes economic abuse in the definition of domestic abuse.
We are also calling for economic abuse to be made a stand-alone crime, to hold those who use this form of abuse to account.
Finally, economic abuse can escalate, continue or start post-separation, and this is not adequately addressed in legislation. This is why SEA also proposed an amendment to the Bill to extend the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour to post- separation abuse.