In response to the Government’s consultation on the Domestic Abuse Bill published today, APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC PCC said:
“I am pleased that this consultation has finally been brought out and launched on this significant day for women (International Women’s Day).
“There is positive legislation in this consultation, which must make a notable difference, but, I am glad that the government are open to discussion about possible further legislative change.
“I welcome the announcement of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims, to monitor the provision of domestic abuse services and hold the government to account.
“However, it is imperative that the Commissioner has the strong powers to be able to do just that. None of those powers are made clear in this consultation. I know some other kind of current commissioners feel that they have insufficient powers fully to fulfil their remit.
“I also welcome the focus on perpetrators but hope government will be open to further action, since the general view of victims is that perpetrators are not well dealt with either by courts or elsewhere.
“It’s encouraging to see the announcement mention extra funding will be made available to support women and children. In particular the £2 million targeted at abuse victims who have become female offenders, which shows the government’s welcome understanding of the link between domestic abuse and much female offending.
“There remain strong concerns regarding refuge funding. I note the government states that nothing is off the table, however their recent announcement on funding for refuge provision would significantly damage this provision. This would seriously impede the police in supporting many domestic abuse victims and undo many of these positive proposals.”
APCC Deputy Victims Lead, Marc Jones PCC said:
“I very much welcome this consultation which contains a number of positive measures to tackle the devastating crime of domestic abuse; including new Protection Orders to allow police and courts to act sooner and provision for tougher sentences for domestic abuse cases involving children.
“I look forward to responding to the consultation and working to ensure that new legislation is swiftly implemented.”