Last week, Kit Malthouse MP asked First Secretary of State Damien Green, who was standing in for Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions, when the Commons could expect the promised Domestic Abuse Bill.
Standing up in the packed Chamber, Kit reminded colleagues of the issue’s importance noting that “Some of the most distressing cases that I and other Members see in our constituency surgeries are those involving domestic violence”. He asked “what the Government are doing about this problem while we await (the Bill)?”
In response to the question from the Member for North West Hampshire, Mr Green confirmed that the Government had promised the Bill and explained that its purpose was to “set in motion a transformation not just to protect and support victims, but to recognise the lifelong impact domestic abuse can have on children and to make sure that the agencies respond effectively to domestic abuse.”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said last week that the Government “has always put tackling domestic abuse at the heart of its agenda” and had “already achieved a great deal”.
In the last Parliament, the Government published a strategy to end violence against women and girls, introduced domestic violence protection orders to provide victims with immediate protection following a domestic abuse incident, and introduced a specific offence of controlling or coercive behaviour.
Latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the proportion of women aged 16-59 who have experienced domestic abuse in the last year is at its lowest since the survey began in 2004.
Protecting women and girls from violence was a major focus during Kit’s time as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in London and he has carried the focus into the House of Commons.