This epidemic of abuse MUST end
EVERY hour, police in England and Wales receive around 100 calls relating to domestic abuse. There are an estimated two million adults experiencing domestic abuse.
To put that in context, that is one in every 16 adults in the country – and will include readers of this paper or possibly someone you know.
In the year ending March 019, there were more than 73 ,000 domestic abuse offences recorded by police – a
per cent increase on the previous period. For every one of those calls and recorded offences, we know there are many more victims who are suffering in the shadows.
They may be subjected to horrific physical abuse or manipulative controlling behaviour that leaves their confidence in tatters. The victim may be your doctor, your colleague, your sister, your brother, or even your local MP – as revealed recently by Rosie Duffield MP.
Her incredibly brave testimony in the Commons demonstrated the ordeal millions in this country face every day, regardless of their background, job or outward self-confidence.
Today, the Government will set out its broad legislative agenda through the Queen’s Speech. A key element of this will be our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill. As Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability, I am all too aware of the urgency of this Bill every time I meet people whose lives have been blighted by abuse. I am really pleased, therefore, that the Bill has passed another important stage in the Commons and will now be examined in detail in committee after the Queen’s Speech.
I am confident that passing a specific Domestic Abuse Act will help shine a light on this hidden crime and give victims and their families the strength they need to come forward and seek support. Offenders must also get the message that their abuse will not be tolerated and they will be dealt with by the law.
The seriousness of this issue means we have to confront it robustly now, and that is exactly what the Government will do. The epidemic of abuse must end.
The sheer scale of the issue means we must keep a laser focus on protecting the vulnerable victims of domestic abuse who are relying on this legislation to keep them safe.