The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, the Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, are jointly calling on the government to include a statutory duty on local authorities to fund community-based services in the Domestic Abuse Bill.
In a joint statement, the Commissioners say:
“It is vital that the government takes this once in a generation opportunity to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse – including the children living in these abusive households – have access to local protection and support by including community-based services in the Domestic Abuse Bill’s statutory duty.
We know that the majority of victims stay in the home and access community-based services rather than domestic abuse refuges. It is therefore clear that without a duty to commission community-based support, including specialist services, the Bill risks creating a two-tier system, which would leave most victims – including children and migrant victims – without appropriate support.
A statutory duty that includes community-based services will mean this Bill provides support which is inclusive and accessible to all. It is also vital that these community services are provided to children who experience abuse, or display abusive behaviours, in their own relationships. If the Domestic Abuse Bill is to be the truly transformational, landmark piece of legislation that the government proclaimed it to be, then we need to see this change.”