In Brief

Theresa May vows to end ‘postcode lottery’ for abuse victims

PM announces legal duty for councils to provide help for victims and their children.

gettyimages-1140922795_copy.jpg

The prime minister has vowed to end the “postcode lottery” for victims of domestic abuse, by creating a nationwide legal duty for councils to provide secure homes for victims and their children.

People seeking refuge from abusive and violent relationships currently receive varying levels of support depending on their location. 

Sky News says “thousands of victims of domestic abusive will be better protected” under the plans. The Times adds that council leaders “have warned it would have to be backed up by central government funding”.

The Domestic Abuse Bill will usher in the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse. It will specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.

The law will found a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner and prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in family courts.

The government has launched a consultation to calculate how much funding is needed and how it should be spent. It will speak to victims and survivors, as well as organisations supporting victims and their children every day.

Announcing the bill, the prime minister said the “abhorrent crime” of domestic abuse had “no place” in the UK. She said that she has “always vowed to leave no stone unturned in tackling domestic abuse”.

May continued: “Today we are ending the postcode lottery by placing on local authorities a legal duty to deliver support, including secure housing, to survivors of domestic abuse and their children.”

Addressing victims of domestic abuse, she said: “Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever the abuse you face, you will have access to the services you need to be safe.”

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said May’s plans could secure “life-saving services”.

“This has the potential to end the postcode lottery for refuge places and could put these life-saving services on a secure financial footing for the first time,” she said.

Nicki Norman of Women's Aid, said many of her organisation's member services are offering support on a “shoestring budget”, which means reliable, dedicated funding is “desperately needed”.

She said her organisation hopes to work with the government to ensure the “important move” is “safe, sustainable and delivers the resources that services urgently require to support all women and children fleeing domestic abuse”.

In 2017, The Guardian reported that austerity cuts meant services to vulnerable women were under threat.

The BBC reports this morning that funding of £22m has been made available to local councils to obtain more than 2,000 beds in refuges and other safe accommodation - and to provide access to education and employment.

Recommended

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?
Harry and Meghan Markle
Today’s big question

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?

‘Never before have all the main engines of European integration caught fire simultaneously’
Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament
Instant Opinion

‘Never before have all the main engines of European integration caught fire simultaneously’

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?
Margaret Keenan becomes the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine
In Focus

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?

Five things we learned from Sturgeon’s testimony to Salmond inquiry
Nicola Sturgeon gives evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee
Why we’re talking about . . .

Five things we learned from Sturgeon’s testimony to Salmond inquiry

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 March 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Are Harry and Meghan pushing it with their request for press privacy?
Harry and Meghan
The latest on . . .

Are Harry and Meghan pushing it with their request for press privacy?