Councils welcome confirmation Domestic Abuse Bill will be in Queen’s Speech

The Local Government Association has welcomed the Prime Minister’s confirmation that the Domestic Abuse Bill will be part of the Queen’s Speech.

The Bill was set to impose a legal duty on councils to deliver support to survivors of domestic abuse in accommodation-based services. The Government said in May that this would be “backed by funding to place services on a sustainable footing”.

However, the legislation fell away when Parliament was prorogued.

On Twitter Boris Johnson said: “Domestic abuse shatters lives & tears families apart. We are fully committed to tackling this horrific crime - which is why the Queen's Speech will confirm we will be reintroducing domestic abuse legislation in the next session.”

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “As part of our #CouncilsCan campaign, we have been calling for greater action to reduce and eventually eliminate domestic abuse and stressing the need for a Domestic Abuse Bill. We are pleased the Prime Minister has pledged to reintroduce the Domestic Abuse Bill as part of the Queen’s Speech.

“Tackling domestic abuse is an issue that councils take very seriously which is why we support further measures to improve work with local partners to help support more victims and stop this horrendous crime.”

Cllr Blackburn added: “In order to prevent it happening in the first place there should be a greater focus on prevention and early intervention measures to tackle the root causes and support more victims, including greater investment in perpetrator programmes to stop domestic abuse from happening in the first place.

“The ability of councils to fund services for victims is limited by significant pressures on their budgets, with local authorities increasingly being forced to prioritise spending for those at immediate risk of harm, rather than on vital earlier support services and prevention schemes which help stop domestic abuse.

“It is important that any legislative changes in the Bill being matched with adequate resources and funding.”

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