Call for ministers to deliver ‘historic’ change on domestic abuse and sexual violence

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England and Wales’s first domestic abuse commissioner has warned the government it may miss an opportunity to make a “historic change” in tackling the problem unless it U-turns a serious violence law this week.

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Peers in the House of Lords are to vote on proposed changes to Priti Patel’s policing bill, which would impose a legal mandate on local authorities and police forces in England and Wales to make domestic abuse, domestic murder and sex crimes a priority in their serious violence prevention will create duty. plans.

talking to GranthshalaDomestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs said the amendment could provide a step-change, ensuring focus not only on distress provision for women fleeing violent partners but on early intervention and preventive measures to prevent abuse. focuses.


And she warned that failure to include a legal requirement for domestic abuse in new-style plans could sideline the issue in large areas of the country.

Ms Jacobs – who was appointed in 2019 after more than 20 years of frontline work with abuse survivors – said the increased focus on violence against women in the wake of the killings of Sarah Everard, Biba Henry The debate was “on time”. , Nicole Smallman and Sabina Nessa.

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“There is now more public conversation than ever about what we do about violence at home and on the street, and especially about violence against women,” she said.

“So much of the conversation is about how we find ways to stop abuse and change people’s behavior and what’s frustrating to me is that here we have something specifically designed to do this in relation to serious violence, And yet it does not include domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

The bill creates a new responsibility for officials in each local area to cover not only the police and courts but also councils, housing, health and education services to assist in the preparation and implementation of a plan to deal with serious violence. Will do

But Ms Patel stressed that it should be up to each region to decide for themselves on the priorities of the plans, giving them the freedom to respond to issues such as knife crime, guns or “county line” drug-dealing, which are problems specific to them at the local level. .


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