EHRC briefing – Domestic Abuse Bill – Lords Committee Stage
Please see below the latest briefing on the EHRC's proposed amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill which will begin Committee stage in the HoL on Monday.
We welcome the opportunity the Bill presents to ensure better support and protection for survivors of domestic abuse in England and Wales. A number of important improvements to the Bill have been made by the Government since the Bill began its passage.
However, we consider changes are still required for this to be the transformative legislation the Government aims it to be and to achieve compliance with the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) and with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
We recommend changes to the Bill in five priority areas, and support to corresponding amendments, to ensure:
Sufficient specialist support services, provided in the community as well as in refuges, and available to all without discrimination.
- New Clause 176: Provision of sufficient specialist domestic abuse services.
- New Clause 177: Duty on police and crime commissioners to cooperate in relation to local strategies under the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.
Equal protection and support for migrant survivors.
- New Clause 160: Effective protection and support for all victims of domestic abuse.
- New Clause 151: Victims of domestic abuse: leave to remain and the DDVC.
- New Clause 154: Victims of domestic abuse: data-sharing for immigration purposes.
Improved protections for survivors in the courts and consistency across all court jurisdictions. We will publish a briefing covering this issue separately.
Improved protections for disabled survivors subject to coercive control.
- New Clause 171: Repeal of provisions about defence for controlling or coercive behaviour offence.
Guidance issued under the Bill takes into account the cross-government violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy.
- Amendment 185 to Clause 73.