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Domestic Abuse Bill: BASW backs community-based services amendment

As it stands the Bill includes a statutory duty to support victims only if they are in refuges or supported accommodation

With the Domestic Abuse Bill currently going through the House of Lords, a coalition of organisations including BASW England and BASW Cymru have backed an amendment to the Bill that would mean public authorities would have a statutory duty to commission support in the community for all victims of domestic abuse, including children.

The campaign is led by Barnardos and supported by BASW as well as organisations such as Action for Children, The Children’s Society, the End Violence Against Women coalition, and Safe Lives.

As it stands the Bill includes a statutory duty to support victims only if they are in refuges or supported accommodation.

But the campaign for the amendment says that while this support is welcome, there is a risk - especially with limited funding - that this will create a two-tier system, with the majority of victims who remain in the family home not qualifying for this protection, and potentially not receiving the support they desperately need as a result.

An open letter from over 30 members of the House of Lords has been sent to the Government asking them to look again at the inclusion of community-based services in the Domestic Abuse Bill, highlighting the need for supporting adult victims, supporting children, and to ensure perpetrators access quality programmes to prevent offending and reoffending.

Find out more about the campaign and how to support it.