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Diane Abbott responds to publication of Domestic Abuse Bill

Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the publication of the Domestic Abuse Bill, said “On average two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. Survivors of domestic violence have been made to wait too long for this Bill.

“This Government’s austerity program has had dire consequences for local authorities and their ability to fund vital services such as women’s refuges. The Tories cut over a third of all local authority funding to domestic and sexual violence services by 2012.

“If the Tories are serious about combating domestic violence, then there should be long term funding commitments to ensure sufficient resources are available for abuse survivors.

“With many issues brought to family courts, it is welcome that the draft Bill will include measures to outlaw the cross-examination of survivors of domestic abuse by perpetrators. But Ministers must go further and give assurances about an independent inquiry into the culture, practice and outcomes of the family courts in child contact cases, where there are allegations of domestic abuse.”