The second reading debate of the Domestic Abuse Bill was a good example of Parliament at its best.
We spent most of Wednesday 2 October on this, working collaboratively and cross-party on a much-needed piece of legislation which has widespread support and from which a great deal of good will come. For example, this will be the first time a definition of domestic abuse will be enshrined in law.
People brought their expertise and their professional knowledge, including me – my speech focused on my previous work with domestic violence perpetrators. The national accreditation standards for this work, which I helped to set up, need to be recognised in law, to make sure effective interventions, which truly help increase safety and manage risk, are differentiated from those which do not.
People told upsetting and often harrowing stories about the suffering of constituents they had helped, or wanted to help, but not been able to. Two MPs, Rosie Duffield and Naz Shah, spoke movingly about their own experiences of abuse. There were constructive suggestions for improving the legislation at committee stage and the ministers responsible welcomed these.
You can watch my five-minute speech here:
Yesterday I spoke in the debate for the second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill. One of the many reasons that I am glad that the prorogation of Parliament was declared unlawful is that it meant we could make progress with this vital piece of legislation, which for the first time will enshrine a definition of Domestic Abuse into law. Many MPs spoke movingly in support of the Bill, with my wonderful colleague Rosie Duffield MP speaking about her own experience as a survivor of domestic abuse.In my speech I focused on the work I did for ten years before being elected – work with and about perpetrators of domestic violence. The national accreditation standards for this work, which I helped to set up, need to be recognised in law, to make sure effective interventions which truly help increase safety and manage risk are differentiated from those which do not.As someone involved in domestic violence work for 32 years, I know how vital it is that we get this legislation right and on to the statute books. We owe it to the victims of domestic abuse – the majority of whom are women – to get this law passed as soon as possible.
Posted by Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West on Thursday, October 3, 2019