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04 March 2020

Domestic Abuse Bill reintroduced in Parliament

The reintroduction today of the Domestic Abuse Bill presents an opportunity to strengthen legal protection for those whose offending is driven by their experience of domestic abuse. This would address a gap in legal protection for survivors, strengthen recognition of the links between victimisation and offending and deter inappropriate prosecutions.

In its report published in June 2019, the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill recommended that our proposed amendments to the Bill—developed with a group of legal and domestic abuse experts—should be considered by the government. We have gathered further evidence and support for our proposals since the Bill fell in the autumn and will be pursuing them through proposed amendments to the Bill.

Commenting, Katy Swaine Williams, Senior Programme Manager at the Prison Reform Trust said:

“The majority of women in prison are survivors of domestic abuse and many have been driven to offend as a direct result of that abuse. This landmark Bill presents an opportunity to protect survivors of abuse from prosecution where they have been driven to offend. With support from legal and domestic abuse experts, including the Victims’ Commissioner, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and the Criminal Bar Association, we will be making the case for this essential legal protection to be added to the Bill.”