COVID-19 and lockdown measures has highlighted to the UK how very real domestic abuse is, how many women are at risk and how absolutely vital specialist support services are.
Domestic abuse awareness is at a high at the moment and one of the key issues that must continue, with many victims unaware that they are in an abusive relationship because they aren’t physically hurt.
Lockdown is proof that when fleeing domestic abuse it is vital that victims have a place of security to go. Ensuring refuge accommodations is properly funded across the country must be a priority to ensure that victims are not turned away in their hour of need.
There has been a surge and spike in calls to specialist helplines resulting that victims of domestic abuse do indeed need support when fleeing an abusive relationship. Aftercare and ongoing support must also be a priority.
The Bill must recognise that men, women and children, heterosexuals, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people ca also be a victim of domestic abuse, no one is excluded from it.
However, more importantly, the Bill must recognise that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own entirety, especially after seeing two children killed in London recently. They don’t just witness it, they become a victim of it, therefore, they need ongoing aftercare and specialist support too.
We have got to make the transitioning from victim to survivor as easy and consistent as possible to stop victims going back to the arms of their abuser. We need a strong support package in place to help keep victims safe once they have found the strength and courage to leave the relationship, which I strongly believe that tougher prison sentences for perpetrators must be added to the Bill. Without these precautions in place it just simply allows the abuse to continue, giving out the completely wrong message that it’s ok to abuse. It isn’t.
Sticking a plaster over this, hoping that it will go away will just make the infection worse in the long run. We need to see action now not rambled words. I hope the bill gives Justice to those who deserve it.