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UK General Election & the Domestic Abuse Bill

12 November 2019 — Mandy Marshall — Blog UK General Election & the Domestic Abuse Bill

UK General Election 2019

Domestic Abuse Bill

Thank you to all who supported the call to include faith in the response in the Domestic Abuse Bill as it passed through parliament. At the time of the dissolution of the current session of parliament the bill had reached the committee stage. As with all bills at a time of election, the Domestic Abuse Bill falls. This means it will need to be reintroduced by government in the next session of parliament.

Restored has been working alongside others to see the bill progress. This includes the Faith and Violence Against Women coalition (of which Restored is a founding member). The coalition was able to secure a meeting with the Home Office to discuss the bill. It was a positive meeting and good that Restored's materials are now with the team in the Home Office. Restored also attends the All Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Abuse and has been able to raise the issue of faith there too. 

It is frustrating for this life saving bill, that had agreement on all side of the House (of Commons), fell due to an election. We believe though, that there is enough good will and focus, that the bill can be reintroduced in the next session. We need your to help do this. 

Will you raise the issue of the Domestic Abuse Bill with your local parliamentary candidates? 

This can be when they call by canvassing for your vote, or by contacting them by email/letter/social media. We are sure candidates will be interested to hear about other issues than Brexit (yes we said it) during this campaign.  If you don't know who your current MP is or the parliamentary candidates you can find out here.  It is our experience that these letters do make a difference (see below No 10's response to our letter!) This is a positive way to engage in this General Election in the UK. 

Don't know what to say?

You can find our template letters for the Domestic Abuse Bill here, to help guide you. 

A selection of questions to ask parliamentary candidates:

  1. 'Will your party support the reintroduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill and ensure faith is included in the response? 
  2. 'I'm interested in your party's position on the domestic abuse bill, the long term sustainable funding for the provision of services for survivors of domestic abuse.'
  3. 'With 1 in 4 women in the UK experiencing domestic abuse in her lifetime, what is your party's commitment to seeing domestic abuse become a thing of the past?'
  4. 'How will your party include faith in the response to domestic abuse? Have you heard of Restored, a Christian charity working to end domestic abuse?'
  5. 'I'm a supporter of Restored, a Christian charity working to end domestic abuse with and through the church, they conducted some research with the University of Coventry and Leicester and found 1 in 4 churchgoers had experienced domestic abuse in their current relationship. What is your party doing to eradicate domestic abuse ensuring churches and other places of faith are included in the response?

What do we mean when we say 'include faith in the response to domestic abuse'?

With a faith community in every neighbourhood across the UK, and several faiths in some neighbourhoods, faith communities are suitably located to identify domestic abuse and refer survivors to the local services available. We want to see standardised national training for people of faith to be aware of the signs and indicators of abuse and to respond in line with good practice when it is identified or a survivors discloses abuse. As with other issues, some churches are ahead in this area and some are yet to recognise that domestic abuse could be an issue within their churches or parishes. Churches and other places of faith need resources like our church pack to equip them to respond better. This requires resources and the allocation of funding. We want the next government to set aside funding for faith groups to do this.

Resources to help you

Your parliamentary candidate may be interested in finding out more. You could send them the link to the following:

Cumbria Research infographic on churchgoers experience of domestic abuse

Restored's Church Pack

Template letters sent in the previous parliamentary session

Restored's letter to the Prime Minister

No 10's letter to Restored

Do let us know what response you receive.

If you do ask your candidates any questions on domestic abuse and the bill, do let us know what their response is/was. It is encouraging to us at Restored to receive your feedback. 

Thank you for doing your bit to make domestic abuse a thing of the past. 

Restored can only do this work with your help and support. Please consider giving a one off or regular donation to our work here