The Liberal Democrats have vowed to keep working to strengthen the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, after Conservative MPs voted to remove crucial safeguards.
The Liberal Democrats voted to retain cross-party amendments passed by the House of Lords last month, including measures that would:
- End the sharing of survivors’ personal data with the Home Office for immigration purposes.
- Give survivors temporary leave to remain and access to public funds for at least six months.
- Establish a register of serial and serious perpetrators of domestic abuse and stalking.
- Ensure that all victims of domestic abuse are protected regardless of their migration status or any other characteristic, as required by the Istanbul Convention.
Following the votes, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said: “This Bill has been strengthened and developed by tremendous cross-party support, but it was disappointing that the Conservatives were not willing to take on proposals co-sponsored by the Liberal Democrats for monitoring serial and serious perpetrators of domestic abuse and stalking.
“Similarly there is still more we need to do for migrant women who should have the same protections as every other woman in our society. Getting out of a violent or abusive situation should not be dependent on where you come from.
“The Domestic Abuse Bill must protect everyone, no matter their immigration status. Liberal Democrats will keep working cross-party to make this landmark legislation the strongest it can possibly be.”