Lib Dems push to strengthen support for survivors in Domestic Abuse Bill

The Liberal Democrats have tabled amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill to “strengthen protection and support” for survivors of abuse.

Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, has tabled a series of amendments at Committee Stage to ensure the “strongest possible” support for survivors. The measures include: 

  • Create Local Welfare Provision schemes to provide a “financial lifeline” to anyone trapped in a violent home because they cannot afford to leave;
  • Provide guidance to prevent economic abuse through withholding of child maintenance funds or similar actions;  
  • Ensure the option of special measures – such as appearance via video-link – for people giving evidence about domestic abuse in family courts, not just criminal courts;
  • Provide guidance on safeguarding young people from abuse in the context of teenage relationships.

The Liberal Democrats will also be supporting amendments on a range of other issues, including ensuring that survivors receive support, regardless of their immigration status. 

Liberal Democrat Homes Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine, who is on the Committee scrutinising the Bill, said:  “Too often survivors of abuse are failed by our justice system and our social services. This situation is intolerable. The Domestic Abuse Bill is our opportunity to change this, by strengthening protection and support for survivors. 

Christine Jardine

“That is why the Liberal Democrats have tabled amendments to improve key aspects of this Bill, from providing a financial lifeline to anyone trapped in an abusive home to guaranteeing the option of special measures for survivors having to give evidence in family courts. 

“Survivors have already had to wait too long for this Bill. Now that we have the opportunity to get it in place, we need to make sure it offers the strongest possible protections and holds perpetrators of any form of abuse to account.”

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