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Domestic Violence: (MP’s Guide)

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

I am pleased to announce today that the Government have published a domestic violence guide and supplementary booklet for MPs.

Copies of the guide will be placed in the Library in both Houses. Further copies of both the guide and a supplementary booklet are available from the crime reduction website at: www.crimereduction.gov.uk/dv01.htm.

These publications are the latest phase in a long line of work aimed at tackling domestic violence, a crime that devastates lives and ruins families. The guidance aims to raise awareness of domestic violence issues amongst MPs and provide them with a resource to support their constituents.

Throughout March, the Government will be focusing on tackling all forms of sexual abuse and gender based violence, as part of their work to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the law abiding majority.

We still have a mountain to climb but the Government have already revolutionised the way domestic violence is dealt with by the courts. Prosecutors and magistrates receive specialist training and victims are able to give evidence through video links to reduce trauma. Offenders can now be prosecuted without a victim’s statement and previous offences can be admitted as evidence. Specialist victim support is also being rolled out across the country to ensure that victims’ safety and welfare come first in the work of the police and partner agencies.

We are heading in the right direction but this month- long set of activities is designed to remind us all of the responsibility we have in our public and personal lives to take action and stop abuse.