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Domestic Violence

Volume 512: debated on Monday 28 June 2010

3. How she plans to take forward the conclusions of the work of the “Together we can end violence against women and girls” strategy consultation on domestic violence. (4221)

Violence against women and girls ruins lives and destroys families, and its impact is felt down the generations. A cross-government strategy is the best way to address domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. In July, the Home Secretary will chair a meeting of Ministers across government that will be dedicated to this issue, and we look forward to discussing how we will take forward our approach in this area.

I am a supporter of the Cassandra learning centre, which is an organisation in my community that works on these issues. It was set up by the family of a victim whose killer was one of the first to be retried and sentenced following the revision of the rules on double jeopardy. What funding do the Government intend to make available to such third sector organisations working in this field and, importantly, will that funding be ring-fenced, given last week’s Budget?

I am aware of the hon. Gentleman’s interest in this area. The coalition Government have committed to look at how we can provide sustainable funding for, and support the development of, new rape crisis centres to provide for victims. At the moment, in the voluntary sector, this provision has been very ad hoc and serendipitous, and it is important to get it on a stable basis.

I can really only refer to the rape crisis centres—both parties in the coalition agreement have committed to up to 15 rape crisis centres—and sustainable funding from the victim surcharge.

According to the British crime survey, the incidence of domestic violence has decreased by 64 % since 1997. Does the Minister agree that the British crime survey is the best measurement of long-term crime trends?

The British crime survey is a good source of information, but I will refer this matter back and the Minister will write.