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Domestic Violence

Volume 560: debated on Monday 25 March 2013

14. What progress her Department has made on improving the detection and reporting of incidents of domestic violence. (149420)

The Government have introduced new initiatives to improve the reporting of domestic violence. They include the domestic violence disclosure scheme pilot, and domestic violence protection orders to provide better protection for victims. Detections are, of course, a matter for the police, and we will continue to work with them to improve the reporting and resolution of these violent and abhorrent crimes.

Preventing domestic homicides, which are still running at two a week, should be a priority for the Government, but leading victims’ organisations such as Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, in my constituency, are frustrated by the fact that the lessons of domestic homicide reviews are not being fed back to practitioners. Why is this essential work being delayed?

It is not being delayed. As I have said, these are indeed abhorrent crimes and continuing improvement is needed, but there has already been a great deal of improvement over the past couple of years. The Government have introduced two new specific criminal offences of stalking, have relaunched the teenage rape prevention and relationship abuse campaigns, and have extended the definition of domestic violence to include 16 and 17-year-olds and coercive control. All that shows the great seriousness with which we approach the issue.