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Domestic Violence

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 23 January 2020

11. What steps the Government are taking to support women in (a) Bosworth constituency and (b) the UK who experience domestic violence. (900380)

There are more than 2 million adult victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales, and last year in Leicestershire—my hon. Friend’s county—there were 21,000 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes. The Government are determined to bring forward the landmark domestic abuse Bill and to enact that legislation as quickly as possible to protect and support the victims of domestic abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.

As a GP, I find that domestic violence cases are one of the hardest types of cases: they are difficult both to identify and to deal with, and that is sad. What are the Minister and her Department doing to help to educate those who work in primary care not only on how to identify people who suffer with domestic violent but on how to signpost them to the correct services?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question and welcome all the experience and expertise that he brings to the House. All staff who work in the NHS must undertake at least level 1 safeguarding training, which includes domestic abuse. We have published an online resource for health professionals, to improve awareness of domestic violence and abuse. NHS England is developing a four-year action plan specifically on domestic abuse to raise awareness among NHS staff to ensure that they have the skills to identify and refer patients, where appropriate, and also, of course, to address the issue of NHS staff who are themselves victims.