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Domestic Violence Victims

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 29 June 2021

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on supporting victims of domestic violence. (901930)

We are working across Government to transform the response to the abhorrent crime of domestic violence. We passed our landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 in April, to be followed by the new violence against women and girls and domestic abuse strategies. The victims Bill will further transform victims’ experience. We have also provided unprecedented funding to support the sector.

My constituent, a courageous woman, Ms Charlotte Budd, is a survivor of domestic abuse, but she suffered a great deal further from her experience in the family court system. Ms Budd has criticised the pro-contact nature of the family court, arguing that decisions have resulted in unsafe child arrangements. I would be extremely grateful if my hon. Friend could set out what steps the Department is taking to ensure that the presumption of contact issue does not have damaging consequences for victims of domestic abuse like Ms Charlotte Budd. Will one of the Ministers in the Department meet me and my constituent, Ms Budd, to discuss these issues further?

I am extremely grateful to my right hon. Friend for raising this case, and I am very sorry to hear this distressing story. He is quite right to say that the presumption of parental contact has been a cause of concern to many, on the basis that it might expose parents and children to greater risk, and we are reviewing this provision at the moment. I would be more than happy to meet him to discuss this case—and, indeed, the review—further in the hope that we can move to an improved situation.