Helen speaks in debate on the Domestic Abuse bill

One of the reasons I am pleased to be back in Parliament following the Supreme Court decision last week, is that it allows the Domestic Abuse Bill to be progressed.  This important legislation, which has cross-party support, will ensure that the legal framework of protection for victims and survivors of domestic abuse is strengthened.  But we need to ensure that the new Bill is right in every detail. 

There is clear evidence of the link between domestic abuse and homelessness. Last year an estimated 23,430 families who were at risk of homelessness had experienced some form of domestic abuse, whilst one in five of Crisis’ women clients report that domestic abuse was the direct cause of their homelessness. In my work, I regularly support people attempting to flee or recover from domestic abuse but who are held back due to difficulties accessing secure housing. Under current UK law, being a survivor of domestic abuse does not automatically qualify someone for priority status for housing. Today, I called on the Government to ensure the Domestic Abuse Bill reforms this ongoing injustice and provides sustainable funding for local councils to provide secure housing for survivors of domestic abuse.