Domestic Violence

Photo of Diane AbbottDiane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary

We on the Labour Benches also wish to thank the brave fire crews in Leicester, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

It is welcome that the Home Secretary has expressed concern about domestic violence, but we know that, on average, two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. That is the end point of too much domestic violence. We also know that the number of refuge services in England has been sharply reduced over the last few years. Figures from the Office for National Statisticsshow that it fell from 294 in 2010 to 274 in 2017. It is all very well for the Home Secretary to talk about the role of charities, but what will the Government do to address the funding crisis that refuges now face?

Photo of Amber RuddAmber RuddThe Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities

I point out to the right hon. Lady that there are more beds available to women seeking them now than there were in 2010. This Government will always make sure there are sufficient numbers of beds for the women who need them, so that women are kept safe when they need to be. Since 2010, domestic abuse prosecutions have risen by 26% and convictions by 33%. It is good that women are able to come forward and that convictions are taking place, but terrible crime and gender-based violence against women remains, so I share the right hon. Lady’s view about the need to do something. She can rest assured that this Government are taking action, and I hope she will support the Bill we will be introducing.

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