Drive calls for Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure perpetrators are held accountable for abuse

Drive welcomes the return of the Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament and the proposal to put a definition of domestic abuse into law for the first time. We urge the government to use the opportunity of the Bill to tighten up measures for perpetrators, ensuring that the new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs) are backed by availability of a range of quality behaviour change and risk management work for perpetrators across England and Wales. These must come alongside provision of extensive support for all child and adult victims and survivors to ensure their safety.

As part of this, alongside over 80 organisations and professionals, we are calling on the Government to publish a perpetrator strategy. These new DAPOs should form an important part of a new perpetrator strategy, that turns the question “why doesn’t she leave?” to “why doesn’t he stop?” This new strategy would make real the Home Secretary’s commitment that wherever possible, it is perpetrators who should be removed from the family home.

Drive has published its formal response to the Bill here – including details of two proposed amendments. We are also supporting a number of other amendments from other organisations working to end violence against women and girls. These joint recommendations can be accessed here.

Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director of Drive says:

“The Bill comes back at a time of increased focus on the importance of holding perpetrators to account for their behaviour.  We must work to prevent and end abuse by challenging the perpetrator, rather than accepting abuse as inevitable and expecting victims to take responsibility for securing their own safety and that of their children. We urge government to use this opportunity to go further and commit to publishing a perpetrator strategy alongside the Domestic Abuse Act we hope to see in law.”