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Drive calls for more strategic approach to perpetrators as the Domestic Abuse Bill enters committee stage

As MPs prepare to scrutinise the Domestic Abuse Bill in Committee, Drive is pushing for a domestic abuse perpetrator strategy to go alongside the legislation, along with amendments to strengthen the Bill.

Director of Drive, Kyla Kirkpatrick said:

“Drive, is one of over 80 organisations and individuals that have come together to call for a perpetrator strategy. The Bill is an important step forward in responding to and addressing perpetrators of domestic abuse. However, a full strategy, combining legislative and non-legislative changes, is needed to ensure a robust response to all perpetrators that protects all victims and survivors.”

Jess Phillips MP has tabled an amendment (New Clause 27) that requires the government to publish a strategy. Drive supports this.

In its evidence to the Bill Committee, Drive has pointed out that long term resources are needed for domestic abuse services, including for work to manage the behaviour of perpetrators, to ensure this legislation is effective. Drive is therefore calling on MPs to support Barnardo’s amendment for a statutory duty on public bodies, backed with the requisite funding, to provide services to victims of domestic abuse, including children and suitable specialist perpetrator responses.

The Bill looks likely to stimulate an increase in the use of perpetrator behaviour change programmes, which Drive welcomes; however, it is crucial that these programmes meet a minimum quality standard to ensure they do not inadvertently do more harm than good. Drive is therefore supporting an amendment from Respect (amendment 51), to require the Home Secretary to publish standards which such programmes must meet.

Drive is also advocating for a thorough review of DAPOs, involving input from survivors and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner before they are rolled out nationally.

These proposals are supported by a wide range of domestic abuse organisations who have put their names to a submission to the Domestic Abuse Committee.

Read the full Drive brief here.