Domestic Abuse Contents

1Promoting awareness

A statutory definition of domestic abuse

10.The Government wants to ensure that all domestic abuse is properly understood, considered unacceptable and actively challenged across statutory agencies and in public attitudes. One of the measures which it proposes is to introduce a new statutory definition of domestic abuse which covers all victims and all types of domestic abuse.8 The proposed definition includes wider family members as well as couples, and it aims to include the many different types of behaviour which can be exhibited as part of domestic abuse. The proposed definition includes the following text:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological; physical; sexual; economic; emotional.9

Gendered nature of domestic abuse

11.In its consultation paper, the Government referred to the close links between its domestic abuse and its Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategies and noted that on a global level, domestic abuse is one of the most endemic forms of violence against women.10 It said that it aimed to use the draft bill on domestic abuse to demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ratifying the Istanbul Convention by extending extraterritorial jurisdiction over VAWG related offences.11 It also acknowledged the gendered nature of domestic abuse:

We know that domestic abuse is disproportionately gendered and have framed our consultation to recognise this. Equally, this is why our approach to tackling domestic abuse remains within the context of a wider Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. The majority of domestic abuse victims are women, with men far more likely to be perpetrators.12

12.Some witnesses argued that the Government had missed an opportunity to further the aims of its VAWG Strategy by confining the scope of the proposed bill to domestic abuse, rather than encompassing all forms of violence against women and girls.13 The End Violence Against Women coalition explained that:

It is disappointing and incongruent that this Bill is limited to domestic violence, and largely to criminal justice measures, when women’s and girls’ lived experience of gender-based violence is not in separate boxes. We want to see radical change to the way all public services respond to the violence which prevents too many women and girls from living free and equal lives. The Government should enhance the national VAWG policy framework, ensure that a truly national network of specialist support services are available to women when they need them, and ensure that statutory services are able to prevent and respond to abuse appropriately.14

13.The Equality and Human Rights Commission recommended that the Government’s approach to domestic abuse should be fully integrated with its work on VAWG and urged the UK Government to consider whether it would be more appropriate for them to publish a VAWG and Domestic Abuse Bill.15

14.Witnesses also argued that the gendered nature of domestic abuse should be recognised in the statutory definition so as to provide the best possible protection to survivors and to comply with VAWG legislation and policies. Councillor Simon Blackburn, representing the Local Government Association, described domestic abuse as “a heavily gendered crime”.16 Women’s Aid explained that as well as women being more likely than men to be victims of domestic abuse, the nature and impact of men’s abuse towards women was qualitatively different. Women were more likely to experience fear, be subject to coercive control, experience repeat victimisation and were far more likely be killed. It explained that gender-neutral services failed to deliver the gender-specific support required by victims of abuse.17 Amnesty International UK provided the following statistics:

According to data collected in 2016 and 2017 by the Office of National Statistics women are around twice as likely as men to experience domestic violence, and men are far more likely to be perpetrators. Most domestic homicide victims are women, killed by men. On average, two women are killed each week by their current or former partner in England and Wales, a figure that has changed relatively little in recent years. Between March 2014 and 2016, 242 women were killed by a male partner/ex-partner; 32 men were killed by their male partner/ex-partner, and 40 by their female partner/ex-partner.18

15.Women’s Aid has highlighted research which suggests that official statistics seriously understate the scale of violence against women in England and Wales. ONS adjusts crime data to reduce the risk of a small number of cases involving multiple attacks skewing overall crime trends, so the number of times that any person can be counted as a victim of crime is capped at five. Professor Sylvia Walby, UNESCO chair of gender research, Lancaster University, has suggested that this practice means that the incidence of violent crime against women, and of domestic violence in particular, is underestimated in official statistics. She conducted research which indicated that, when the cap is removed, violence against women by intimate partners rises by 70 per cent and violence against women by acquaintances by 100 per cent.19

16.Amnesty International UK suggested that if gender inequality is not explicitly recognised “the proposed definition will not advance eradicating domestic abuse”. It explained that:

A gendered understanding and definition of domestic abuse will guide the response to tackle this violation of human rights. This means that statutory guidance, training for professionals, funding modalities and allocation will reflect the needs of women and girls and their diverse experiences.20

17.Respect runs two government funded national helplines for perpetrators of domestic abuse. It welcomed the proposed bill and supported a gendered approach and an acknowledgement of the different needs of male victims. It noted that there was very little data about perpetrators of domestic abuse but explained that “the whole cohort of perpetrators is a large and diverse group. Mainly men, but some women, and including those in same sex relationships”.21

18.Some organisations which provide support and services for male victims of domestic abuse argued that the statutory definition should recognise male victims of domestic abuse. The ManKind Initiative, which provides support to male victims of domestic abuse, supported the Government’s proposed gender neutral statutory definition. It also proposed the creation of a parallel ‘Ending Intimate Violence Against Men and Boys Strategy’ and gender-inclusive training for domestic abuse professionals.22 Families need Fathers suggested that “authorities need to be far more sensitive to the likelihood of men being victims of abuse”. It suggested that there was a stigma attached to men reporting abuse; and said that in cases of family separation, fathers “do not report abuse for fear of repercussions affecting their chances of continuing to have access to their children”.23

19.Dr Elizabeth Bates, University of Cumbria, argued that the Government’s proposed gender-neutral definition was an important step in highlighting that women, men and people within the LGBTQ+ community can be victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse and said that, by contrast, a gendered approach “marginalises men, women in same-sex relationships, and other groups on the gender and sexuality spectrums, such as people who identify as non-binary or queer”.24

20.The Equality and Human Rights Commission stated that Article 6 of the Istanbul convention requires domestic violence policies to be gender-sensitive. In addition, it noted that public authorities must, under the Equality Act 2010, ensure that funding policies and service provision for victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse are designed to meet the needs of specific protected groups. It recommended that “the new statutory definition of domestic abuse should apply to both sexes, but that the disproportionate impact of domestic abuse on women and girls should be explicitly highlighted in the text of the bill and the statutory guidance”.25

21.The aims of the proposed domestic abuse bill include furthering both the Government’s domestic abuse strategy and its Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy. The Government must ensure that it meets both of these objectives. The Bill should provide measures which will help all victims of domestic abuse including women and men, and victims within LGBT and wider family relationships. But it is also essential that future domestic abuse strategy and services should continue to include a focus on women who, because of broader inequality issues, are more likely to be victims of abuse and to suffer disproportionately as a result of abuse.

22.The Government says that it has developed its response to tackling domestic abuse within the context of its wider Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy: this needs to be on the face of the draft bill. We recommend that the Government publishes a Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Bill. We believe that this will facilitate a more effective, joined-up and cross-Government strategy to tackle both domestic abuse and VAWG and will better demonstrate the UK’s commitment to comply with international VAWG conventions.

23.We recommend that the bill explicitly recognises the gender inequality underlying domestic abuse, and the need to reflect this inequality in education programmes, funding, service provision, criminal justice and other statutory responses to domestic abuse. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recommended that the new statutory definition of domestic abuse should apply to both sexes, but that the disproportionate impact of domestic abuse on women and girls is explicitly highlighted in the text of the bill and the statutory guidance. We support this recommendation.

Forms of abuse


24.The Government recognises that there are close ties between domestic abuse and other crimes such as sexual abuse and stalking.26 ONS statistics indicate that around a third of victims of domestic abuse suffer more than one type of abuse, with partner abuse and stalking the most commonly experienced combination.

25.When we asked about the links between domestic abuse and stalking, Rachel Griffin, CEO, Suzy Lamplugh Trust said that around 55% of callers to the National Stalking Helpline were being stalked by an ex-partner. She explained that whilst callers being stalked by an ex-partner or other family member might benefit from the Government’s proposed measures to tackle domestic abuse, there was a risk that others would not be able to access the necessary support. She suggested that the Government’s strategy should have a broader scope and include all violence against women crimes.27 The Equality and Human Rights Commission suggested that online abuse often reflected a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour and that women had become particular targets for abuse and misogynistic harassment. It recommended that the Government should undertake further research into online abuse marked by misogyny and violence against women and girls and develop mechanisms for tackling it.28

26.National Stalking Helpline statistics indicate that, while stalking usually includes a broad range of behaviours, the most common behaviour reported was stalking via social networking sites, closely followed by texts and phone calls.29 Rachel Griffin said that about 75% of calls to the National Stalking Helpline were from people who had been stalked by some kind of technologically-assisted means. However, she added that in most of these cases, perpetrators were using a variety of different means to stalk their victims, both offline and online.30 Laura Richards, Founder, Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service, agreed, and said that online and offline risks must be considered together:

We need to not siphon this off into cybercrime or digitally-assisted crime and create a separate way of talking about it, which some services have been doing, and ensure that we understand that we all live our lives online and offline and the risks exist in both spaces.31

27.Witnesses called for more effective measures to tackle stalking. Paladin has campaigned for a register of serial stalkers and domestic violence offenders so that they can be tracked by the police, and this recommendation was supported by the All Party Parliamentary Law Reform Inquiry in 2012.32 Laura Richards explained that serial stalkers who had offended on two occasions against two separate women would be included on the register.33 She also pointed out that the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (“Clare’s Law”) was dependent on an individual asking about an offender’s history and recommended that the focus be changed so that offenders were tracked as a matter of course by police officers. She added that this had been discussed at a senior police level since 2001 but had still not been implemented.34 Paladin has also made other specific recommendations to the Home Office about measures to tackle stalking.35

28.The Suzy Lamplugh Trust indicated that there is considerable academic research to show that stalking perpetrators have an obsession with their victims which restraining orders or even imprisonment do nothing to address. Its National Stalking Helpline has worked with victims whose perpetrators have continued to stalk them from prison, and others whose stalkers have immediately returned to stalking behaviours within hours of being released from custody. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust advocates a multi-agency approach to stalking, with the close involvement of mental health services in programmes to tackle the behaviour of perpetrators and reduce re-offending.36 Rachel Griffin told us that the Suzy Lamplugh Trust had recently begun a piece of work with colleagues in criminal justice and health to look specifically at how to improve the management of perpetrators of stalking.37

29.Stalking is a serious crime which can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims. Victims of stalking often endure years of abuse before the crime is taken seriously. We were told that existing criminal justice responses were often ineffective in stopping perpetrators. We recommend that a national register of serial stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators, as recommended by Paladin, is introduced as a matter of urgency and that individuals placed on the register should, like registered sex offenders, be managed through multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). We believe that a more integrated VAWG and domestic abuse strategy would support a better statutory response to stalking, and a more joined-up approach to supporting victims and managing the behaviour of perpetrators.

Economic abuse

30.Many of the submissions we received from individuals with personal experience of domestic abuse highlighted the effects of economic abuse. Siân Hawkins, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, Women’s Aid said that the inclusion of economic abuse was a “really positive” step which would help shape understanding of the way that “financial abuse and economic abuse is part of most women’s experiences of domestic abuse and is very often overlooked”.38 Pragna Patel, a founding member of Southall Black Sisters, noted that recognition of economic abuse in the statutory definition would have a material impact upon victims’ ability to seek protection for themselves or their children through the civil courts, since this would enable evidence of economic abuse to be taken into account when considering a victim’s application for legal aid.39

31.Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, Founder and Director, Surviving Economic Abuse explained that economic abuse and coercive control were linked with an increased risk of homicide because victims tended to stay with abusive partners for longer when they did not have the means to get away. She added that perpetrators were often able to continue their economic abuse even after the victim had left and even when the perpetrator did not know the victim’s new address.40 She welcomed the inclusion of economic abuse in the proposed statutory definition and said that raising awareness of economic abuse would help to ensure that victims had access to support services and specialist advocacy to help them end and recover from the abuse.41

Welfare policies

32.Economic abuse can leave victims without access to the financial resources to leave their abusers. Witnesses suggested that the Government’s welfare reform policies were making it even more difficult for survivors of abuse to establish financial independence. Women’s Aid said that welfare reform policies were “having disproportionate impact on survivors”. It pointed in particular to the design of Universal Credit, which by default is paid to one member of the household, saying that it risked increasing a perpetrator’s financial control.42

33.The Work and Pensions Committee examined these issues in detail in its recent report on Universal Credit and domestic abuse and agreed that there was a risk that single household payments could in some circumstances reduce the financial autonomy of women who were victims of abuse.43 A report from the Women’s Budget Group concluded that Universal Credit increased the financial barriers to leaving an abusive partner. It made a number of detailed recommendations, including calling for DWP to develop a working group to develop options for apportioning Universal Credit to each member of a couple, and for DWP to develop a revised Equality Impact Assessment including a detailed gender analysis.

34.The Equality and Human Rights Commission noted that whilst the UK Government had allowed for split Universal Credit payments in exceptional circumstances, this did not provide sufficient protection for survivors of abuse. Surviving Economic Abuse wrote that the arrangement for requesting the payment to be split was “fundamentally flawed” because

However sensitively and carefully a request for split payments might be handled, actively challenging the control exerted through domestic abuse is dangerous. Research shows that the risk of experiencing physical abuse among those who experience economic abuse is nearly five times greater than those who do not. In addition, when women experience economic abuse within a context of coercive control then they are at increased risk of domestic homicide.

Moreover, requests for split payments are made on a case-by-case basis so there is no guarantee that disclosure of domestic or financial abuse will result in an alternative payment being granted. Such arrangements place the burden on survivors to negotiate an exceptional status within the Universal Credit system at the same time as they are seeking to survive a controlling and coercive context. There is currently no clarity about the safety measures in place for survivors making an application for a split payment, including sign-posting to domestic abuse support services. Even if such an application were to be successful, alternative payments are intended to be temporary and are reviewed at three month intervals.

Just twenty requests for split payments of Universal Credit have been made since its inception, reinforcing that this option is not credible.44

SEA, like the EHRC, recommended that the Government should make split payments the default for all couples, in line with the approach taken in Scotland.45

35.Witnesses also referred to other aspects of welfare reform. Women’s Aid called for an end to the benefit cap and the two child tax credit limit, saying that these were creating additional barriers to survivors leaving abusive homes.46 The Women’s Budget Group, along with other organisations, is planning further work to explore its concerns about other aspects of Universal Credit and other welfare policies that have implications for women, and for survivors of domestic abuse.47 Nicola Sharp-Jeffs recommended that the Government establish a fund for victims of domestic abuse. Given that crisis loans and social loans were no longer available, she called for a financial package to help victims of abuse rebuild their lives.48

Support for victims of economic abuse

36.The London Borough of Hackney called for more specialist support for victims of economic abuse, saying that:

Victims of economic abuse experience multiple barriers. They may have been prevented from working, from owning a bank account, from registering benefits in their name. They may have been forced to take loans and accumulate debt in their name. As a result, leaving the abusive situation can become extremely difficult. They have no means to flee and move on to suitable accommodation. If they do flee they could have limited resources and no finances to replenish what they have left behind. They may face enforcement and may feel that little consideration will be taken for their circumstances. The London Borough of Hackney would want to see specialist support provided to victims of economic abuse that prevents them being made destitute or experiencing enforcement as a result of debt.49

37.Some other legislatures have taken a different approach to helping victims of abuse maintain their economic independence. Earlier this year, New Zealand passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence ten days paid leave to allow them time, on leaving an abusive partner, to find a new home and put measures in place to protect themselves and their children. New Zealand’s new law also allows victims to ask for flexible working arrangements and makes discrimination against victims illegal. One of the aims of the legislation is to help women retain their jobs, and their economic independence, whilst dealing with the upheaval associated with leaving an abusive relationship. Similar laws also exist in the Philippines and in Canada, at a provincial level.50

Financial institutions

38.UK Finance highlighted steps which the financial services industry is making towards supporting victims of economic abuse, and also identified some remaining legal issues regarding the separation of joint assets and liabilities.51 The Lloyds Banking Group said that further legal clarification on issues relating to the division of assets and liabilities, and on the impact of the Government’s proposed new Protection Notice would enable financial institutions to provide more help to victims of economic abuse. It also said that, with the increased use of internet and mobile banking, there was a continued need to help victims and potential victims understand what was healthy behaviour, and how to keep their financial information safe.52 On 10 October 2018 UK Finance launched a new voluntary code of practice on financial abuse for UK banks, “to bring increased awareness and better understanding of what financial abuse looks like for firms, colleagues, victims, potential victims and their families, and ensure more consistency in the support available for those who need it”.53

39.We welcome the Government’s recognition that domestic abuse can take different forms of coercive or controlling behaviour, and that it can be displayed not only through a single act of serious abuse, but also through a series of incidents. Economic abuse is associated with an increased risk of homicide because victims tend to stay with abusive partners for longer when they do not have the financial means to leave. The inclusion of economic abuse in the Government’s proposed statutory definition is a positive step, both in terms of allowing it to be included as part of a wider pattern of abuse and as criminally abusive in its own right, even in relationships where no violent abuse is involved. In light of the Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion’s recommendation that there should be a statutory duty of care for financial service providers,54 we recommend that the Government look at options for strengthening the current voluntary code of practice on financial abuse, to include the possibility of introducing a duty of care to protect victims of financial abuse. We note that New Zealand has recently passed legislation granting paid leave for victims of domestic abuse, in order to help victims keep their jobs and maintain their economic independence whilst escaping abuse. We believe this has the potential to save lives. The Government should analyse the potential impact of domestic abuse leave and consult on options for introducing domestic abuse leave in the UK.

40.Parliament has acknowledged the importance of dividing resources within a couple household since the middle of the twentieth century. In 1945, following a campaign by the independent MP Eleanor Rathbone, the House of Commons decided on a free vote that Family Allowance should be paid to the mother rather than to the father.

41.Since then, the structure of benefit payments has been periodically revised, with different administrations bringing proposals before the House. In 1977, with the creation of Child Benefit and again in 1986, following the intervention of poverty campaigners in respect of the proposed Family Credit, it was determined that these resources should be paid to the mother.

42.By 2001, after initial plans to pay new tax credits to the main earner were changed, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury recognised the importance of providing resources to the main carer, stating during debate on the Tax Credits Bill that it “does make a difference” and adding “We need to have the transfer of money from wallet [father] to purse [mother] in order to meet the particular needs that children have”.55 That no payments under Universal Credit are made to the main carer by default, after decades in which the importance of independent resource for the main carer has been recognised, appears to be a particularly retrograde and damaging step.

43.Witnesses suggested that the Government’s welfare reform policies were making it even more difficult for victims to leave their abusers and establish financial independence. We heard that the default single household payment for Universal Credit can reduce the autonomy of some women, make them more vulnerable to abuse and more likely to stay with an abuser. We recommend that the UK Government should make split payments standard for all couples in England and Wales, in line with the approach taken in Scotland.

Promoting awareness of domestic abuse

44.The Government’s consultation paper provided examples of “wide-ranging action” being taken to improve understanding of domestic abuse across many statutory agencies, including statutory guidance, targeted resources and training.56 Witnesses suggested that there was considerable scope for improvement. Andrea Simon, Public Affairs Manager, End Violence Against Women coalition, pointed to the important role which training of health service workers could play to increase early interventions, saying that if GPs, hospital workers and others were appropriately trained, they could identify abuse, disrupt perpetrators of abuse and then signpost those women to help and support.57 Rachel Griffin suggested that there was a need for training of staff throughout the police and justice systems in relation to recognising reports of stalking and responding appropriately.58 Laura Richards agreed, saying that Paladin had developed training modules for the police but had only had a limited uptake. She cited evidence that, in the period 2015–17, 49 women who were being stalked and who had contacted the police had then been murdered, and said that efforts were not being made by the police to establish good practice. Nor were police leaders being held to account.59

45.Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs said that, in her view, the police tended to regard economic abuse as a low priority and were not sufficiently well-trained to recognise signs of coercive control and understand the links between coercive control and increased risk of homicide.60 She added that there were no “quick fixes” because change was dependent on challenging often deep-seated attitudes towards entitlement to money and economic resources.61

46.The LGA agreed that the ultimate aim of the Government’s domestic abuse strategy should be to prevent domestic abuse from occurring. It was supportive of the early intervention and prevention approach set out in the Government’s consultation. It provided some local authority best practice examples, such as a scheme in Norfolk to train professionals in health and in education about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse early on, and how to respond.62 Councillor Blackburn spoke strongly in favour of a greater focus on preventative measures. He called for much more investment in early interventions, working with perpetrators and in schools to make sure that people understand what a healthy relationship is and for men to understand what is and is not acceptable behaviour.63 He told us that:

I think we need to stop domestic abuse happening in the first place and the way that you do that is through education. We now have two generations of children and young people who have been brought up on a diet of hardcore internet pornography, who do not understand what a healthy, respectful relationship looks like. I think it is beholden on us to make sure that young men and young women understand what that looks like.64

47.The Government’s consultation paper set out the work led by the Department of Education regarding school education programmes for young people on healthy relationships. It asked what else could be done to help young people learn about positive relationships. The LGA stated that education programmes “must include what children and young people are watching online, and the impact this is having on their views about appropriate behaviour in a relationship”.65 Sian Hawkins, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs, Women’s Aid, pointed to the influence of popular TV programmes with large audiences. She told us that by commenting on behaviours in TV programmes , Women’s Aid had started a national conversation about these issues. She said that “lots of women on Twitter and on social media are saying thank you to Women’s Aid for calling this behaviour out”.66

48.The Institute of Alcohol Studies pointed to the link between alcohol misuse and domestic violence, saying that “multiple studies have suggested that a substantial portion of domestic violence perpetrators have been drinking at the time of their assault”.67 The Government’s consultation paper refers to ONS data which indicates that “in one third of domestic violence incidents, the victim believed the offender to be under the influence of alcohol”.68 The Institute of Alcohol Studies pointed to the benefits of population-level action rather than just a focus on offenders, and called for Government action on alcohol availability, marketing, and price.69 It also referred to the influence of alcohol marketing on the attitudes of young people, saying that:

Children are regularly subjected to harmful gender stereotypes, perpetuated through alcohol advertising, which promote and normalise the objectification of women, and potentially, domestic violence and sexual assault.70

49.SafeLives proposed that the Government initiate a national campaign to change public attitudes towards domestic abuse.71 The End Violence Against Women coalition agreed, calling for “a public health based, whole community attempt to challenge the acceptability and tolerance of [abusive] behaviour, as has been done with drink-driving for example”.72 Barnardos recommended that the Home Office recommit to its 2013 This is Abuse Campaign, to help raise the profile of abuse among young people:

The campaign targeted 13 to 18 year old boys and girls to understand what constitutes abusive relationships using a storyline in Hollyoaks to illustrate the issues. Supporting work for the campaign included a Home Office-produced resource for teachers, support workers and other professionals who work with young people. Updating this campaign through social media platforms could help encourage healthy relationships amongst today’s teens.73

50.We strongly support the introduction of further measures to prevent domestic abuse, to improve the identification and response to domestic abuse by organisations and to educate young people about healthy relationships. More training, central guidance and national oversight is required to ensure that public sector staff dealing with members of the public can identify signs of domestic abuse, respond appropriately and know how to help victims of domestic abuse access whatever specialist support they may need.

51.Relationship education in schools is an important part of the awareness programme. It is regrettable that the establishment of compulsory relationship and sex education has now been delayed until 2020. This should be a meaningful part of building awareness. However other initiatives will also be required to challenge representations of abusive behaviour in the media, on social media and in marketing messages. The Government must allocate sufficient funding for these programmes to be effective and establish a mechanism for determining priorities and evaluating the impact of different initiatives.

52.We recommend that the Government ensures that its awareness raising and training programmes address the objectives of its VAWG strategy as well as its domestic abuse strategy, and that it develops a coordinated approach to challenging all forms of abusive behaviour towards women and girls. The proposed Commissioner should be given powers to investigate the availability and effectiveness of prevention programmes, training for public service staff and awareness campaigns, and to make recommendations for their improvement.

8 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p11–13

9 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p13

10 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p8

11 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p9

12 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p9

13 The Government’s Violence against Women and Girls Strategy 2016–2020 was published in March 2016, and aims to eliminate violence against women and girls. The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention is an international set of standards designed to address domestic violence and violence against women. The UK has signed the Convention and the government states in its domestic abuse consultation paper that it is committed to ratifying the Convention into UK national law as soon as possible.

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19 The Telegraph, ‘Domestic abuse could not be further from gender neutral. Wake up Britain’, 11 June 2015:

26 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p10

32 Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Stalking Law Reform: Main Findings and Recommendations, February 2012:

34 The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme allows police to disclose to individuals details of their partners’ abusive pasts

35 Paladin, Response to the Home Office Consultation on New Protective Orders, January 2016

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43 Work and Pensions Committee, Seventeenth Report of Session 2017–19, Universal Credit and domestic abuse, HC 1166, 1 August 2018:

47 Women’s Budget Group, Universal Credit & Financial Abuse: Exploring the links, June 2018

50 BBC News, ‘New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave’, 25 July 2018:

53 UK Finance, Financial Abuse Code of Practice, August 2018: (accessed 12 October 2018)

54 DVA0136; House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion, Report of Session 2016–17, Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone?, HL paper 132, 25 March 2017:

55 HC Deb 10 December 2001 c682

56 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p17

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68 HM Government, Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Government Consultation, 8 March 2018, p11

Published: 22 October 2018