Given our support of Women’s Aid, it is important that we promote news stories concerning domestic abuse.Not only will this help to promote the charity, it will also raise awareness of the matter and remove the stigma around domestic violence.
This week it was announced that three quarters of MPs have dealt with domestic violence matters in their constituencies within the last 3 months.
This brought great attention to matters of coercive control by partners, specifically “gaslighting”. Gaslighting is a term referring to when an abuser convinces their partner that they are suffering from a mental illness despite no medical diagnosis. Coercive control is covered in the Serious Crime Act 2015 but many consider it not to be explicit enough with regards to gaslighting.
It is encouraging to see that Parliament seems keen to strengthen the law on domestic abuse and violence. Prime Minister Theresa May said that “we are currently looking for ideas on how the offence can be further strengthened, to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Over 100 MPs backed the campaign to strengthen the imminent bill on domestic abuse.
This new legislation has led Theresa May to explain her own personal experience of hearing domestic abuse stories from victims. She has made it clear that this is an area that requires immediate attention and that it is a priority to make the law reflect the seriousness of the issue.
However, despite the good news of reform, this does bring attention to the volume of incidents taking place on a daily basis.
The Guardian recently published details of the financial cuts that have affected victims of domestic abuse. They found that millions of pounds previously available to fund the refuges for vulnerable people have since been cut. Despite the introduction of new legislation to help strengthen the protection of domestic abuse victims, this needs to be supported by sufficient funding for refuges and other integral protection systems.
It is really important to end by mentioning Women’s Aid.
“Women’s Aid have been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic abuse for over 40 years. By empowering women who have been affected by domestic abuse, listening to their experiences and working in partnership with other domestic abuse services, we aim to build a society in which domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.”
Do not hesitate to contact Women’s Aid if you are suffering or know of someone who is a victim of domestic abuse.