Valerie’s Law debate

This is an important debate because it is a fact that Black, Asian and minority ethnic women are more likely to experience domestic violence for longer, and which is more likely to escalate before they seek help.

In 2019 I stood on a manifesto that promised to prioritise addressing domestic abuse by ensuring women have a better experience of criminal justice agencies. 

In 2021 the Domestic Abuse bill became law and created a statutory definition of domestic abuse emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, coercive, or controlling, and economic abuse. 

I voted for Clause 22 which attempted to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse have recourse to public funds and Clause 23 which includes a statutory duty for public authorities to commission specialist support services for all people affected by domestic abuse. Unfortunately, both these clauses fell.

I know that laws are only as good as their application and enforcement, and I agree completely that cultural differences must be taken account when training for, and the delivering of services by support agencies and the police.