Victoria Atkins spent time at our women’s centre, experiencing the daily tasks of our staff; she sat down and chatted with Advance CEO, Niki Scordi and a domestic abuse survivor.
Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women said:
‘for the first time we are going to have a cross government definition of what domestic abuse is… We are really keen to get the message out that it is not just restricted to physical violence. Domestic abuse can include sexual abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour and it can include economic abuse’
Niki Scordi, CEO of Advance said:
‘We are seeing 25% more referrals than we were a year ago. So we are getting women contacting us or being referred into our services. We are also seeing women with much higher level of risk. With those kinds of pressures, and those kinds of needs, when funding is also under pressure… in our area we are looking at 10% funding cuts next year so an increase in need and a bill like this will raise awareness and people will expect support’
In July, Victoria Atkins introduced the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to the House of Commons. The Bill sets out, for the first time, a legal definition of Domestic Abuse and will strengthen the protection offered to victims of this multi-faceted crime. It demonstrates her determination to ensure that victims feel safe and supported when seeking help and rebuilding their lives and that perpetrators feel the full force of the law.