Don Foster MP*
NEWS AND MEDIA PAGES


ACTION NEEDED TO TACKLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

For too long there has been inadequate action to tackle the serious problem of domestic violence, according to Don, who sets out his views in this article written for The Bath Chronicle.

Main ImageFor too long there has been inadequate action to tackle the serious problem of domestic violence. It IS a serious problem. Last year, half a million domestic violence attacks were reported Ė thatís nearly twenty percent of all reported violent attacks. But the actual number was much higher. Surveys show that about half of all victims of such attacks donít report them. They suffer in silence, fearful of what their neighbours and friends might say or worried about what the effect of speaking out might be on their children. So weíre probably talking about a staggering one million domestic violence attacks a year.

And while all violent attacks - such as in the street, football ground or pub - are repugnant, domestic violence is frequently worse because it often takes place over a prolonged period of time and can involve psychological and sexual violence as well as physical violence.

The taboo surrounding domestic violence and the, understandable, reluctance of the police to become involved in family relationships has made it difficult to tackle the issue. Despite that, I congratulate the organisations in Bath and elsewhere that have been helping those victims who have come forward.

But now, at last, parliament is debating new legislation which should provide further help. Its measures include making it easier for the police to arrest suspects of domestic violence, establishing a 24 hour help-line for victims and requiring various public bodies to work together on the issue. And to encourage victims to come forward, the proposed new law will allow victims to remain anonymous.

While I will be supporting the proposals, there are a number of further measures currently not included but which should be, not least in respect of protecting children caught up in domestic violence. I am also anxious to ensure that, regardless of their wealth, all domestic violence victims have equal access to protection, support and justice.

I am delighted that the Chronicle has recognised the importance of this issue. Only by getting more people to recognise the importance of it will we begin the process of of helping those who have often suffered in silence for far too long.

This article published: 30/04/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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