To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what measures are in place to protect female victims of domestic abuse during a police investigation.
22 September 2022
This Government is committed to protecting all victims of domestic abuse and is working in partnership with police forces across England and Wales to keep victims safe.
The police have measures at their disposal to protect victims of domestic abuse during a police investigation. These include pre-charge bail conditions and protective orders such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO). Following an incident of violence, or the threat of violence, the police can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) to provide immediate protection to the victim for 48 hours by, for example, prohibiting the person subject to the notice from contacting the victim. The DVPN is then followed by a DVPO in a magistrate’s court.
In the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, the Government committed to launching a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Order, to be piloted from next year. These will go even further in protecting victims from all forms of domestic abuse. This will include making a breach of a new order a criminal offence and having no minimum or maximum duration. The Government is currently undergoing extensive work to prepare the new order for piloting from next year.
To strengthen the police response to cases of domestic abuse and help domestic abuse victims and survivors, the Government also committed in the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan up to £3.3 million over three years to support the rollout of the Domestic Abuse Matters training, to forces which have yet to deliver it, or do not have their own specific domestic abuse training. This training developed by the College of Policing in conjunction with SafeLives and with input from Women’s Aid, aims to ensure the police know how to best respond to victims of domestic abuse, understanding its impact on victims, and standardises the police response to domestic abuse.
We continue to work closely with the College to encourage the remaining forces to take up the Domestic Abuse Matters programme.
The Home Office is also planning to double funding for survivors of sexual violence and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline by 2024-25, and further increase funding for all the national helplines it supports. Our Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan invests £140 million to support victims, including over £47 million in ringfenced funding for victims’ services and £27 million is currently ringfenced funding for 700 ISVAs and IDVAs.