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  1. ITV Report

'Life changing' Domestic Abuse Bill faces further delays due to general election

A domestic abuse charity and leading campaigners have expressed their frustration that a December general election has halted the progression of a Domestic Abuse Bill.

SafeLives said the timing is 'hugely frustrating' after all the hard work that has been put into the bill over such a long period of time.

Domestic abuse campaigners at the door of number 10

Domestic abuse campaigner Claire Throssell has been at the forefront of the campaign for new laws since her two sons Jack,12, and Paul,9, were murdered by her estranged husband in 2014.

For Claire, the boys' death sparked her commitment to prevent a future tragedy.

"I promised both of them that no other parent would have to hold their children in their arms, as they die, knowing it had been at the hands of the other parent who should love them and cherish them as much as I did."but faces further delay in seeing it becoming law due to parliament gearing up for a general election.

Claire Throssell, whose children were killed by her abusive ex-husband in 2014

The Domestic Abuse Bill was originally introduced in Parliament back in July.

The proposals would give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.

It would also introduce the first legal Government definition of domestic abuse, which would include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.

173 People died in domestic violence-related homicides last year.

173
People died in domestic violence-related homicides last year.

The bill has already faced parliamentary delays following the prorogation of the House a few months ago. Former president of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, called for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be brought back before MPs when Parliament was prorogued.

He said:

This is a vitally important Bill, tackling what everyone agrees is a very great social evil.

"The Bill must be reintroduced in Parliament as soon as the next session starts. It must then be pursued to the earliest possible conclusion of the parliamentary process with determination, vigour and a real sense of urgent commitment on the part of Government."

"What the Prime Minister does or not will be a vital litmus test of his real commitment to safeguarding those in our society who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and oppressed."

– Sir James Munby

The Bill Committee may still sit this week but campaigners say their priority now is to keep focus and to make sure they are making the best case they can to ensure fully funded, comprehensive domestic abuse support makes it into every party manifesto.

Domestic abuse is one of the only topics which has managed to unite the House in the last three years.