The Domestic Abuse Commissioner responds to Victims and Prisoners Bill

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, said today: “The victim’s bill has been long awaited by very many impacted by crime including domestic abuse and sexual assault and those working to support them, so today’s introduction of the legislation is welcome. 

I had hoped the Victims Bill would transform and even revolutionise the response to victims but in its current form it’s disappointingly far from the big picture promises we want to see.  

This bill needs to go much further by ensuring there is access to support and services for all victims as well as a co-ordinated approach and sustainable funding for specialist domestic abuse and ‘By and for’ services.

Victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence deserve to be supported at every stage of the criminal justice system, not after things have gone wrong. This means investing early on, so victims get the support they need from the outset which includes funding a wide array of community based services as well as IDVAs.

I am concerned that the new elements of this bill around prisoners and probation may detract attention from the key challenges and issues that victims face. These additions will need to be fully scrutinised so we can understand the impact they will have on survivors.

I will work hard with Government and other organisations including the Children’s Commissioner’s Office and domestic abuse charities to make this legislation more robust for victims. until they are able to get the justice they need and deserve.”