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New draft bill to stop victims of domestic abuse facing cross examination by perpetrators

Labour and charities urged the government to provide sufficient and sustainable for the draft legislation

SURVIVORS of domestic abuse will no longer face cross examination by perpetrators in family courts under a new draft Bill.

The change is part of draft legislation published today that will also introduce the first statutory government definition of domestic abuse to include economic and psychological abuse.

In response to the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) draft Bill, Labour and charities urged the government to provide sufficient and sustainable funding so that its aims can be carried out.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “On average two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. Survivors of domestic violence have been made to wait too long for this Bill.

“If the Tories are serious about combatting domestic violence, then there should be long-term funding commitments to ensure sufficient resources are available for abuse survivors.”

Sandra Horley, chief executive of the charity Refuge, said that the government’s aim to address domestic violence must be “matched by adequate resource.”

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said “sustainable funding” must be provided so that the charity can continue to “make a real difference to survivors’ lives.”

The Home Office says tackling domestic abuse cost England and Wales £66 billion in 2016-17.

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