I’M lucky, I have never experienced the horror of domestic abuse. But so many of us know someone who has, even if they have never felt able to talk about it.
From physical violence to manipulation and emotional abuse, nearly two million are suffering every day.
Getty – Contributor Nearly two million men and women are suffering some form of domestic abuse every day
Victims in their own homes. Trapped in fear in the very place they should feel most safe. We cannot allow that to continue.
From my first days as an MP over 20 years ago, I have heard heart-breaking stories of those who have suffered, and I have been proud to work with brilliant charities and campaigners leading the call for change.
They have fought to properly recognise all forms of this horrific crime — to bring the abusers to justice and get the victims to safety.
In government, I have been determined to do exactly that.
We will only end the suffering if those who flee an abusive partner have a safe place to goTheresa May
As Home Secretary, I changed the law to make coercive and controlling behaviour a crime.
Because domestic abuse is not just physical — it can also be psychological, and be every bit as damaging.
Now as Prime Minister, I have introduced a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill.
It will give the police and courts tougher powers to tackle perpetrators and establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to be a champion for all victims.
For the first time, the law will also define economic abuse — where an offender exerts control over someone by restricting their access to things like cash or the car.
Getty Images – Getty Theresa May speaks of her determination to do all she can to help defeat all forms of domestic abuse
When we launched the Bill in draft, one woman only realised she was suffering from this particular form of abuse after hearing about it on a phone-in.
This shows how important it is to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and to tackle the stigma that often stops people seeking the help they need.
But together we must go further. Because we will only end the suffering if those who flee an abusive partner have a safe place to go.’END THE POSTCODE LOTTERY’
Many councils already provide vital, life-saving support services. And last year we committed £22million to provide over 2,200 new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation.
We need to end the postcode lottery and ensure that every part of the country is served. So today, I am announcing that all councils will have a legal duty to support domestic abuse survivors and their children — backed by government funding to ensure councils have the resources to deliver.
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Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever the abuse you face, you will have access to the services you need to be safe. That is what The Sun has rightly called for. And it is what I am determined to deliver.
Because abuse is abuse. Domestic or not. It has no place in our country and together we must, and will, defeat it.
The PMs new bill is a victory for The Suns Give Me Shelter campaign
Safe At Last takes viewers inside a woman’s refuge to meet survivors of domestic abuse