On 29th July Baroness Gale asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that any data collected on domestic abuse includes the abuse of people over the age of 74.” The Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, asked a follow up question, focusing onhow faith communities could become part of a solution to domestic abuse.
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I have sad personal experience of a family situation where the perpetrator of the abuse was an older person, and we are all fearful that lockdown may have led to an increase in such instances. In that context, I am pleased that my diocese of Rochester is the first in the Church of England to establish a strategic partnership with the White Ribbon Campaign. In a world where such abuse, especially when it involves older people, often remains hidden, will the Minister commit to meeting with Members of these Benches, and perhaps other faith leaders, to discuss how the Domestic Abuse Bill’s guidance might empower faith communities to be part of the solution?
On 25th June, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, asked the Government an Oral Question on their plans to work with faith communities to address violence against women. She then asked a follow-up question about the Domestic Abuse Bill.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to work with faith communities to address violence against women.
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Minister of State, Home Office): My Lords, I welcome the important role that faith communities have played, and will continue to play, in tackling violence against women and girls in all its forms. Alongside our ongoing engagement with faith groups, Home Office officials are working on the next phase of the Government’s plan to end violence against women and girls. As part of our stakeholder engagement work, we will be reaching out to faith leaders and communities to seek their views.
On 6th May 2020 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked a question in the House of Lords during its virtual proceedings, on domestic violence and support during the pandemic. The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow-up question:
On 10th March 2020 the House of Lords held a debate to mark International Women’s Day, on a motion from Baroness Berridge, “That this House takes note of International Women’s Day and the United Kingdom’s role in advancing equalities for women everywhere.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, spoke in the debate, highlighting the issues of global education, violence against women and women’s treatment in the criminal justice system:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, it is a privilege to participate in this debate, although I am disappointed not to be in New York at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which was cancelled last week. This event was to celebrate the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, published 25 years ago, which saw countries agree to dedicate themselves unreservedly to addressing constraints and obstacles to gender equality, thus enhancing the empowerment of women and girls all over the world. There is still much to do. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester speech in International Women’s Day debate”
On 10th March 2020 Baroness Donaghy asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the financial sustainability of women’s refuges.” The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow-up question:
On 9th March 2020 Baroness Sanderson of Welton asked the Government “what funding has been allocated for a public information campaign to accompany the Domestic Abuse Bill.” The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, asked a follow-up question:
On 23rd July 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer, from Baroness Williams of Trafford, regarding domestic abuse in rural areas:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans:HL17325 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the National Rural Crime Network Domestic Abuse in Rural Areas, published on 17 July.
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): On 16 July we introduced our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to parliament, setting out our intention to transform the response to domestic abuse. Our Domestic Abuse Bill and wider action plan will help to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything they can both to protect and support them and their children and pursue their abuser.
We will consider the findings of the report. Whether it takes place in our rural communities or cities, we are supporting Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, so they can deploy resources as they best see fit to tackle crime, including domestic abuse.
The new Domestic Abuse Commissioner will play an important role in monitoring the provision of services for victims of domestic abuse, including those in rural communities.
On 16th July 2019 the Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford repeated a Government statement about domestic abuse. The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, I crave the forbearance of the House. I have two questions; one of my own and one from the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham, who, due to the adjournment, has had to leave. My question relates to the needs of very vulnerable people, mainly women, on release from prison.
During my visits to our local women’s prison, I have learned that a higher proportion of women in prison than is the case in the general population come from violent and abusive relationships. It is critical that such women and other vulnerable people who have been abused are released into a safe, secure place with secure accommodation. Is the Minister aware that on occasion, due to things such as poor communication between the probation service in prison and the probation service outside prison, things go wrong and, tragically, a woman is released into danger.
On 22nd March 2018 Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to support survivors of domestic abuse and to prevent future abuse.” The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for introducing this important debate. It is crucial that we hold together support for victims and prevention. To get value for our investment we need to push back against the space that allows this crime to happen. I want to offer one or two thoughts about the framework within which resources need to be spent, and about the challenge to the Minister and to local authorities in the complexities that we are trying to deal with. The smaller the budget, the greater the odds against anything working. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby on need for focus on funding, relationship education and reformation as ways to tackle domestic abuse”
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I wish to comment only briefly today, first by paying tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for her work on this issue and by thanking both her and my right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans for their initial work during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act. Secondly, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, for his commitment to addressing this issue. I also need to declare an interest as an ambassador for the charity Restored, an international Christian alliance that seeks to end violence against women.