Domestic Abuse Bill

This Bill is in draft form and is now at Committee stage.

The current wording of the Bill is quite gender-balanced. However, we need to ensure that it stays that way. link to draft Bill

Press coverage bias

Equi-law scanned the press at the end of January to see if there was gender-bias in the way the launch of this Bill was reported. Of the 12 news reports (print and BBC) only 2 reported the statistics (that about 1/3 of domestic violence is against men) and 100% of the reports were written as though DV only affects women.

Consultation on the Bill

There was extensive consultation before the Bill was drafted and the draft wording is gender-balanced to some degree. The Bill is now at Committee stage and has received over 70 written submissions. Equi-law has analysed the submissions (These figures are approximate as many submissions were complex and the categories assigned subjectively.):

  • Concerning abortion: both in favour and against using this Bill to extend access – 19 (26%)
  • Technical improvements: dealing with detail in the Bill – 19 (26%)
  • Submissions to move the Bill towards a ‘females are the primary victims’ view – 20 (28%)
  • Submissions to maintain the gender-neutrality of the Bill – 3 (4%)
  • Other submissions 16%

Joint (Lords and Commons) Select Committee

  • Commons
    • Diana Johnson
    • Gillian Keegan
    • Mrs Maria Miller
    • Alex Norris
    • Helen Whately
    • Liz Saville Roberts
  • Lords
    • Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top
    • Baroness Bertin
    • Lord Blair of Boughton
    • Baroness Burt of Solihull
    • Lord Farmer
    • Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede

Written submissions

Equi-law UK, The Mankind Initiative and Families need Fathers all made written submissions to the Select Committee looking at the draft Domestic Abuse Bill.  Dozens of women’s organisations made written submissions and also were called to give verbal submissions to the committee. (April 2019)

The women’s groups have managed to persuade the committee to recommend to government to change the current gender-neutral working to ‘reflect the gendered nature of the crime’.  (June 2019)

Men need to stand up for men

No-one supports abuse against women and men naturally stand up to defend women who are abused. However, until men stand up to defend their fellow men and organise at least half as well as the women do (currently we do less than 5%), then we can expect to continue to have domestic abuse of men largely ignored. (June 2019)