Published on
29 April 2021

Barnardo’s has issued a statement following the news that the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent today (April 29th), four years after it was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “It has been a long time coming but I’m very pleased the Domestic Abuse Bill has finally become law today, four years after it was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

“Living in a home with domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on children’s wellbeing, education and future relationships, and the trauma often follows them into adulthood.

“For years children have been labelled as ‘witnesses’ or ‘bystanders’, but from today the law will recognise that children are direct victims of domestic abuse. And children who have been uprooted from their home and moved into a refuge for their own safety should be able to access the support they need to recover.

“This landmark legislation marks a vital step forward, but much more needs to be done. Most domestic abuse victims, including children, remain in their family home, often relying on community-based domestic abuse services for help. However, provision of these support services is still patchy - especially for children.

“Following consistent calls from Barnardo’s and a coalition of organisations supporting women and children, and fantastic advocacy by a group of cross-party MPs and Peers, the Government has committed to consult on community-based domestic abuse services this summer. It is vital that the Government seeks views on the introduction of a statutory duty to ensure all child and adult victims can access support no matter where they live, and that perpetrators have access to high-quality programmes to tackle offending. Only then will we make real progress in breaking the cycle of abuse.”