A piece in today’s Times by Will Quince MP, minister for welfare delivery, further evidence of the corruption of government departments by Women’s Aid:
Domestic abuse is often a hidden crime that has long-lasting impacts for those affected — mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.
Whole families suffer as a result of domestic abuse and I have met those who have gone through the most terrible experiences. Hearing their stories and seeing the courage and bravery they’ve shown has emphasised to me the importance of the Domestic Abuse Bill and the need to provide compassionate and timely support.
This landmark bill has now passed through the House of Commons and is making its way through the House of Lords before it is enshrined into law. It will have a huge impact on the way domestic abuse is treated within our justice system, bringing increased protection for survivors.
For the first time there will be recognition of economic abuse, highlighting the devastating impacts that perpetrators have on victims by restricting access to essential resources such as food and denying them means to improve their status, for example through employment.
In my work as minister for welfare delivery I have visited centres which provide life-saving services and secure accommodation for families fleeing abusers, helping survivors to cope and recover from trauma, as well as providing practical help with finances, housing, legal matters, health, education and employment.
Specialist organisations such as Women’s Aid provide expert support to women affected and, at the Department for Work and Pensions, we work closely with them to understand how to identify and support those who have experienced abuse. [J4MB emphasis]
Our Jobcentre staff are trained to spot the signs of abuse, signpost people to third-party support and help open a new universal credit claim where their abuser will no longer have access to their money. We can also put in place an advance, where needed, to provide quicker access to funds.
Whether support is being provided in person at a Jobcentre, over the phone or online, our staff are sensitive to the fact that victims often find it difficult to come forward and do everything they can to ensure victims know that they are in a safe space.
It’s a priority for me to continue to address the issues faced by those who have suffered, making sure that we provide the same level of tailored support that’s given to other vulnerable groups.
I am working closely with colleagues across government to achieve this because it’s crucial that we are joined-up in our approach to support people with complex needs.
I am also looking at how vulnerable groups interact with universal credit and what we can do to help improve their experience. I want to ensure the most vulnerable people can easily access the support they’re entitled to, including survivors of abuse.
The Domestic Abuse Bill has been welcomed by many and with this commitment, and other measures, we are working to transform the response to domestic abuse and change social attitudes that keep these crimes behind closed doors.
Our approach has been designed to put survivors first. And it sends the message that if you are experiencing domestic abuse, we are here to help you.
And it doesn’t stop with parliament. Everyone in society has a duty to bring the needs of families fleeing abusive households to the fore. So together let us shine a light on domestic abuse to ensure this crime does not remain hidden in the shadows.
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