This page will be updated with rolling coverage as more details emerge of the Domestic Abuse Bill

00:01 - Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Domestic Abuse Bill returns to Parliament

As a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse, Hestia welcomes the re-introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament today.

Domestic abuse can infiltrate every aspect of a person’s life with long term consequences and devastating results. The Domestic Abuse Bill provides an opportunity for a monumental shift in society’s response and the chance to break the cycle of abuse. Over 150 Parliamentarians signed our Charter on Prevention, to ensure that the Bill supports all victims of domestic abuse, including children and more still needs to be done to ensure they are not left on the sidelines. 

However, there is a gaping hole in the Bill's foundations; it overlooks the critical role of employers in tackling this crime. Seventy-five per cent of people enduring abuse are targeted at work, and 40% of domestic abuse homicides happen on or near a victim’s work premises – the one place that perpetrators know they can find them.

Through our Everyone’s Business programme we have worked with over 60 employers such as the Metropolitan Police, EY and Balfour Beatty to increase awareness and support in the workplace for those affected by domestic abuse.

For a truly effective Bill, domestic abuse response needs to be built into existing laws surrounding an employer’s duty of care. 

Jo Tilley-Riley, Director, Hestia says:

"The ‘leave your personal life at home’ mentality has plagued British workplaces for far too long. This Bill offers a real chance to transform the response to domestic abuse in the workplace. Our work with employers shows that offering the right support in the workplace makes a real difference and changes lives.  

We have no problem in seeking support from our managers when we’re suffering with our physical health, so it shouldn’t be any different when we need support when experiencing domestic abuse.

This is a once in a life time piece of legislation and we must get it right."

12:00 - Tuesday 19th November 2019

Hestia joins SafeLives call asking prospective parliamentary candidates to #invest2endabuse this general election

It feels like Brexit is the only thing that this general election is about. But when two women a week die at the hands of their partners or ex-partners, and one in five children experience domestic abuse growing up, it’s time we focused on the issues which are ruining lives every day.

We want to see a domestic abuse bill return to Parliament with a commitment to a full statutory duty on local authorities so that vital domestic abuse services in the community are commissioned for all adult and child victims, as well as perpetrators of abuse.

We are calling on every candidate in this general election to commit to ensuring every single individual affected by domestic abuse can access the support they need, whilst perpetrators receive interventions to change their behaviour.

Join our call to #Invest2EndAbuse and help to end the postcode lottery for adult and child victims and survivors.

Learn more about the campaign

09:00 - Tuesday 16th July 2019

Today, the Domestic Abuse Bill is introduced to parliament with a first reading in the House of Commons, following extensive consultation with cross-sector organisations including Hestia and our national campaign against domestic abuse, UK SAYS NO MORE.

We welcome the Bill as a positive first step, but in order to ensure it lives up to its landmark potential, it must go further, particularly around support enshrined for children affected.

Read the Government's announcement on the Domestic Abuse Bill being introduced to Parliament.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE, said:

 “Domestic abuse can affect every aspect of a person’s life and for children who also experience domestic abuse in the family home, it can have long-term consequences with devastating results. We already know that 59% of millennials experienced anxiety, depression or PTSD as a result of childhood exposure to domestic abuse. It is clear that children are victims too.

The Bill must grant these children special waiting list status to all NHS services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Support at this time is crucial for children to reduce the long term impact and vital to breaking the cycle of abuse. The recent change to the school admissions code is a fantastic achievement but we must not fall at the last hurdle.

The Domestic Abuse Bill is a once in a lifetime legislation that will help us create a monumental shift in society’s response to domestic abuse and allow all those experiencing domestic abuse access to vital services. We must not fail another generation.”

15:00 - Monday 17th June 2019

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced changes to school admissions code in England, making it easier for children fleeing domestic abuse to secure new school places. The announcement follows our research with Pro Bono Economics and UK SAYS NO MORE, which supports our long-term call for priority access to school places for children affected by abuse, highlighting the economic cost of failing to support them in this manner (up to £790 million in educational costs).

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE, said:

Domestic abuse can affect every aspect of a person’s life and for children who experience domestic abuse in the family home, it can have long-term consequences. We already know from our campaign work for the Domestic Abuse Bill that 42% of millennials who experienced domestic abuse as a child were either excluded or suffered from low academic performance as a direct result.

That is why today’s announcement by the Education Secretary to guarantee school places more quickly for those fleeing domestic abuse is vital to keeping families safe. The forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill could create a monumental shift in society’s response to domestic abuse and allow all those experiencing domestic abuse access to vital services to break the cycle of abuse. We must not fail another generation.

12:00 - Thursday 9th May 2019

On the Home Affairs Committee presenting their evidence and recommendations for the Domestic Abuse Bill, Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia said:

For too long children have been the hidden victims of domestic abuse. The recommendations issued by the Home Affairs Committee recognise the vital need for specialist support for children affected by domestic abuse. Children are not just witnesses to this trauma but experience the long term impact. Granting children special waiting list status to all NHS services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is vital to breaking the cycle of abuse. Children must be at the centre of this historic legislation, we must get it right.

15:13 - Monday 21st January 2019


Needs of children affected by domestic abuse not enshrined in draft Bill

Monday 21 January 2019: Despite wider recognition in its consultation response that more must be done to support children affected by domestic abuse, the Government’s landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill, published today, misses the opportunity to enshrine a long-term response in law.

Patrick Ryan, Hestia CEO said:

“We are all affected by domestic abuse, either personally or through our friends and family. It is also an intergenerational trauma.  At Hestia, we know that 55 per cent of children who witness abuse in the family home will go on to experience domestic abuse as an adult. If child victims of domestic abuse do not get the support they need, the impact will have long-term and devastating implications on their lives and our society. This monumental draft bill can succeed only  if we focus on prevention and support for children at a young age."

825K children live in a home where domestic abuse takes place, yet they are not entitled to specialist support. That’s why UK Says No More, run by Hestia has been calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to include protected waiting list status for all children affected by domestic abuse to ensure they get the support they need.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK Says No More at Hestia said:

“The draft Bill is a step in the right direction to ensuring that all victims of domestic abuse are given support, but we know that more can be done. The 140 Parliamentarians, who campaigned for our Charter for Prevention for UK Says No More, understand how vital it is for children to gain priority access to mental health services. Unless this cycle is broken, we will continue to fail them.”



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About Hestia

At Hestia, we support adults and children across London in times of crisis. Last year we worked with more than 9,000 people including women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, victims of modern slavery, young care leavers and older people. From giving someone a home to helping them to get the right mental health support, we support and enable people at the moment of crisis.

Hestia is the largest provider of domestic abuse refuges in London and last year we supported 3,657 people to recover from the trauma of domestic abuse including 668 children. We provide families refuge accommodation, dedicated children and family support, IDVA (Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates) and MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Centre) support and community group support.

Hestia is also the home of UK SAYS NO MORE, a national campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence across the UK.

About UK Says No More

UK SAYS NO MORE, a national campaign focused on raising awareness of and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence. The campaign is facilitated by London charity Hestia and delivered in partnership with 330 organisations, charities, community groups and Parliamentarian Champions across the UK, who are all working together to bring an end to domestic abuse and sexual violence. UK SAYS NO MORE unites and strengthen a diverse community of members of the public and organisations nationwide to actively take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault under one powerful, visual symbol. The campaign provides open-source tools and resources for individuals and organisations to take action and get involved in ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Together we are challenging the myths and misconceptions around these issues, sharing resources and information, and ultimately working together to make real positive change.


Follow @UKSAYSNOMORE for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Charter on Prevention

  1. Responsibility for education and awareness should be enshrined in the role of the new Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

Education and awareness around healthy relationships is critical to preventing domestic abuse. This must extend beyond PSHE in schools, into all walks of community life from universities to places of worship. If a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner is appointed, this must be a key part of their role.

  1. Greater support for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse in order to break the cycle

The trauma of experiencing domestic abuse can have a long-term impact on children, which could continue the cycle of abuse into their adult life. Increasing opportunities for children and young people to access mental health support will have a significant impact.

  1. Making domestic abuse everyone’s business 

Businesses are key to preventing domestic abuse through the support and education they can provide to their employees. We ask that the employers’ ‘duty of care’ is expanded to include their responsibilities in response to domestic abuse.

12:00pm - Monday 21st January

The domestic abuse consultation response and draft bill has been published, and can be viewed here.

11:24am - Sunday 20th January 

“Domestic abuse will affect all of us in our lifetime, either directly or through our friends and family. The Government’s new Domestic Abuse Bill, expected tomorrow, provides opportunity for the cycle of domestic abuse to be broken and reduce the long-term impact on victims. Hestia’s frontline specialist support workers, and the prevention charter launched by national campaign UK Says No More, recognised children are the hidden victims of domestic abuse, and unless we do more we continue to fail them. 

It is the Government’s duty to ensure these children receive priority access to vital mental health services and enshrine prevention measures that equip schools, communities, employers, and medical professionals to respond effectively to incidences of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse must stop being nobody’s business and become everyone’s business.”

10:56am - Sunday 20th January