Domestic Abuse Bill

In 2017, the Queen's Speech put forward proposals for a new Domestic Abuse Bill, aimed at increasing provisions around domestic abuse.

Ever since, Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE have been campaigning to ensure the Bill works to not only recognise that children are victims of domestic abuse, but to ensure they are able to access support, and to ensure that employers have a duty to respond to domestic abuse.

We’re asking for:

  • Child survivors to be given special waiting list status (protected status) for all NHS services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Support (CAMHS)

  • Children in refuges and those that have had to move due to domestic abuse have priority access to school places

  • Employers’ duty of care to be expanded to include their responsibilities in response to domestic abuse

Read our rolling coverage of the Domestic Abuse Bill here

As of January 2021, the Domestic Abuse Bill has received its second reading in the House of Lords and is moving on to the committee phase before becoming law.

There are still gaping holes in the Bill’s foundations, with a significant lack in measures designed at support child victims, and no provisions aimed at employers.

We will continue campaigning to ensure these opportunities to support children and improve employer response to domestic abuse are not missed.

Key moments in our campaign so far:

May 2018: Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE hold a rally in Parliament, attracting support from MPs keen to ensure children and the role of employers are not forgotten in the Bill. Our new data reveals that 55 per cent of Brits who experience domestic abuse in childhood go on to experience it in adulthood. 

October 2018: One of Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE’s recommendations around support for children is included in the Home Affairs Committee Domestic Abuse Report, referring to children as 'experiencing' domestic abuse, rather than 'witnessing' it.

March 2019: UK SAYS NO MORE and Hestia release On The Sidelines, a report exposing that failing to support children affected by domestic abuse costs UK taxpayers up to £1.4bn.

May 2019: The Home Affairs Committee presents their recommendations and evidence for the Domestic Abuse Bill, recognising the need for specialist support for children. Data from UK SAYS NO MORE and Hestia shows that almost 60 per cent of millennials who experience domestic abuse in childhood went on to experience challenges with their mental health.

June 2020: After two years of campaigning, the Government announce that children will be officially be recognised as victims of domestic abuse under the new Domestic Abuse Bill.

Take a look at the full timeline of our campaign for the Domestic Abuse Bill