Domestic Abuse

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons am ar 7 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Llafur, Liverpool, Riverside

Whether she has had recent discussions with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner on taking steps to help tackle so-called honour-based abuse.

Photo of Laura Farris Laura Farris Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

I meet the Domestic Abuse Commissioner regularly, and our last joint visit was to a refuge for minoritised women for whom honour-based abuse was a specific issue. It is important work of the Home Office to look at the specific harms connected with this issue. One of the things we are most proud of is our forced marriage unit, which has provided support services to more than 300 cases in the past year. We also fund a national honour-based abuse helpline, which has helped more than 2,500 people in the past 12 months.

Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Llafur, Liverpool, Riverside

Savera UK, which is based in my constituency, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner are concerned by this Government’s failure to provide a statutory definition of so-called honour-based abuse. Does the Minister agree that that will lead to under-reporting and a lack of detail on the scale of the problem?

Photo of Laura Farris Laura Farris Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

I am afraid that the Government take the opposite view. We use the expression honour-based abuse, which has been controversial in itself, because often victims understand it the best. Victims of honour-based abuse are often the hardest to reach, and sometimes are the least able to articulate their claims and to escape their circumstance. We keep the definition wide to capture successfully all the various insidious forms that it takes. Let me reassure the hon. Lady that both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office use a working definition to guide investigations and, so far, it is proving effective.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Ceidwadwyr, Lichfield

One of the most insidious forms of domestic abuse is conversion therapy. It is cruel and it does not work. Could my hon. Friend give me some indication of when legislation will come forward to ban it?

Photo of Laura Farris Laura Farris Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

I can reassure my hon. Friend that the Government will publish a draft Bill on that in due course.