Jackie Porter

Liberal Democrat Councillor and Prospective MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford Learn more

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Legal Aid for domestic violence- it shouldn’t stop there: aid should continue until all aspects of the case are sorted out.

by Jackie Porter on 30 May, 2017

Responding to Conservative plans on domestic violence and abuse including proposals to appoint a Domestic Violence Commissioner, Liberal Democrat Election Campaign Spokesperson, Jo Swinson said:

“Domestic violence and abuse is a horrific stain on our society and still all too often a hidden crime. Everything that can be done must be done to eradicate it once and for all. But let us be clear actions speak louder than words and Conservative cuts to local authorities have meant that funding for domestic abuse services have suffered, with some services having to refuse referrals from victims due to a lack of capacity.

Jackie says,’ We know victims are covered by legal aid for the first two years, but then it gets more complicated as the funds dry up and many victims just can’t afford to proceed with the case.

I’ve also seen funds for charities and other resources which are so needed to support these cases dry up, with no practical alternative (close by, open at appropriate hours, support of the ISVA services, children’s centres closing, early help hubs swamped, public phone boxes disappearing) so in effect, closing doors to the abused, and leaving it ajar for the abuser. This isn’t the way we can support these victims is it?’

Victims need more than just platitudes and unless the Conservatives are willing to invest the resources needed then nothing will change.

The Liberal Democrats would support victims of domestic violence and abuse and help them secure justice by reviewing the investigation, prosecution, procedures and rules of evidence in cases of sexual and domestic violence and guarantee funding for legal aid in domestic violence cases.”

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