Campaign response - Valerie's Law - March 2022
Thank you for contacting me about supporting black victims of domestic abuse.
I entirely agree with you that effective and comprehensive training for responders to domestic and sexual abuse is essential. It is vital that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to protect and support all victims and survivors of domestic abuse, including those from black backgrounds.
It is for this reason that I welcomed the landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which has at its core a focus on helping transform the response to domestic abuse. The Act aims to ensure that victims can report their experiences with full confidence that the state will do everything it can to support them.
I am aware, however, that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not appropriate for all victims and recognise the importance of specialist domestic abuse services to support the specific issues that black victims face. I therefore welcomed that the Domestic Abuse Act established in law the role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner. This role requires the incumbent holder to adopt a specific focus on the particular needs of victims and survivors from minority or marginalised groups.
Nevertheless, it is my understanding that the police and other relevant organisations already receive training and guidance on domestic abuse, which includes recognising that victims may have specific needs based on their ethnicity or cultural background. The guidance pertaining to issues affecting certain groups of victims is set out in the College of Policing’s Authorised Professional Practice on domestic abuse.
For the reasons outlined above, I do not believe it is necessary to mandate revised specialist training. I would, however, like to reassure you that I am committed to ensuring that all victims and survivors of domestic abuse get the support they need.
Campaign response – Coronavirus and Persecution: Please act now - 2 July 2020
My thanks to constituents for writing to me about the importance of tackling the persecution of Christians worldwide.
I am very concerned to learn about the recent spike in reports of discrimination against Christians, especially by governments and even aid workers. I will bear these cases in mind when I next have the opportunity to engage with ministers in the FCO and DFID.
But constituents can be assured that this remains an issue of top priority for me as an MP and that Open Doors is an organisation that I will continue to work closely with on this. I had the privilege of attending the launch of their World Watch List and hosting their reception for church leaders in Parliament in February, and I look forward to supporting their work again going forward.
Since elected to Parliament in 2015 I have been able to contribute to many debates in Parliament on the marginalisation, oppression and discrimination of any form towards Christians and other faith groups. Should there be any future opportunities for MPs to discuss the impact that Covid-19 have had on the rights and welfare of Christians around the world, I look forward to contributing to them.
In 2019 was pleased to welcome the publication of the Bishop of Truro’s review of the FCO’s work on persecuted Christians , which I do believe has brought about greater awareness of this global issue but also highlighted the need for our Government to do more. I have had meetings with the Bishop of Truro and the previous Foreign Secretary to discuss this review and I was assured of the FCO’s seriousness in reviewing its way of working so that more is done to take into account of the situation of Christians on the ground.
As we move forward with the FCO and DFID merger, I will be keen to see that this issue be given greater prominence among policy makers and I will of course continue work with organisations such as Open Doors to ensure this.
Thank you again to constituents for contacting me about this important matter.