Spending cuts threaten domestic violence programme

By politics.co.uk staff

A radical plan to help women suffering from domestic violence could be cancelled, according to media reports.

The Independent reported that home secretary Theresa May told charities she was shelving a plan to safeguard families against violent husbands.

The scheme, which was due to be piloted this autumn and had the support of all three main parties, is understood to have fallen victim to budgetary constraints and concerns about the legislation involved in setting up the orders banning men from their homes.

But the Home Office is refusing to either confirm or rule out the reports.

“The home secretary has made clear she considers tackling violence against women a priority,” a spokesperson said.

“This government is committed to protecting victims of domestic violence and that is why we have continued to provide £3.5 million funding for independent domestic violence advisers and multi-agency risk assessment conferences.

“However in tough economic times we are now considering our options for delivering improved protection and value for money.”

The so-called ‘go orders’ would have banned violent men from their house for two weeks, giving the family time to seek help.

They would have operated on households where the police were concerned about violent behaviour but had too little evidence to bring a criminal charge, allowing an officer of inspector rank or above to order a perpetrator from the property and immediate area for two weeks.

Shadow policing minister David Hanson said he was tabling an urgent Commons motion asking for the reason behind the cancellation.