ALAN MAK: Delighted by prime minister’s domestic abuse campaign support

Alan Mak MP with the team from the Southern Domestic Abuse Service
Alan Mak MP with the team from the Southern Domestic Abuse Service

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The MP for Havant supports a vital charity

Since becoming your local MP in 2015 I have been backing the work of the Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS), a Havant-based charity, to tackle domestic violence in our area.

Sadly too many people across Britain are affected by domestic violence, with thousands of women enduring abuse every single day, often at the hands of those to whom they are closest, in the places they should be safest.

Prosecutions and convictions are increasing, but more still needs to be done.

In 2016/17, 82 women and 13 men were killed by a partner or former partner. Nearly two million people – the majority of them women – live with domestic abuse every day. Young people have their childhoods destroyed by scenes of appalling domestic abuse no child should ever have to witness.

The government is taking action, and has brought forward a new domestic abuse bill, which for the first time will provide a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes economic abuse, alongside other non-physical abuse.

The new powers will allow for tougher sentences in cases involving children and will also create a domestic abuse commissioner to act as a national champion for victims.

After the government’s consultation was launched last month, I spoke to the prime minster to tell her about the work being done by SDAS to build a specialist safe house in south Hampshire, and I was delighted that she backed the project, tweeting her support.

The team are doing a great job raising money through the Buy a Brick campaign with more than £60,000 raised so far, but more is still needed.

I urge everyone to get behind the effort as moving into a refuge takes the victim away from violence and can quite literally save their lives.

To buy a virtual brick and support the safe house campaign visit southerndas.org. Bronze, silver and gold coloured bricks can be bought in return for donations of £25, £100 or £1,000 and dedications and messages can also be added to the larger value bricks.