Injustice of the Rough Sex Defence
The second reading of the Domestic abuse bill took place on Tuesday 28th April 2020 in the House of Commons and at Calan DVS we have been following the debates around this bill very carefully.
With the Domestic Abuse Bill back in Parliament, the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) is proposing an amendment for a new offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation. CWJ is calling for a free-standing offence of non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation as this form of offending is currently significantly undercharged across the UK. Read full briefing here.
Rough Sex Defence
During the debate, MP Harriet Harman urged MPs to “stop this injustice” of the rough sex defence, which means a man who admits to causing injuries that kill a woman “literally gets away with murder”.
Harman and the campaign group ‘We Can’t Consent To This’ have been campaigning to end the “rough sex defence”, in which perpetrators of violence argue their victim has been injured or died from a sex game gone wrong which the victim consented to.
Consideration for All Victims
During the debate, Jess Phillips MP stressed the importance of considering ALL victims of domestic abuse “The only qualification for access to support, housing, refuge, social security for victims of domestic abuse in this country should be; Are you human? We cannot pass a Bill that discriminates against migrant women or has a blind support about the affect domestic abuse has on the children who live with it. Currently the Bill would not change the lives of these groups for the better. The last few weeks have shown we are a community. How can it be that there are care workers, NHS workers, key workers serving the public right now in this crisis that would not be equally protected if they needed to escape abuse. Surely it is all of us or none of us. Let this new Bill reflect that”.
If the new Bill does not reflect the needs of all women and children, regardless of their immigration status, we will continue to see migrant women and children left with the impossible choice of returning to their perpetrator or sleeping rough.
We will continue to monitor progress on this bill and the corresponding debates; and provide advice and guidance to all stakeholders as required. For full details of Calan DVS’s services click here or we can be contacted on the numbers below:
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