Domestic abuse bill needs strengthened to support survivors

Jardine Christine

Christine Jardine, former Clydebank Post and BBC Scotland reporter, who is now a Liberal Democrat MP.

By Democrat reporter

Responding to the Government’s publication of the Domestic Abuse Bill, which is a major problem in West Dunbartonshire, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, Christine Jardine, said:  “Survivors have been left waiting far too long, with millions of people having experienced domestic abuse since the Conservatives first promised this legislation almost three years ago. I’m glad the Government has therefore finally brought back the Domestic Abuse Bill.

“Liberal Democrats will now work to get this badly-needed legislation into law as soon as possible, while also strengthening it to support all survivors of domestic abuse.

“That includes recognising in law the trauma suffered by children who witness domestic abuse at home, and adding specific protections for migrant women, so that fears over their immigration status do not prevent them from coming forward to report violence or abuse.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeanwhile, the A&E waiting time target fell last week, with just 83.7% of patients treated within 4 hours, 928 patients waiting over 8 hours and 333 patients waiting over 12 hours, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:  “The next few months could be very difficult for staff in the NHS across Scotland. These statistics show our accident and emergency rooms are under considerable strain already.

“NHS staff work around the clock all year round without sufficient support and resources. As a result the waiting time targets haven’t been met since 2017.

“The Health Secretary [Jeane Freeman, pictured] must urgently get our emergency departments on a steady footing so they are well placed to deal with any emerging demand.”

And, sill on the health front, just 66.4% of children and young people are being seen within 18 weeks for mental health treatment, with a record 861 children and young people waiting over a year, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:

“The SNP Government is failing a generation of young people. The consequences of waiting anything up to two years for treatment are devastating. Problems that start small are becoming crises as help arrives too late. 

“At the same time as these unbearable waits were being recorded, SNP ministers at Parliament were voting to deny that there is a mental health crisis in Scotland. These statistics show how wrong that was.

“Staff are working around the clock but they aren’t getting anywhere close to the support and resources they need.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to end the waiting times scandal and get people the help they need by seriously expanding the workforce, providing a new mental health practitioner in every GP practice and new 24 hours a day services in A&E.”

 

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