Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, lead a Westminster Hall Debate on domestic abuse and public life.
“Domestic abuse can affect people from all social classes and in all forms of employment, including those in public life.
“That is why I am working with MPs from all parties to call for a duty of care to be placed on employers and political parties to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are not exposed to further harassment. This must recognise that post-separation control and harassment is a form of domestic abuse itself and can occur long after a relationship or marriage has ended, with different tactics of abuse used.
“…I am still in a situation where I have to risk assess local events – and am unable to participate if the risk is too high or can’t be mitigated.
“I believe that there must be a duty to ensure inclusive, democratic, and safe environments and it saddens me deeply to continue to be placed in a position where due to safeguarding reasons I am being prevented from being able to participate fully in public life.
“… My experiences are far from unique. I have been contacted by women and survivors from all over the UK and I feel a tremendous duty to them.
“For too long, domestic abuse has been hidden, despite having serious health consequences for individuals and our society.
“We need to raise awareness to create a society where individuals experiencing domestic abuse feel confident that they will be believed, listened to, and treated supportively.
“Because, ultimately, I want the UK to be a country where survivors of not thwarted by ongoing harassment and abuse.”