Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 09/07/20

Solihull Observer

This week, I’m backing a move in the House of Commons to expand access to brain screening for women who have been subject to domestic abuse, including female prisoners.

This is to help make sure that potentially serious injuries, which may not be immediately apparent on the surface, don’t fly under the radar. It will help ensure both that women with possible brain injuries get the help they need, and the vicious partners who inflict those injuries face justice.

Such screening will be a big step forward, and I hope that ministers will accept the amendment. The new Domestic Abuse Bill will be much stronger for it.

But there is much more to do if the Government wants to ensure the legal protection for survivors of domestic violence is fit for purpose.

Over the past few years, charities such as Refuge have highlighted how abuse can take many different forms, including psychological and financial, and how abusers are also increasingly exploiting new technology to track, harass, and isolate their targets.

There is also serious overlap between domestic violence and other serious crimes, including people smuggling and modern slavery.

Ministers must ensure not only that front-line services for survivors are properly resourced, but that legislation reflects the sheer diversity of abusive behaviours experienced by women in today’s Britain.

On a happier note, I was inspired to read about how this week’s Corona Heroes, Adrian Passmore and the team at Red Kite Cycles, have stepped up to support our community during lockdown.

In an open letter about ‘the new normal’, published on his website, Adrian set out how they had really bent over backwards to keep Solihull cycling and be there for NHS and care staff.

It’s fantastic to see a local business doing so much to support their customers and key workers during such a trying time, especially whilst dealing with the personal impact of Covid-19.

As a keen cyclist I know just how good for body and soul riding can be, and I’m sure that Red Kite has offered a much-needed boost to a lot people here in Solihull. Thank you, Adrian!