Bank refused to close woman's joint account unless she attended meeting with her rapist

Theresa May promises Government will give 'proper support' to rape and domestic violence survivors after hearing at PMQs of woman's 'horror' at proposed meeting

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
@BenKentish
Wednesday 17 January 2018 14:42
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Bank refused to close account of rape victim unless she attended with her abuser, says Lisa Cameron in PMQs

A bank refused to close a woman’s joint account unless she attended a meeting with the man who had repeatedly raped her.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions and prompted gasps of disbelief from shocked MPs.

SNP MP Lisa Cameron said her constituent had reacted with “horror” after being told she must attend the meeting. The MP asked Theresa May to bring forward legislation to protect rape and domestic violence survivors.

She did not name the bank involved and it is unclear if the meeting went ahead.

The East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow MP said: “My constituent informed me that she had been repeatedly raped and beaten by her ex-partner, requiting an injunction.

“Much to her horror, her bank would not close their joint account unless she attended with the perpetrator.

“When banks are left to their discretion, women’s lives are being put at risk.”

She asked the Prime Minister to “ensure policy to protect survivors” is included in the Government’s new domestic violence bill.

In response, Ms May said Dr Cameron “clearly raises a very distressing case”.

She added: “We want to ensure that we do give proper support to all those who have been subject to domestic violence or to abuse of the kind the honourable lady has referred to.”

Ms May said the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, will soon be launching a consultation that will provide an opportunity for such issues to be raise.

The Government announced last year that new legislation will be brought forward to incorporate the Istanbul Convention on preventing and tackling violence against women into UK law.

Other measures to be introduced include a new domestic violence and abuse commissioner and new wording that will define domestic abuse in law.

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