NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray has spoken out about domestic abuse during Questions to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

He asked ministers whether the UK could justify talking about violence against women internationally before domestic abuse was tackled in the UK.

He said: “Last year, 1.2 million women suffered from domestic abuse and 330,000 suffered from sexual assault.

“Those are terrible figures in themselves, but the initiative to drive women’s rights across the world, which was announced recently by the Foreign Secretary, will only stand a chance of gaining credence or traction if we sort the problem out at home.”

Responding, Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker agreed and said that the Home Office was highly concerned about these issues and was working to address them.

He said: “There is a call to the police about domestic abuse every 30 seconds, which is a shaming statistic for our society.

“There is also a cost, which is obviously a secondary consideration, of £15.7 billion a year.

“We have to do everything we can, as the Home Office is doing, to get a grip on this matter.

“Colleagues in the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office are similarly concerned and are taking action within their portfolios.”