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'Incredibly moving and a great privilege' - Domestic violence minister on meeting with family Kerri McAuley

PUBLISHED: 17:33 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:33 26 January 2018

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.


The family of Kerri McAuley have been praised by the domestic abuse minister for their great work in trying to raise awareness to prevent other women becoming victims.

Victoria Atkins, centre, together with Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway (left) and Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP (right). PIC: Peter WalshVictoria Atkins, centre, together with Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway (left) and Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP (right). PIC: Peter Walsh

Ms McAuley, 32, suffered 19 separate injuries to her head and face following a “sustained and brutal” attack by serial abuser Joe Storey who then left her to die alone in her Norwich home in January last year.

Following her murder Ms McAuley’s family, together with Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, have been fighting to get legislation changed to try to help other abuse victims and prevent future tragedies.

The family, including mother Lesley, raised the tragic case with Victoria Atkins MP, when they met with the minister in the city on Friday (January 26).

Mrs Atkins, who is preparing a new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, said: “This has been an incredibly moving but also a really informative meeting here in Norfolk.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet Kerri’s family which was a great privilege not just in terms of them being able to find the strength to talk to me about their experiences but also of course the great work they are doing along with your newspaper and Chloe Smith, the local MP, to try to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are supported and that we tackle domestic abuse, the causes of domestic abuse and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

“But also that we also try and tackle the cycle of violence so that when people commit domestic abuse they are not going from relationship to relationship and continuing their violence.”

This paper set up Kerri’s Campaign, in Ms McAuley’s memory, and with the support of the family, raised more than £10,000 for abuse charity Leeway so it could kit out a new refuge.

Mrs Atkins said: “She added: “One of the things I’ve been so struck with in this campaign with the McAuley family is one of Kerri’s legacy’s is to help other victims of domestic abuse.

“We want to try and bring all that energy and all those ideas into our bill so that the law is updated, it reflects domestic abuse across the country and ways in which we can tackle it.”

The MP for Louth and Horncastle said there would soon be a public consultation on the bill which she is keen for as many people as possible to take part in.

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