Press release

£19 million fund to support victims of domestic abuse

Funding to expand support for survivors of domestic abuse services across England.

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Almost £19 million of funding to expand support for survivors of domestic abuse services across England has been launched today (2 July 2018) by the Secretary of State for Communities.

Councils working in partnership with charities and other organisations will be able to bid for a share of funding to support survivors of domestic abuse.

This will be available for a wide range of services to help survivors rebuild their lives; including the provision of refuge beds, education, and employment and life skills training.

This funding builds on £20 million allocated in 2016 to 2018 which has helped provide more than 2,200 new bed spaces in refuges and other specialist accommodation, supporting more than 19,000 survivors with a safe space to rebuild their lives.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime and this government is committed to ensuring all survivors have access to the support they need, whenever they need it.

This funding will expand the support available for survivors to help them rebuild their lives.

This fund has already helped to support diverse projects across the country, including:

Lancashire County Council – Jane’s Place of Recovery Refuge

  • Funding was used to help to support the establishment of ‘Jane’s Place’, which specialises in providing safe accommodation for those at most risk of harm and accommodates women and families across a number of self-contained flats.

The Hampshire Making Safe Scheme’, led by Hart District Council

  • Covering 11 local authorities in Hampshire, this project aims to fund three approaches including access to safe houses, enhanced security measures within clients’ homes and effective ways for life after living in safe houses or refuges. This project is particularly targeted at those from BAME communities or those with complex needs.

The government has also published updated guidelines for councils, created in partnership with experts. We want to ensure their response to domestic abuse is as collaborative, robust and effective as it can be, meeting the needs of diverse communities including BAME, disabled and LGBT victims.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

The release of the next round of funding for refuges and other accommodation for women escaping domestic abuse is desperately needed, and much welcomed. Our national network of refuges not only save lives but transform them, helping women and their children to rebuild their lives.

With a decision about the future of refuge funding after 2020 due to be made in the coming months, we look forward to working with the government to ensure the future safety of survivors.

Together we need to ensure that there is a sustainable, long-term funding solution for all domestic abuse services, including lifesaving refuges. Only then can we guarantee that every survivor and her children can get the support they need to build a life free from domestic abuse.

Councillor Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board said:

Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime, which can have a long-term and devastating impact on families, and particularly children.

The funding dedicated to support survivors of domestic abuse will help local authorities and their partners continue to work together to ensure victims of domestic abuse have access to the help and support they need.

Our ultimate aim should be preventing domestic abuse from occurring in the first place. We are supportive of the early intervention and preventative approach to stop domestic abuse from happening at all.

Further information

The 2015 Spending Review contained dedicated long term funding of £40 million to support victims of domestic abuse.

  • The first allocations of the £20 million fund was announced November 2016 led by local authorities working in partnership with service providers for work in 2016 to 2018

  • See the full list of allocations

  • A further £1.2 million will be allocated towards domestic abuse services in due course

Further case studies of the 2016 to 2018 fund:

  • Royal London Borough of Greenwich - The Multiple Needs & Intensive Support Project Greenwich used part of the funding to employ a Complex Needs support worker, providing intensive support to survivors across the lifetime of the project.

  • North Lincolnshire Council Grant funding was used to secure additional resources to ensure that both female and male victims of domestic abuse were able to access immediate support at times of crisis.

Today’s announcement builds on steps taken by government to end domestic abuse, support victims and ensure offenders are prosecuted. Including:

  • new powers and laws - a new domestic abuse offence to capture coercive and controlling behaviour, the criminalisation of forced marriage, and the introduction of new stalking laws
  • the national roll-out of domestic violence protection orders and the domestic violence disclosure scheme
  • £15 million, 3-year Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Service Transformation Fund
  • £3.5 million provided in 2015 that funded 46 successful bids from around the country, providing 710 extra bed spaces
  • £10 million funding announced by the coalition government for strengthening provision of safe accommodation in the last Spending Review period
  • we will shortly be introducing a new landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to protect and support victims, recognise the life-long impact domestic abuse has on children and make sure agencies effectively respond to domestic abuse

Applicants are required to submit bids no later than 5pm Friday 17 August to DomesticAbuse.Fund@communities.gsi.gov.uk

View the government’s updated priorities for domestic abuse services.

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Published 2 July 2018