Local authorities will from today (24 August 2015) be able to bid for a share of a £3 million fund to support the victims of domestic abuse said Baroness Williams of Trafford.
In the July Budget a £3 million fund for 2015 to 2016 was announced to address any gaps in the provision of specialist accommodation-based support, and provide support for victims seeking to access these services. The fund is now inviting bids for work in 2015 to 2016, led by local authorities working in partnership with service providers.
Successful applicants must demonstrate how they will support innovative and cost effective proposals to deliver accommodation based services for victims of abuse, and for services to help them access such support. They should also set out how they will further the development of local strategies on tackling domestic abuse, and help create sustainable and long term approaches to supporting victims.
Communities Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford who has been meeting with victims and those working in the sector said:
Domestic violence and abuse is a devastating crime that shatters the lives of victims and families and this government is committed to ensuring that we have a strong safety net for anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are forced to leave their home.
Accommodation based services with specialist support play an essential role in the resolution of violence and conflict, ensuring that adult and child victims are afforded the safety and security they need.
We recognise that not all victims will have the same needs and the fund will also be looking to support further innovative approaches to enable victims to access the support they need.
The announcement in the July budget builds on the £10 million funding for refuges announced announced in March 2015 by the coalition government.
Funds announced in the budget also include £131,000 for additional workers for UK Refuges Online. UK Refuges Online is a UK wide database of domestic violence services which enables those working with victims of domestic violence to identify appropriate services and potential refuge vacancies around the country so that victims can get the help they need as quickly as possible.
The Summer Budget 2015 also announced a review of the full range of services currently available to victims of domestic abuse. Its findings will feed into the Spending Review and an updated violence against women and girls strategy to ensure that victims of domestic violence and their families have access to the support and services they need to keep safe.
For more information and details of how to apply for funding see the prospectus.
The deadline for bids is 1 October 2015.
The Budget Statement announced a total additional funding of £3.2 million for victims of domestic abuse, made up of: £3.07 million for the Innovation Fund in 2015 to 2016 and £131,000 in 2015 to 2016 for additional workers for the UK Refuges Online.
As well as the additional funding, domestic abuse is a major priority for the government’s Troubled Families programme. The focus on tackling domestic violence and abuse has been increased in the new expanded Troubled Families programme.
Last year the coalition government announced a new £10 million government fund to help support refuges across the country and boost provision for vulnerable victims of domestic violence.
This built on steps taken by the government to end domestic violence, support victims and ensure offenders are prosecuted. These include:
- £40 million for Violence Against Women and Girls support services and specialist helplines
- new laws and powers - including 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