Housing Secretary confirms new support for survivors of domestic violence
£16.6 million given to 75 councils to help fund domestic abuse refuge services
• Government will provide £16.6million to 75 projects across England to help fund domestic abuse refuge services
• This follows new plans to ensure every council provides essential, life-saving support from next year
• This is part of a wider government drive to bolster protection for survivors of domestic abuse, including the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill which is due to be reintroduced shortly
Councils are being given a boost to provide essential, life-saving support in safe housing for survivors of domestic abuse and their children, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed today (17 February 2020).
Seventy-five projects across England will share over £16 million, helping up to 43,000 survivors have access to the help they need as they move towards a safe future, free from domestic abuse.
The new funding will enable victims and their children to stay safe, recover from the trauma, and access safe permanent rehousing where needed.
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said:
"Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in their own homes – the place where they should feel most safe and secure.
"No victim of domestic abuse should have to struggle to get the right support, or wait months for help that they need. This new funding of £16.6 million will help local areas better protect victims and their children and provide essential life-saving services, delivering the urgent support that they need to rebuild their lives."
Domestic abuse is a devastating crime which shatters the lives of over two million survivors and their families every year.
This announcement follows the confirmation of a new legal duty which will create a consistent approach to accommodation-based support for domestic abuse victims across England. This will help all families recover and overcome their experiences, regardless of where they live.
Many councils are already providing tailored support to those in need, but this move will bring an end to the postcode lottery of support for those fleeing abusive relationships.
In addition, the Domestic Abuse Bill being reintroduced to the House shortly will bring about the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.
The Bill will also establish a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner and prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.
This action will help more people understand domestic abuse and ensure those that need support can access it, whilst staying safe and protected from future abuse.