THE Government has announced a £19 million fund to expand support for victims of domestic abuse.
Councils working in partnership with charities and other organisations will be able to bid for a share of the funding to help them provide support.
The money 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.
“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,” said secretary of state for communities, James Brokenshire.
Lancashire County Council’s Jane’s Place of Recovery Refuge is one of the organisations that has been helped to get underway by government funding support.
Jane’s Place specialises in providing safe accommodation for tbose most at risk of harm. It was set up to accommodate 46 residents, across 15 self-contained flats. In its first seven months, the refuge has given shelter to 52 women and their families.
Along with the funding announcement, the government has also published updated guidelines, created in partnership with experts for councils to share best practice with charities and other organisations in meeting the needs of diverse communities including BAME, disabled and LGBT victims.
“The release of the next round of funding for refuges and other accommodation for women escaping domestic abuse is desperately needed, and much welcomed,” said Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid. “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.”