Hampshire County Council has allocated over £1.5 million worth of funding for projects looking to ensure that more families escaping domestic abuse get the support they need, as well as a safe place to go.
The New Burdens Fund from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities and enables the council to provide extra assistance to victims of domestic abuse and children alongside providing them with safe accommodation and other aims:
- £200,000 will be given to allow for the training of housing staff to help them identify domestic abuse victims and their needs.
- Additional funding to make sure that safe accommodation can be provided for victims will make it possible for an increased number of people can access support. This also means an increased ability to provide support to victims with disabilities and male victims with children.
- Increased mental health and substance misuse support for victims will be provided, as well as support for advocates in hospitals who can identify and help domestic abuse victims.
- More ‘target hardening’ homes will also be provided. Victims can be referred to this service which aims to make homes safer and more secure, so that perpetrators cannot gain access.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Services and Public Health, said:
“For victims of domestic violence, home is not the safe place it should be. By continuing to invest in domestic abuse services such as safe accommodation, we can provide secure locations as quickly as possible where victims can escape abuse and begin to rebuild their lives.
“Domestic abuse is often hidden and is vastly under-reported. Because of this, the true prevalence can only be estimate. However, it is predicted that around 38,000 women, 17,000 men and 40,000 children in Hampshire are likely to have been affected by domestic abuse in the last year alone. It is an issue which has huge personal, social, and economic costs and consequences.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, class, sexual orientation, and marital status. No-one should have to live in fear. With more staff training, service investment, and funding for accommodation, we can help ensure that victims have the help they need to remove themselves from harm.”