Councils across England have been allocated £125m funding to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children.
The funding will help ensure victims and their children who need it, are able to access life-saving support, such as therapy, advocacy and counselling in safe accommodation, including refuges.
The money will fund a new duty on councils to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation, a key part of the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill.
The duty will come into effect later this year, subject to the Domestic Abuse Bill becoming law and is part of a wider package of support for victims of rape and domestic abuse, with a £40m funding boost for victim support services announced earlier this month.
The government has taken action to help the most vulnerable in society during the pandemic, with £76 million pledged in May last year to ensure that vital services, including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible.
Commenting, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes said: “Domestic abuse is a heinous crime which threatens the lives of victims in their own homes where they should feel safe.
“So it’s right that we’re giving victims support in safe accommodation and providing councils with money to deliver essential services that will help them and their children rebuild their lives.
“This is part of a long-term strategy to provide broader support for domestic abuse victims both in safe accommodation like refuges and in their own homes.”
Safeguarding Minister, Victoria Atkins added: “The Domestic Abuse Bill is a landmark piece of legislation that will transform our response to victims in every region in England and Wales and help bring perpetrators to justice.
“This funding for local authorities will ensure victims of domestic abuse and their children are able to access safe accommodation, a crucial step in supporting them to recover and rebuild their lives. This forms a key part of the Bill’s aim to empower and protect victims and survivors.
“Throughout the pandemic, the government has invested millions in ensuring that vital support services remain accessible and has launched the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme which is already helping victims of domestic abuse access much needed support from thousands of pharmacies across the UK.”