Press release: £22 million for projects to support domestic abuse survivors


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  • Housing Minister confirms 63 projects across England to share £22 million to help domestic abuse survivors
  • Funding will provide tailored support to more than 25,000 survivors and their families – including over 2,200 additional beds in refuges and other safe accommodation
  • This builds on government action seeking to put an end to domestic abuse for good and help survivors in turning their lives around

More than 25,000 domestic abuse survivors will be supported to rebuild their lives thanks to a £22 million allocation for projects across the country, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP has announced today (10 November 2018).

Over 60 projects in England will be supported by the funding over the next 2 years – ensuring thousands of survivors have access to the help they need, when they need it.

The money will provide over 2,200 new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation, access to education, and tailored employment and life skills guidance as survivors move towards building a safe and healthy future for themselves and their children – free from domestic abuse.

Projects will be delivered by councils working alongside local organisations to help ensure that no survivor of domestic abuse is turned away from the support they need to start their new life.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of survivors and their families. It is our duty to ensure survivors can seek help by providing the support they need to restart their lives.

Through providing specialist accommodation and access to employment, this fund will make sure local authorities and charities can provide a strong safety net for anyone facing the threat of abuse in their own home.

Innovative local projects that will receive a share of funding include:

Portsmouth & Hampshire New Approaches

This project will cover 5 local authority areas providing targeted support designed to meet the needs of those who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. It will provide help to women, children and young people living in refuge accommodation across the region in addition to making it easier for those from BAME and LGBT backgrounds to access support services

Norfolk county council – Norfolk Partnership

Norfolk’s ANCHOR initiative will ensure that any survivor of domestic abuse in Norfolk has access to tailored support for their individual needs to assist them on the path to recovery. It will involve strong partnership working between local organisations to ensure services are effectively joined up. This will build support for those with additional needs, such as mental health and substance misuse and help will also be tailored to those from BAME backgrounds.

Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge said:

That Refuge services will be supported by this fund is hugely welcome news both for us and particularly for the thousands of women and children we support on a daily basis.

Critically, this funding ensures that many of our refuges will remain open and continue to provide life-saving specialist support to those experiencing domestic abuse. A small number would have been forced to close had we not received these crucial funds.

We are equally delighted to be in a position to now expand one of our services in London, which provides essential support for survivors with additional needs.

In the summer, government announced almost £19 million of funding to expand support for survivors of domestic abuse services across England. This fund has now been extended to £22 million.

This follows previous government funding totalling £20 million during 2016 to 2018, which helped create more than 2,000 bed spaces and gave support to over 19,000 survivors and their families.

Further to this, the government has also published new guidance for councils to prioritise domestic abuse survivors in refuges when allocating social housing and encourages councils to use existing powers to support survivors to remain safely in their own homes if they choose to do so.

The government will shortly be introducing a new landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to further protect and support survivors, recognise the life-long impact domestic abuse has on children and make sure agencies are responding effectively to domestic abuse.

We are also committed to reviewing how domestic abuse services are commissioned and funded across England and will set out next steps shortly.

See the full list of allocations (PDF, 125KB, 6 pages) for the £22 million fund.

Further information

The Domestic Abuse Fund was launched on 2 July 2018. It was originally launched as an £18.8 million fund.

The funding builds on other actions being taken by the government to end domestic abuse, support survivors and ensure offenders are prosecuted. Such as:

  • allocation of a £20 million fund for local authorities working in partnership with services providers to boost services between 2016 and 2018
  • a new domestic abuse offence to capture coercive and controlling behaviour, the criminalisation of forced marriage and the introduction of new stalking laws
  • a national roll-out of domestic violence protection orders and the domestic violence disclosure scheme
  • the £15 million 3-year Violence Against Women and Girls Service Transformation Fund
  • the government previously held a consultation titled Improving access to social housing for victims of domestic abuse from October 30, 2017 to January 5, 2018. This consultation outlined proposals for new statutory guidance to councils to assist survivors of domestic abuse in refuges to access social housing.
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