£20m fund announced to help support victims of domestic abuse
The Government has announced a £20m fund to help victims of domestic abuse to ensure “no victim is turned away” from essential support.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said that local councils, in partnership with specialist charities, would be able to bid for a share of the funds to deliver help to women fleeing violence.
They will provide “accommodation-based support”, alongside employment and skills training.
It is the initial stage of a £40m package outlined in last year’s spending review designed to support domestic abuse victims.
The Government said at the time it hoped the funding would help significantly increase the number of places available in women’s refuges.
The finance, which is open to applications until 2 December, will only be available for local areas that are collaborating with other councils and domestic violence services.
New guidelines are also being set out to show how local authorities should respond to domestic abuse.
The Government said they would focus on "putting the victim first, providing flexible services that meet their needs, collaborating with other councils to open up services to victims from outside the local area and responding to the needs of diverse groups".
As part of this, the measures require setting up “accountable local leadership for services” and a system of independent scrutiny.
Communities Secretary Mr Javid said: "Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, at any time, which is why our £20m fund is designed to ensure no victim is turned away from the essential support they need.
"It will address the needs of diverse and isolated communities and boost refuge spaces, as part of a country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few.”
The money is also part of the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, which has a budget of £80m.