With lockdown sadly cases of domestic abuse have risen. In order to help support victims councils in England will received an extra £125 million. Oxfordshire County Council is to receive £1,141,151 and South Oxfordshire District Council £33,540. This will help fund a new duty to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation. This will come into force later this year with the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill. The funding has been announced in advance so that local authorities know how much they will receive for these vital services and can begin to plan.
The money will help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation, including advocacy, counselling, and therapy in safe locations such as refuges or specialist safe accommodation, where victims and their children can go to get away from their abusers.
John said: "Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that ruins lives, which is why this Government’s commitment to empowering and protecting victims is so important. The figures announced today will ensure that anyone who needs to access safe accommodation and the support services they need to recover and rebuild their lives will be able to do so, and is part of a wider package of support we have put in place for victims of rape and domestic abuse. In taking another big step towards helping break the cycle of domestic abuse and protecting some of the most vulnerable in our society, we are transforming our response to victims and will help them move forward with their lives.”
This funding is part of a wider package of support for victims of rape and domestic abuse, with a £40 million funding boost for victim support services announced on 1 February 2021, building on the unprecedented £76 million pledged in May 2020 to ensure vital services including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic.
In January the Government also launched the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme, which provides victims of domestic abuse access to immediate help from the police or other support services from their local pharmacy.
The Government is determined to support vulnerable people throughout the pandemic, and is working closely with councils, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.
The 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 homes.”