- Essex to receive £2,763,458 to help fund a new duty to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation.
- A total of £125 million has been allocated to councils across England to support domestic abuse victims and their children.
- This new funding is part of the Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Bill and package of comprehensive support for victims.
Domestic abuse victims and their children living in Essex will be able to receive more support thanks to extra Government funding.
The extra 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.
In total, councils across England will receive £125 million. Essex will receive £2,763,458 and Brentwood will receive £34,750.
Under a new duty, which was a key Conservative manifesto commitment at the last election, councils will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.
It will come into force later this year with the passage of the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, with funding announced in advance so local authorities know how much they will receive for these vital services and can begin to plan.
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 2021, the Conservative 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.
Commenting, Alex Burghart MP said:
Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that ruins lives, which is why this Conservative Government’s commitment to empowering and protecting victims is so important.
The £2,763,458 announced today for Essex 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.
We are transforming our response to victims and will help them move forward with their lives.”
Also 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 homes.”
Notes to Editors
We have a comprehensive plan to tackle domestic abuse and support victims by:
- Introducing a historic new duty on councils to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children. This new duty will be introduced with the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill, alongside a new statutory definition of domestic abuse and a Domestic Abuse Commissioner who will stand up for victims and survivors and ensure statutory bodies are held to account for how they tackle domestic abuse. The duty will ensure victims are never turned away from refuges and safe accommodation and that they will be able to access life-saving support to help them recover and rebuild their lives (MHCLG, Press Release, 12 February 2021, link).
- Providing £125 million to local authorities to enable them to deliver their duty to domestic abuse victims and their children, ensuring survivors can always get the support they need to rebuild their lives. Councils in England will share £125 million to provide support - such as counselling, therapy and advocacy - in safe accommodation, like refuges - for victims and their children. The funding is part of a long term strategy to provide comprehensive support to victims, and is in addition to the £40 million funding boost for victim support services announced in February 2021, as well as a cross-government Victims Strategy that works better for survivors (MHCLG, Press Release, 12 February 2021, link; Ministry of Justice, Press Release, 1 February 2021, link).
- Providing £76 million in extra funding to support domestic abuse services, enabling them to deal with a rise in demand for their services during the pandemic. Demand for domestic abuse services has increased during the pandemic, which is why in May 2020 we announced a funding boost of £76 million for domestic abuse services – including £10m emergency funding for safe accommodation services. The funding will help front line charities to be able to offer different ways of supporting those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services, as well as providing direct support to families of disabled children through the provision of goods including household appliances and sensory toys (MHCLG, Press Release, 2 May 2020, link).
- Announcing the ‘Ask for ANI Scheme to ensure victims of domestic abuse can access immediate help. The Ask for ANI scheme allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal that they need help and access support. By asking for ANI in places like Boots which have signed up for the scheme, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they can understand if the victim needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as a national or local domestic abuse helplines (Home Office, News Story, 14 January 2021, link).