£10 million support for women facing the threat of domestic violence

A £10 million government fund will help support refuges across the country and boost provision for vulnerable victims of domestic violence and their families.

As the world marks International Women’s Day, the government announced the 148 councils that will receive a share of the funding over the next 2 years, to support refuges in their area.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said councils owe a clear duty to vulnerable victims who flee their homes, and that today’s (9 March 2015) funding will help ensure they offer help to keep victims and their children safe.

The funding will both keep refuges open, and improve standards in existing refuges, maintaining a strong national network offering support to women at risk.

Safe support for victims of domestic violence

A victim of domestic violence will attempt to flee the perpetrator an average 50 times before they are successful.

The £10 million fund will ensure councils offer more than bricks and mortar – support at the refuges will also include counselling and support for both adult and child victims, advice on healthy relationships, and help with training and employment to help maximise their stability and independence.

The councils receiving the funding today include:

  • South Tyneside, who will receive £99,000 over the next 2 years to support 9 refuge units in their area
  • Taunton Deane and West Somerset council, who will work with Mendip district council, Sedgemoor district council and Somerset county council to use an allocation of £197,000 over the next 2 years for 14 refuge units in their areas
  • Coventry council who will receive £93,000 over the next 2 years to support 17 refuge units

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

We are determined to ensure there is a strong safety net for anyone facing the frightening threat of violence in their own home.

Today’s £10 million funding will ensure we maintain a national network of refuges so any woman facing the threat of domestic violence anywhere in the country has somewhere to turn.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive at Women’s Aid, said:

We warmly welcome the news that specialist domestic violence refuges in 148 local areas will receive additional funding. Women and their children across the country will benefit from this, and know that there is a safe space for them if they need it.

We are pleased the government listened to our SOS campaign and saved these services. It is essential this money is spent properly on specialist refuges, and we will be monitoring how the fund is being spent to ensure this happens.

This is one of a number of measures the government is taking to ensure councils can support women at risk of domestic violence. Others include:

  • investing £6.5 billion to help vulnerable people through housing support – with a proportion used by local authorities to commission refuge services
  • making £500 million available since 2010 to local authorities and the voluntary sector to prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, helping the most vulnerable in society – including victims of domestic abuse
  • publishing new homelessness statutory guidance which makes clear the levels of support that local authorities are expected to provide for victims of abuse

Today, the government also confirmed ongoing funding forUKRefugesOnline, a UK-wide service offering a detailed database of available bed spaces across the country, that helps victims of domestic abuse find the safety and support they need when they need it.

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