Government announce major funding for rape and domestic abuse support
The Government have today (18 November 2020) announced they will give a major funding boost for victims of rape and domestic abuse due to those working in the services enduring greater demand this winter.
Nearly £11 million will go towards a range of services offering practical and emotional help – allowing organisations to recruit more staff, adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic and keep helplines open for longer.
In addition Ministers have today announced a further £7 million will go towards a range of innovative programmes aimed at perpetrators – designed to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place.
It comes as charities have reported a sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, including a 46% rise in calls, with some victims feeling at greater risk of harm or deciding to report abuse for the first time – and the UK’s first lockdown resulted in a record number of people obtaining court orders for domestic abuse in order to protect themselves.
New figures released reveal that more than 8,800 applications for domestic violence remedy orders were registered in England and Wales between April and June 2020. This is the highest number ever recorded by the Ministry of Justice in a quarter – with the figure being 24% higher than the same.
Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC MP said:
“Nothing will detract from our support for victims and their needs will continue to be a priority long after this pandemic.
“This funding will make sure that vital help is always available for those who need it, while our new Victims’ Code will ensure their rights are recognised at every stage of the justice system.”
Home Secretary, Priti Patel said:
“My message to victims of domestic abuse during this unprecedented time is clear: You are not alone.
“This funding and our awareness campaign will help victims get the support they need, and police work is continuing throughout the winter to ensure victims are protected and those committing these crimes feel the full force of the law.
“It is also vital that we tackle the root causes of violent behaviour which is why we are funding perpetrator prevention programmes to identify serial offenders, and work with them to change their behaviour.
Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping Kelly Tolhurst MP said:
“We know that for some the lockdown has led to issues with violence in the home – this is completely unacceptable. Our message to those fleeing domestic abuse is that you can still leave your home and escape to safety if needed with your children – and we are keeping refuges open to support.
“Our emergency funding is creating extra bed spaces over winter, to help supporting victims escape and rebuild their lives, free from abuse.”