more support for domestic abuse victims

New Support For Survivors Of Domestic Abuse

This week the Government confirmed that local authorities will have a duty to deliver life-saving support to survivors of domestic abuse, ending a postcode lottery for those ‘fleeing violent relationships’.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that from 2021 there will be a new legal requirement on every council to provide support to victims of domestic abuse.

Support will not only better protect victims and their children but also help pursue their abusers. Mr Jenrick said:

“Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their homes.

This duty upon councils will now be brought forward – ensuring survivors get the help they need wherever they are, so they can rebuild their lives away from the threat of abuse.

This government is determined to pursue abusers, better protect victims and their children, and ensure they have the support they need – so we can end this abhorrent practice for good.”

The announcement and steps come alongside a wider drive to ‘bolster protection for survivors’, including the Domestic Abuse Bill currently awaiting its first reading in the House of Lords.

Ministers also awarded £22 million for domestic abuse projects in November 2018, allowing thousands more survivors access to help, such as beds in refuges and access to education and life skills.

A further £15 million towards funding by local authorities of essential services for survivors, for the period before the new legal duty comes into force, was also announced.

Alongside the new duty, local authorities will be required to develop and publish strategies which set out the details of the support services available to victims and survivors.

Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge, said:

“This much needed change in the law could mean an end to the postcode lottery of finding emergency accommodation, and would ensure critical specialist services are on a much more sustainable financial footing.”

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