Women’s Aid welcomes £2 million fund

Women’s Aid have said they welcome the £2 million fund to help survivors of domestic abuse  

Women’s Aid have stated that they are “delighted to be working with the Home Office, member services and sector peers” to help with the distribution of an additional £2 million in funding. This funding will provide one-off payments to survivors of domestic abuse to leave their abusers.  

The funding, which will be available from 31st January 2024, is available to survivors of domestic abuse who do not have the financial means to leave their abusers. They will be able to apply for a one-off payment of up to £500 via one of over 470 support services.

This funding can be used for essential items which they feel are things such as groceries, nappies or support with new accommodation to help them and their children flee to safety.     

For the first time, there is also the option for survivors to apply for a further one-off payment of up to £2,500 to help secure a “sustainable independent future”, such as putting down a deposit for rental accommodation. Women’s Aid feel that this can play an important role in preventing homelessness as well as trying to alleviate some of the financial pressures faced by survivors, by providing stability and independence. 

The £2 million will be delivered via referrals from a network of local frontline services in England and Wales. These include various organisations, helplines and caseworkers who have a specialist understanding of domestic abuse.     

The fund, which will initially last until March 2025, builds on a pilot that took place in May 2023, which was delivered by Women’s Aid and the Home Office. This pilot helped over 600 women find safety.

 Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“At Women’s Aid we warmly welcome the funding which will be made available to all survivors of domestic abuse through our, and our partners’, work with the Home Office. Domestic abuse affects a huge number of people, many of whom face additional challenges when it comes to receiving the life-changing support that they need. This year, we are delighted to be working with specialist services to ensure all survivors, including those from minoritised groups, receive the help they so desperately need.   

When we worked on the pilot of the fund in May last year, we saw immediately the impact this was having on survivors – over 75% of applicants used their grant to replace or purchase essential goods for themselves or their children, after they had fled their abuser with nothing to their name.     

This year’s funding will make life-changing improvements to the lives of countless adult and child survivors, allowing them to take those first steps towards a life free of abuse. We are immensely proud to be a part of this, especially during our 50th year, and believe that by allowing more survivors to escape their abusers, we are taking steps in the right direction to building a society in which domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.”

Melanie Brown, MBE, Patron of Women’s Aid, commented:

“I am so happy at the news that the government fund for survivors of domestic abuse will continue – I know how needed it is and the difference it has made to the lives of women and children who could not have left without it. 

As someone who knows first-hand what it is like to live in fear of a partner, I am proud to have campaigned as Patron of Women’s Aid and with The Sun on this important issue, and thank the government for listening to our voices.”

Read the original story as well as the views of James Cleverly and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner here.

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