More than £1 million for local councils to help support victims of domestic abuse in Furness


Simon Fell MP has welcomed the announcement that Cumbria County Council will receive £995,779, Barrow Borough Council, £33,047, and South Lakeland District Council £33,072 from the Government to provide additional support for victims of domestic abuse and their children from April 2021.

The extra funding 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.

Under the 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, Simon 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 £1 million plus announced today for our local councils 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. This is part of a wider package of support we have put in place for victims of rape and domestic abuse.

“While I welcome this funding boost to help those who so desperately need this support in Furness, it is a sad fact of life that this is required in the first place. We are fortunate locally to have organisations like Women’s Community Matters who do an amazing job in assisting women and men, and their families, who are survivors of such abuse to access the support they need.

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.”

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