Domestic abuse schemes in England and Wales will receive an extra £19m from the government over the next two years.
Most of the money will go towards programmes working with abusers, to reduce the risk of reoffending.
Most of the £19m, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Budget, will be delivered over the next year to programmes working with perpetrators. Women’s Aid said working with perpetrators was important but “must never come at the expense of funding lifesaving support for survivors”.
The charity added that an estimated funding “shortfall” of more than £200m would mean “women and children will be turned away from the lifesaving support they need“, and that the Budget had not addressed the “huge gap” in funding faced by many refuges for those seeking emergency help.
Domestic abuse has increased across the UK and the world during Covid lockdowns, organisations have reported. The United Nations has called the global increase in domestic abuse a “shadow pandemic“.
In the UK, charities say there has been a surge in demand for services. Police forces have also recorded a rise in incidents.
Some £4m of the new funding will help to pilot a network of so-called “respite rooms” to give specialist support to vulnerable homeless women in England in 2022-23.
Domestic abuse commissioner Nicole Jacobs said Mr Sunak’s announcement of the £19m was “hugely welcome” and would “make a significant difference” to domestic abuse survivors. However, she also said longer-term funding was needed for community-based support services.
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by domestic abuse, we may be able to help.
Help and support is available:
Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service (PDAS) – 0800 458 2558
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0800 2000 247
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428