Domestic abuse victims and their children living in Watford and Three Rivers will receive more support thanks to extra Government funding.
In total, councils across England will receive £125 million, with Watford in line for £33,957 and £36,200 for Three Rivers.
The extra money will help victims and their children access lifesaving 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.
Under a new duty, which was a key manifesto commitment at the 2019 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 Domestic Abuse Bill, with funding announced in advance so local authorities know how much they will receive 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 earlier this month, building on the unprecedented £76 million pledged in May 2020 to ensure vital services including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic
Earlier this year the 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.
Dean Russell MP 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 funding announced today 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, and is part of a wider package of support we have put in place for victims of rape and domestic abuse. We need to do more than just provide a home for victims, we need to ensure the mental health of the victims is also cared for,"
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. 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."