The Domestic Abuse Commissioner welcomes extra £40m

Today (February 1st) the Domestic Abuse Commissioner has welcomed an announcement of an extra £40m of Ministry of Justice funding for support services to help victims of rape and domestic abuse in England and Wales.

“I am delighted that domestic abuse services in England and Wales will be receiving extra funds from the Government to reflect the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on victims and frontline workers.

“We know that lockdown has been an extremely difficult time for victims who live with perpetrators and these funds will mean that it is easier for all victims to access community-based support. I am very pleased to see that more money will be available for additional domestic abuse advisers who play a crucial role in keeping victims safe.

“I welcome the Ministry of Justice’s decision to provide £2 million ringfenced funding for smaller specialist organisations helping BAME, LGBTQ+ or disabled victims. These services have been chronically underfunded for many years, and I would like to see all the funding announced today support organisations who reflect the diversity of our communities and support the most marginalised victims and survivors.

“In the future I would like to see a more sustainable approach to longer term funding across the domestic abuse sector. During the pandemic we have seen how vital these services are – in many cases they are a lifeline for victims.

“We have the chance to tackle some of these funding issues as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill and I would like to see a statutory duty on local authorities to fund all community based services – not just refuges – in the legislation.”

Notes to Editors:

The £40m announced on February 1st includes:

  • £20.7 million for local, community-based sexual violence and domestic abuse services, helping to reduce the amount of time survivors have to wait for support. Male specific services will see a 60% funding increase following a significant increase in demand for support from men and boys.
  • £16 million to recruit more independent sexual violence and domestic abuse advisers – increasing their numbers by around 400 meaning more victims of all ages can access this vital support.
  • £2 million for smaller specialist organisations helping BAME, LGBTQ+ or disabled victims.
  • £1.3 million for remote and online services – allowing more victims to access support while at home. £800k of this will go toFinding Legal Options for Women Survivors (FLOWS), a digital tool that helps victims of domestic abuse to apply for emergency protection from the courts.