Government boosts support for refuges
The UK government will provide a total of £16.6m to 75 projects across England to help councils provide safe housing for survivors of domestic abuse and their children, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced.
According to government calculations, up to 43,000 people will benefit from the measure which comes after confirmation of a new legal duty on councils to deliver support to domestic abuse survivors. That is a follow through to an initiative of then Prime Minister Theresa May.
The government also plans to shortly reintroduce to Parliament the Domestic Abuse Bill she championed.
Welcoming the cash announcement, Local Government Association (LGA) official Simon Blackburn said: “With long-term, sustainable funding, councils can work with the government and partners to further safeguard individuals and families from the physical and psychological harm of domestic abuse and prevent it happening in the first place.” Councillor Blackburn is chairman of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board.
The government’s announcement came three weeks after Women’s Aid released its annual Domestic Abuse Report for 2019 which showed around two-thirds of applications for space in a refuge by women fleeing domestic abuse were declined.