Extra cash to support victims of domestic abuse welcomed in Mid Sussex

Extra funding to support victims of domestic abuse and their children has been welcomed in Mid Sussex.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 2:57 pm

The Government is providing £125million to local authorities across England to help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation.

This includes 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.

West Sussex County Council’s share of the national pot will be £1.5million.

A total of £125million nationally has been made available for councils to support victims of domestic abuse

County councillor for Burgess Hill East, Anne Jones said: “This is fantastic news. I have been supporting vulnerable families in West Sussex for many years and the majority of the work I carry out as a county councillor are with families and children who are coping with difficult lives that involve domestic violence.

“This money will help create a centre for men and women who will then feel like they have a safe place for them to deal with the trauma they have had to endure.”

Under new duties, councils will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.

These 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 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 £40m for victim support services announced at the start of February.

The Conservative government says this builds on the £76m pledged last May to ensure vital services including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic.

Mims Davies, Mid Sussex MP, added: “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 £1,498,174 announced today for West Sussex County Council 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.

“In taking another big step towards helping break the cycle of domestic abuse and protecting some of the most vulnerable in our society, we are transforming our response to victims and will help them move forward with their lives.”

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.

Eddie Hughes, minister for rough sleeping and housing, 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.”