THE UK government has provided £6 million extra funding support to councils to prepare for the Domestic Abuse bill currently before Parliament.
The ’landmark legislation’ includes a new duty for councils to assess and provide support and safe accommodation to victims and their children in England from April 2021 when the new law comes into force.
This new funding announced on Monday(5) helps councils to prepare by linking in with other agencies such as police or health commissioners and ensure their staff receive training in the new duty.
The ‘extra help’ comes on top of a £10m emergency fund given to councils to help domestic abuse survivors during the pandemic to provide over 1,500 new beds and re-open 344 bed-spaces.
This is part of a wider £76m package of government support for the Covid-19 emergency response.
“Survivors of domestic abuse need safe refuge in order to escape this heinous crime, and support to start to rebuild their lives. Councils already provide much needed support, but the landmark Domestic Abuse bill will mean for the first time councils will have a duty to provide support in safe accommodation for anyone fleeing abuse,” said Kelly Tolhurst, minister for rough sleeping and housing.
“The funding will help councils prepare for this new duty that will see thousands more survivors helped and a generation of their children able to grow up safely and free from fear of abuse.”
The government had invested £80 million in safe accommodation services to support victims of domestic abuse since 2014, an official statement said.
In September 2019, an independent Domestic Abuse commissioner was appointed to lead on driving improvements in the response to domestic abuse in the UK.