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Support for a range of abuse victims announced


Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, £76million, support, victims of trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual violence, lockdown, COVID-19‘This funding will ensure they can continue to receive the support they desperately need to rebuild their lives.’

A £76 million ‘package’ aiming to ensure the most vulnerable in society ‘get the support they need’ during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic was announced on 2 May by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP.

It is coming from the £750 million of support for charities announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8 April, and is to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, modern slavery, and vulnerable children and young people.

And in an attempt to ensure more survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home, a change is to  be made to the current rules so that those who flee domestic abuse and face homelessness as a result are to be automatically considered by their council as a priority for housing.

These steps recognise both that front line charities have struggled to continue some of their work during the pandemic and the increased risks for people trapped in abusive or exploitative situations

The funding will also help front-line charities to be able to offer different ways of supporting those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services, as well as providing direct support to families of disabled children through the provision of goods including household appliances and sensory toys.

This funding pledge is part of what the government calls ‘comprehensive measures to support vulnerable people through the pandemic’, and the announcement said the government is working closely with councils, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.

This funding update includes:

£28 million to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the coronavirus outbreak.

£10 million to support victims of sexual violence access advice and support, through the funding of technology to enable charities to offer services remotely.

A further £3 million per annum until 2022 will also be invested in the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors across the country.

£ 1.73 million to provide emergency support to modern slavery charities who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. This funding will go towards individuals supported through the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract and will allow victims to stay in government-funded safe accommodation for the next three months, access financial assistance, access support services remotely, and ensure the management of additional demand on the services during this period.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be providing £10m for safe accommodation services. This funding applies to England and the announcement regarding automatic priority consideration for housing applies to England.

The Ministry of Justice will provide £25 million to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the community access support services during the coronavirus outbreak, and a further £3m per annum investment in Independent Sexual Violence Advisers until 2022. This funding applies to England and Wales.

The Home Office will be providing £3.8 million for community-based domestic abuse services and modern slavery services, and for added support for modern slavery charities who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Announcing the plan, the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “It is essential that the most vulnerable people in our communities continue to get the vital support they need during this pandemic.

“This multi-million-pound package is a boost for charities working on front line to provide often lifesaving support or services at this unprecedented time.

“This includes essential support for domestic abuse victims, living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their home.”

And the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, said: “Protecting the most vulnerable in our society is crucial in these difficult times. Whilst staying at home for a prolonged period of time is a challenge for us all, for some it poses a different kind of struggle, which takes place behind closed doors.

“For survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery, this funding will ensure they can continue to receive the support they desperately need to rebuild their lives, whether that’s safe accommodation or specialist counselling.”

The Lord Chancellor, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “Domestic abuse and sexual violence are devastating crimes and now, more than ever, victims should know that they are not alone.

“Throughout the pandemic, this government has made protecting those at risk of abuse a priority and this important new investment will ensure that vital support services are available when needed.

“Despite these challenging times, we will always do everything in our power to bring perpetrators to justice and stand by those who have experienced such horrific crimes.”

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