The press release issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 12 December 2022.
- Councils to be handed £257 million to provide support for victims of domestic abuse and their children who are staying in safe accommodation
- Funding to go towards vital services such as counselling, financial advice, help rehousing and therapy for children
- Expected to support over 70,000 victims of domestic abuse in England
An estimated 70,000 victims of domestic abuse will benefit from specialist support services to help them rebuild their lives in a safe environment.
£257 million will be handed to councils across England to make sure safe accommodation spaces such as refuges and shelters can provide vital support. The support will include counselling, assistance with rehousing, financial advice and play therapy for traumatised children.
The funding, allocated over two years and issued as a flexible grant, will be used by local authorities to plan support services and work closely with local charities and other service providers to best meet the needs of victims who have had to flee their homes.
Housing and Homelessness Minister Felicity Buchan said:
Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, and this funding will help victims and their children across the country who need to escape from danger to recover and rebuild their lives in safe housing.
Whether it’s counselling, advice on how to handle finances or help finding a new home – councils can use this money to make a real difference on the ground, giving victims the help and support they need.
Domestic abuse is the most prevalent form of violence against women and girls. The 2019-20 crime survey estimated 2.3 million people experienced in the previous year experienced domestic abuse, with women more likely to be impacted.
This funding follows the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which places a legal duty on councils to fund support in safe accommodation for all victims and their families. The money will help pay for these vital services.
More than £330 million has already been invested since 2014 to provide support for domestic abuse victims in safe accommodation, with refuge bed spaces increasing by more than 20% in the past 12 years. On top of this, £5.7 million is being invested in the Respite Rooms programme which supports vulnerable rough sleepers impacted by domestic abuse.
This is in addition to the £2 million we provided to increase the capacity of domestic abuse helplines and online services during the pandemic.