- Over 100 charities providing life-saving services for domestic abuse survivors will benefit from a £8.1 million pot of government funding
- This will fund over 1,500 refuge spaces as well as further specialist support such as counselling
- Funding part of a wider package of support to help survivors of domestic abuse over the coming months
Over 100 successful charity bids across England will receive a share of £8.1 million government funding to continue to provide life-saving services during the current crisis, Homelessness Minister Luke Hall announced today (5 June 2020).
This funding will support domestic abuse safe accommodation services. It will provide over 1,500 bed spaces beds to support survivors of domestic abuse at risk during the pandemic, and will also support the critical work these charities do to help survivors and their children to rebuild their lives.
The funding comes from £10 million that has been made available to domestic abuse charities to support them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A second bidding round opened today in order to allocate the rest of the funding.
Successful charities in this round include:
- Refuge, which has been awarded £900,000 to support 48 refuges and over 300 bed spaces across the country;
- Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, working in partnership with 4 other domestic abuse services, making available up to 200 bed spaces
- Latin American Women’s Aid, working with specialist organisations Asha, Ashiana Network and London Black Women’s Project, to provide additional 20 bed spaces.
Homelessness Minister Luke Hall said:
Home should be a place of sanctuary, but for domestic abuse survivors and their children, it is the opposite.
Protecting survivors is an absolute priority during these unprecedented times and beyond. The funding will give charities the vital lifeline they need to help people across England escape abuse and rebuild their lives, away from the threat of violence.
Nicole Jacobs, Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner:
This is excellent news for all those safe accommodation charities who are working so hard to keep to vital services open and running and provide support to survivors of domestic abuse and their children during the pandemic.
I am so pleased to see the success of specialist charities in securing funding, particularly those who support black and marginalised women when they need it most.
I have worked with MHCLG on the fund and I have been impressed by the speed of delivery and robust processes in place to assess applications. I look forward to continuing to work closely with MHCLG and across government to ensure that funding is made available quickly to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse during these difficult and dangerous times.
Over a third of successful applicants offer specialist services to particular groups such as BAME, LGBT and disabled victims.
One of the charities set to benefit is Imkaan. Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation. They are dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls. They hold nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.
Baljit Banga, Executive Director, Imkaan said:
I am very pleased about the news of the successful bids from Black and minoritised women’s organisations. This level of success has not happened in a very long time, so I want to acknowledge the wisdom of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in providing support to this sector.
I know that this sector adds significant social value to this country. I know organisations have been struggling under the emergency of the two pandemics – COVID 19 and VAWG (violence against women and girls) – I thank MHCLG and I value the support you have provided.
Government has also confirmed that it will bring forward legislation to give domestic abuse victims ‘priority need’ access to settled housing, ensuring they can find a home which is safe, secure and away from the threat of abuse.
This funding allocation follows the virtual Hidden Harms Summit convened by the Prime Minister last month which was held in response to the unique challenges victims have faced during the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they continue to get support.
This builds on recent government action to protect survivors of domestic abuse during the current pandemic and beyond, including:
- Over £16 million to 75 projects to help fund domestic abuse refuge services for victims and their children;
- £25 million for support services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the community during the coronavirus outbreak, plus £3 million to fund Independent Sexual Violence Advisers until 2022;
- A new campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, highlighting that those at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse can still leave and seek refuge and publicising support available