Conservatives give £857,364 to Leicester City to help support victims of domestic abuse
Domestic abuse victims and their children living in Leicester will be able to receive more support thanks to extra Government funding.
Domestic abuse is unacceptable, and I am absolutely determined to do all I can to protect victims and their families and ensure perpetrators face tough action. It is a key duty of the Police and Crime Commissioner to support victims of domestic abuse and violence, and to ensure that the police have the tools, training and resources that they need to tackle this issue.
That is why this new grant of such a large amount of money is really important. Domestic abuse is a serious crime that far too often goes unrecognized and is not dealt with. All to often the women, and it is mostly women, who are the victims of domestic abuse and violence don’t want to admit to friends and relatives what is happening to them. Lockdown has made this all far worse. Women are often lockdown at home with those who are abusing them. Unable to get out to chat to friends and relatives – or even to get some relief from the pressure by shopping or walking in a park, victims are suffering more than ever.
School-age children are in an even worse position. They cannot go to school to escape the tension at home, nor to let off steam playing in the playground. They lack the supportive friends or ability to go out for a walk. They can’t pick up the phone to chat.
And Leicester City has its own pressures not found elsewhere. I’ve been talking to charity workers who are active caring for victims of domestic abuse. They are clear that issues around forced marriage and honor-based crimes have been continuing through Lockdown. Very often these issues are not covered by national initiatives. Local action to make life better for local women is clearly needed. Both local charities and police need to be sensitive to cultural issues and community response when dealing with this difficult area, but the perpetrators must be brought to book and the vulnerable cared for.
Mental health issues are creeping up on us and there will be long term damage to many.
I am already keen to see our police
- Continually monitor their response to domestic abuse to ensure continued best practice in this area;
- Use targeted help, commissioned services and working with our partners to help victims and their families feel safe, cope and recover.
- Work with schools and other bodies to ensure that children and young people affected by domestic abuse are informed about healthy relationships;
- Provide safe ways for victims to report domestic abuse and gain support;
- Tackle offending behaviour through robust behaviour-change programmes – including substance abuse, which is a factor in over 60% of cases – and prosecutions as appropriate.
For all these reasons, and others, I was pleased to see local action from the Conservative Government.
- Leicester City Council is to receive £857,364 to help fund a new duty to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation.
- A total of £125 million has been allocated to councils across England to support domestic abuse victims and their children.
- This new funding is part of the Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Bill and package of comprehensive support for victims.
The extra money will help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation, including 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.
In total, councils across England will receive £125 million. Leicester City will receive £857,364.
Under a new duty, which was a key Conservative manifesto commitment at the last election, councils will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.
It will come into force later this year with the passage of the landmark 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 a £40 million funding boost for victim support services announced on 1 February 2021, building on the unprecedented £76 million pledged in May 2020 to ensure vital services including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic.
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.
The Government is determined to support vulnerable people throughout the pandemic, and is working closely with councils, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.
I recognise that 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 £857,364 announced today for Leicester 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.”
Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes has told me: “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.”
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