Bexhill and Battle MP, Huw Merriman, has welcomed £1,068,272 of Government funding to support domestic abuse victims and their children in East Sussex.
The extra funding will ensure victims and their children can access vital support in safe accommodation including advocacy, counselling and therapy in locations safely away from their abuser.
As Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse, Mr Merriman has worked with the Government to introduce a new duty whereby Local Authorities will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.
The funding announced today will ensure Local Authorities are prepared to take on this duty, which will come into force later this year and fulfil one of the Government’s manifesto pledges.
More than 3,000 arrests were made for domestic abuse related crimes in the first national lockdown and in November, Sussex Police secured £402,000 from the Government to set up the first county-wide domestic abuse perpetrator programme.
Huw said: “Whilst we continue to battle COVID-19, the hidden domestic abuse pandemic is worsening with high stress levels and more of us spending the majority of our time at home. We must protect and empower victims, and I welcome that this substantial £1 million allocation will do just that while helping to rebuild lives."
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 1st February 2021, building on the unprecedented £76 million pledged in May 2020 to ensure vital services including refuges, helpings and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic.
In January, the 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.