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Extra support for councils to expand services for domestic abuse victims and their children

Consultation launched on allocation of funding

The Government has announced funding of £6 million to enable councils to prepare for the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The Bill is currently awaiting its second reading in the House of Lords having completed its passage through the House of Commons in July 2020. It is expected to come into force in April 2021. From that time local authorities in England will have a duty to?assess and?provide?support and safe accommodation?to victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Once the duty comes into forces, the new funding announced will?help councils in England to commission additional support for those victims of domestic abuse and their children who might currently be turned away from refuges and other safe accommodation because their needs cannot be met. The Government says that this new funding will mean that councils can plan accommodation and specialist services ahead of the Act coming into force and ensure that in all areas across the country services are joined up.

Councils can prepare by linking in with other agencies, such as police or health commissioners, and ensure their staff receive training in the new duty.

Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Kelly Tolhurst said:

"Survivors of domestic abuse need safe refuge in order to escape this heinous crime, and support to start to rebuild their lives. Councils already provide much needed support, but the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will mean for the first time councils will have a duty to provide support in safe accommodation for anyone fleeing abuse. The funding I am announcing today will help councils prepare for this new duty that will see thousands more survivors helped and a generation of their children able to grow up safely and free from fear of abuse."

In addition, a consultation has been launched seeking views on the Government's proposals for allocation of this new burden funding associated with the duty to Tier 1 and Tier 2 local authorities.

For the Domestic Abuse Bill, click here. For the consultation, click here.