Government announces additional safeguards for victims of domestic abuse

The Government has announced more than £16 million of new funding to support housing projects which protect victims and families at risk of domestic abuse.

The new fund, launched this week, will provide £16.6million to 75 projects across England to help fund domestic abuse refuge services.

It comes after the Government announced new plans to ensure every council in England and Wales legally provides “essential, life-saving support” from 2021.

With rates of domestic abuse rising to almost two million cases per year, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the refuge services provide somewhere for victims of domestic abuse and their children to stay safe while awaiting the outcome of a trial and permanent rehousing, if required.

“Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in their own homes – the place where they should feel most safe and secure,” he said.

“No victim of domestic abuse should have to struggle to get the right support, or wait months for help that they need. This new funding of £16.6 million will help local areas better protect victims and their children and provide essential life-saving services, delivering the urgent support that they need to rebuild their lives.”

The announcement comes after major domestic abuse reforms were reintroduced to Parliament following prorogation in September 2019.

The new Domestic Abuse Bill will set out a number of legislative changes, including amending the legal definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and control and manipulative non-physical abuse for the first time.

It will also include a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order and prohibit perpetrators of domestic and other forms of abuse from cross-examining their victims in person in the family courts.

For help and advice, please get in touch with our expert family law team.

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