Government announces new “life-saving” services for survivors of domestic abuse

The Government has announced a raft of new measures designed to support victims of domestic abuse.

The consultation document proposing the changes has gone live this week, and will close after 12 weeks.

The key changes include placing a legal duty on local authorities to deliver support to survivors of domestic abuse and their children via accommodation-based services.

The first-of-its-kind move, which will be fully funded by the Government, will provide secure residence to those fleeing abusive and violent relationships and may help save lives.

The new legislation also intends to put an end to variation across the country in support for those suffering from domestic abuse.

The changes come after the most recent figures reveal that more than two million partners and their families are affected by abuse every year.

However, despite the huge impact domestic abuse can have on the lives of those it touches, support is sporadic and inconsistent across local authorities.

Likewise, local authorities will be required to “work together” to ensure domestic abuse services reflect the needs of local people, including those in the BAME and LGBT communities.

Announcing the changes, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’ve always vowed to leave no stone unturned in tackling domestic abuse – this abhorrent crime has no place in our country.

“And today we are ending the postcode lottery by placing on local authorities a legal duty to deliver support, including secure housing, to survivors of domestic abuse and their children.

“Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever the abuse you face, you will have access to the services you need to be safe.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire added: “For the first time ever, local authorities will have to legally assess the level of support needed in their local area and match that need with vital, life-saving services – helping untold numbers of families to safely rebuild their lives, free from the threat of pernicious abuse.”

To access the consultation document in full, please click here.

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