Domestic Abuse: Refuges

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th April 2017.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an estimate of the cost of providing refuges to adequately meet the needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors.

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

Domestic and sexual violence are devastating crimes and we are determined to ensure that victims, regardless of their circumstances, should receive the support they need when they need it.

Local areas are best placed to understand local needs and the Government has devolved power and responsibility for meeting those needs accordingly. We have set out a clear blueprint for locally driven action through our new National Statement of Expectations. This was developed with voluntary, community sector and statutory stakeholders, and sets out for the first time what local areas need to do to ensure an effective response to meeting the needs of all victims of violence against women and girls. We expect local areas to do the right thing and provide services that are responsive to the needs of victims of domestic and sexual violence. Local areas should assess their need for these services and make decisions on the provision of refuges and support to fit the identified needs, both for people from within and outside their local area.

The Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, published on 8 March 2016, commited us to providing funding of £80 million to support victims of violence against women and girls. From this:

  • We are supporting local delivery through our £20 million fund for specialist accommodation based support, funding 76 projects across the country to support victims of domestic abuse, creating more than 2,200 bed spaces and giving support to over 19,000 victims; and
  • Our £15 million Violence Against Women and Girls Service Transformation Fund will encourage better collaboration between local commissioners, and with specialist violence against women and girls service providers.

The Prime Minister announced a new programme of work to transform the way we think about and tackle domestic abuse and to support this programme further funding of £20 million was announced in the Budget, bringing our total support provided to victims of violence against women and girls to £100 million.

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