Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offences: Victim Support Schemes

Home Office written question – answered on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government is providing to victims of (a) domestic and (b) sexual abuse.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government is committed to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls. Since 2016 we have pledged increased funding of £100m to support victims of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

The funding has been used for specific services for victims and survivors of sexual violence. This includes £12.5m provided by the Ministry of Justice, of which £7.2m was allocated to 97 rape support services across England and Wales and £4.7m to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to deliver local support services for victims of Child Sexual Abuse across England and Wales.

From April 2019, rape and sexual abuse support services received an £800,000 increase in funding, allowing them to help more victims of sexual violence including recent and non-recent child sexual abuse. This funding, now totalling £24 million over the next three years, will help provide advice, support and counselling to victims of these appalling crimes. We have also provided £150,000 per year core grant funding to national third sector organisations who support victims of rape and sexual violence since 2011.

We are also supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse through the £17m VAWG Transformation Fund. From 2017 to 2020, the Government is funding 41 local areas to promote early intervention and prevention.

In addition funding has been allocated across a range of projects focused on supporting those affected by domestic abuse including; £8m specifically for children; £2m for female offenders; and £2m to improve the health service response to domestic abuse.

In November 2018, we announced £22m to provide over 2,220 new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation – supporting more than 19,000 survivors with a safe space to rebuild their lives.

There are a range of other Government funding sources which are supporting victims of domestic and sexual abuse including; the £15m Police Transformation Fund; the £9m Tampon Tax Fund; the £16.9m Children’s Social Care Innovation Fund; £27m of funding to support 47 Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in England and; £63m of annual funding to PCCs for Victims Services.

The Government has also recently committed to provide over £1m of funding per year, until 2021/22, for the seven national helplines which provide support to victims of domestic abuse, victims of stalking, perpetrators of abuse, victims of revenge porn and victims of honour-based abuse.

As part of the Government’s continued commitment to tackle VAWG, this year we have published the draft Domestic Abuse Bill and the VAWG strategy refresh.

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