Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes

Home Office written question – answered on 26th June 2020.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what services the Government has made available for vulnerable (a) children and (b) adults who are at risk of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what the stresses.

The Government acknowledges that measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause additional anxiety for those who are at risk of domestic abuse. We are working closely with the sector and local safeguarding partners to understand how COVID-19 has impacted on their work to protect vulnerable children and adults. Safeguarding remains a priority during this extremely challenging period, and we continue to support local agencies to continue to work together and keep children safe.

Guidance on vulnerable children and young people has been updated and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

The Government will make funding worth £1.6 million available immediately for the NSPCC to expand and promote its national helpline for adults. This will assist more adults to know how and where to raise concerns and seek advice or support about the safety and wellbeing of any children they are worried about.

Following increases in calls to domestic abuse helplines and online services, the Home Secretary announced an additional £2m to bolster organisations’ capacity on April 11. This is in addition to £28m of Government funding for domestic abuse charities to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the coronavirus outbreak.

We have also launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and signpost victims to the support services available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time. Details of these services can be found at www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

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