Domestic Abuse: Victims

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 4th June 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that victims of domestic abuse in all locations of the UK are provided with alternative emergency accommodation.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

My Department’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running, so victims can access support and safe accommodation.

On 2 May, the Government announced an unprecedented £76 million package of support from the Charities Fund to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic. My Department secured £10 million of this package specifically for safe accommodation in England.

Where charitable services are devolved the Government has applied the Barnett formula in the normal way. We expect the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to receive at least £60 million as a result and we encourage them to use this funding to support victims of domestic abuse.

Where safe accommodation charities in England judge hotels and other alternative emergency accommodation to be necessary, safe and appropriate, they have been able to apply to fund such costs through this £10 million fund which closed on 21 May.

In addition, we have also put in place a system to enable local authorities who need additional accommodation to meet demand during the pandemic to book rooms for domestic abuse victims through a centralised system.

We will continue to engage with the sector as the emergency unfolds, to understand the additional challenges they are facing and how best to help them support victims and their children during the pandemic.

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