New support for survivors of domestic abuse

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that survivors of domestic abuse will be provided with essential support in safe accommodation thanks to new legal requirement upon every council in England from next year.

As outlined in the Queen’s Speech, the government intends to amend the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to include for the first time a statutory duty on councils to provide support. It is hoped that this will transform the response to domestic abuse to better protect victims and their children, ensure they have the support they need, as well as pursuing their abusers.

Many councils are already providing tailored support to those in need, but this move will bring an end to the postcode lottery of support for those fleeing abusive relationships.

The government has also announced a further £15 million in funding to run these essential services in 2020 to 2021 – a 20 per cent increase on 2019 to 2020. The duty will then be funded from April 2021, subject to future spending review discussions.

Jenrick said: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their homes. This duty upon councils will now be brought forward – ensuring survivors get the help they need wherever they are, so they can rebuild their lives away from the threat of abuse. This government is determined to pursue abusers, better protect victims and their children, and ensure they have the support they need – so we can end this abhorrent practice for good.”