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£1.3m Grant As Government Reveals Domestic Abuse Bill
Government Releases Landmark Draft Domestic Abuse Bill
Domestic abuse is a traumatic crime that often occurs where safety should be taken for granted. For example, in one’s home or in a once loving relationship. It makes home a place of danger, not safety – even without physical harm. The government’s recently published draft Domestic Abuse Bill recognises these hidden threats. For the first time, the statutory definition of domestic abuse would include coercive control, manipulation, and economic forms of non-physical abuse.
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “The draft Domestic Abuse bill recognises the complex nature of these horrific crimes and puts the needs of victims and their families at the forefront.”
This is an important step because it would bring the law closer to the reality people live with. Likewise, it will help agencies to better protect people affected by domestic violence.
£1.3m MHCLG Grant for Domestic Abuse
The YOU Trust has helped to secure £1,297,125 to support those experiencing domestic abuse in Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight. YOU were part of an innovative project bid led by Hart District Council.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government sought bids that would keep domestic abuse victims safe in their own homes. They also focused on early interventions and preventive measures because this is key to achieving lasting change. The grant will continue and grow the successful Making Safe Scheme, launched in 2015.
Under the scheme, YOU Trust outreach workers add security measures into homes where someone is at risk. Firstly, the MHCLG grant funds an 18-month extension of the scheme. Secondly, it brings the effective practice to Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Finally, it allows new initiatives to be tried.
YOU’s Dorset-based Isolated Communities Engagement Project (Dragonfly Project) will expand to West Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The project builds support into the community, empowering victims and enabling earlier intervention. A bespoke Health team will work across hospital and GP surgeries, and out in the community. We hope that victims will come forward, confident in finding the support they need due to the new definition laid out in the draft Domestic Abuse Bill.
Additional bed spaces will be available in refuges within all three counties for those who need to flee. Further, YOU has opened an independent refuge for single men, men with children and couples escaping domestic abuse. Another benefit of the funding is that it pays for 22 additional health workers, domestic abuse specialists, and refuge workers.
Why Funding Matters
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of survivors and their families. It is our duty to ensure survivors can seek help by providing the support they need to restart their lives.
Through providing specialist accommodation and access to employment, this fund will make sure local authorities and charities can provide a strong safety net for anyone facing the threat of abuse in their own home.”
Tonia Redvers, Head of Hidden Violence and Counselling Services at YOU said, “We are thrilled that our work continues to receive national recognition whilst we work so well with our local partners. With local funding reducing and the threat of diminished refuge bed spaces, this funding is vital to ensure there is a place for anyone who needs help and support or is escaping violence and abuse.”
If domestic abuse affects you, access free, confidential support by calling:
Hampshire 0800 916 9878
Dorset 0800 032 5204
Isle of Wight 0800 234 6266
In an emergency, please dial 999.