The Ministry of Justice is to invest the cash to help charities and other organisations tackling the issue to recruit more staff, keep helplines open for longer and set up remote counselling during the coronavirus pandemic. The package follows a surge in reported cases with a 46% rise in calls for help and will bolster extra support promised by the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill. It also follows the widely-praised Daily Express “End This Injustice” crusade aiming to make family courts safer for domestic abuse victims.
The new package of support will include:
:: £10.1million for rape and domestic abuse support centres and Police and Crime Commissioners to fund services in local areas.
:: £683,000 going directly towards up to 34 domestic abuse organisations that have shown a need for extra funds.
:: A renewal of the #YouAreNotAlone campaign on social media for the period of new restrictions, aiming to encourage domestic abuse victims to seek help.
Ministers will unveil a clearer set of rights for victims of crime setting out the support they should receive from the police, courts and other criminal justice agencies.
The new Victims’ Code will detail 12 rights for everyone hit by crime.
Coming into force in April 2021, the code will include a new right for eligible victims to be automatically referred to the Victim Contact Scheme as well as greater rights for victims of mentally disordered offenders.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “Now more than ever victims should know that they are not alone, and this Government will always strive to ensure support is there whenever they need it.
“This funding will boost vital services over the challenging months ahead and beyond, while the new Victims’ Code will give victims confidence that they’ll receive the right information and support to rebuild their lives.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Home is not a safe place for everyone during this pandemic, which is why I am doing everything I can to protect victims of domestic abuse this winter.
“Our domestic abuse awareness campaign, as well as extra Government funding for domestic abuse services, means that more victims know where to go for help and can access the support they need.
“During the lockdown earlier this year, we saw incredible work from the police to protect the vulnerable– this work is continuing and I will ensure that those committing these horrendous crimes will feel the full force of the law.”
Since the pandemic Government has made available over £92million to ensure victims of crime can still access the support they rely on, official said last night.