Domestic abuse victims and their children in Redditch will receive extra support to help them rebuild their lives in a safe environment following more than £1 million in Government funding.
A further £125 million will be handed to councils to make sure safe accommodation spaces, such as refuges and shelters, can provide victims with vital support services including healthcare, social workers and benefits.
Interpreters, immigration advice, drug or alcohol support and other specialist services will also be funded and made available so that anyone who flees their home gets the help they need.
It’s been announced today (February 15th) that Worcestershire County Council will receive an un-ringfenced grant of £1,095,728 – with the council responsible for making decisions on how the funding is spent to benefit those in need.
The Government has also announced today it will consult on current housing rules, with the aim of giving victims more choice on where they rebuild their lives.
By looking at the rules on joint tenancies and the Local Connections Test, the Government intends to make it easier for them to either move away from their abusers and start their lives afresh, or help them to stay in their own homes if that is safe and they choose to do so.
“Home is not the safe place it should be for domestic abuse victims and their families. The extra support provided today will provide a vital lifeline for victims as they try and rebuild their lives positively while feeling supported and protected.
“These are important changes that sit alongside the new measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which will give victims of domestic abuse longer to report offences to the police, so that abusers do not evade justice.”
A consultation launched today will consider removing Local Connection Tests for abuse victims, which can stop victims from applying for social housing if they do not have a connection to a local area.
This can often mean victims are forced to live in the same communities as their abuser and are denied a fresh start in a new town.
A second consultation will consider whether and how to change current rules that make it difficult for victims to remove their perpetrators from joint tenancies, which can mean victims either feel forced to stay in their home or are at risk of being made homeless by their abuser.
The Government will call on people with experience of domestic abuse and those working in the sector to share their views.