Ministers have today confirmed a major funding boost for victims of rape and domestic abuse as services face dealing with greater demand this winter. The Government will provide an extra £17 million to support and protect victims of rape and domestic abuse this winter, ensuring that support is always available to people who suffer from these heinous crimes.
Rebecca Harris MP welcomes this funding, especially as there has been a deeply concerning rise in people reaching out to domestic abuse charities during the pandemic. The Government’s message to victims of during this unprecedented time is clear: you are not alone.
The Government will provide nearly £11 million to support a range of services offering practical and emotional help, allowing organisations to recruit more staff and adapt to offering remote support during the winter. The Government will also invest a further £7 million on a range of innovative programmes aimed at perpetrators, and which are designed to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place.
This funding will make sure that vital help is always available for those who need it, while tackling the root causes of violent behaviour that can bring so much harm.
In addition, victims of all crimes will benefit from a clearer set of rights regarding the support they should receive from the police, courts and other criminal justice agencies.
The new Victims’ Code sets out 12 key overarching rights, which are clear, concise and easy understand. It will come into force on 1 April 2021 and includes 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.
Rebecca is also pleased that domestic abuse, sexual violence cases and other serious offences have been prioritised by the courts during the pandemic. The Government is investing £80 million in a range of measures to reduce delays and deliver speedier justice for victims - including hiring 1,600 new staff and opening more temporary ‘Nightingale Courts’.
To view more information on what today’s package means and what the Government has made available since the pandemic (over £92 million) to ensure victims of crime can still access the support, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-boost-for-rape-and-domestic-abuse-support.