Cornwall Council is to receive additional funding to support victims of domestic abuse and their children.
The Council has been allocated £1,173,000 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The New Burdens Funding – Support for those in Safe Accommodation grant will be used to fund services for victims and their children who are living in refuges and other safe accommodation.
The pending Domestic Abuse Bill places a duty on local authorities across England to provide support to victims and their children and to ensure that eligible homeless victims of domestic abuse are automatically given ‘priority need’ for housing.
It will also provide a revised statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but includes emotional, coercive, controlling and economic abuse.
Cornwall Council’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence team welcome the proposed legislation and hope that these significant changes will give victims increased confidence to come forward and report their experience.
The team are now working with partners to develop existing services within Cornwall and to identify areas where further support is needed.
Councillor Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Cornwall Council, said: “We are pleased to see this Government is prioritising the needs of adults and children impacted by domestic abuse and are supporting Local Authorities to continue to provide and extend the vital support and services needed in our communities.
“We also hope that the changes due to introduced under the Domestic Abuse Bill give victims the confidence to speak out and know that they will be supported.”
Laura Ball, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy Director at Cornwall Council, said: “There is help available for anyone who is currently experiencing domestic abuse in Cornwall. We urge victims to speak out so we can help keep you safe.
“We know that many victims of abuse fear that they will have nowhere to go if they leave their abuser and this funding will enable us to improve and increase the services in place to support women and children at a time when they need it most.”
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or anyone who is worried that someone they know may be experiencing domestic abuse, can seek help via the Safer Futures website or by calling the Safer Futures Team on 0300 777 4777.