Domestic violence in lockdown
Fears of further increase in domestic abuse in second lockdown
In two previous blogs
I detailed the forthcoming Domestic Violence bill and assistance given in the first lockdown to help those trapped in abusive relationships.
As we are now in a second lockdown with much uncertainty going forward, organisations working with people facing domestic abuse are making renewed calls for long term funding and are pushing for further amendments to the Domestic Violence bill as it passes through the House of Lords.
Frontline organisations, whilst welcoming government funding of £2 million early in the pandemic and a further £76 million to help the vulnerable during lockdown
say that funding is vastly insufficient.
During the decade of austerity 2008 – 2018 this sector has suffered drastic funding cuts including £7 million slashed by councils for women’s refuges between 2010 – 2018.
The Domestic Violence bill due to become law in early 2021 will bring significant reforms in England and Wales including for the first time to recognising children as victims, a ban on “consenting” to rough sex as being used as a defence in murder cases and an acknowledgment of economic abuse.
So far, the Government has given English Councils a further £6million to help them prepare for legal duties to provide domestic abuse services, concerns remain about funding shortfalls.
Refuge estimates the Government needs to commit at least £174 million per year so that councils can commission refuge accommodation.
Women’s’ Aid estimates that to fund the sector in England and meet demand the service requires £393 million annually.
The Home Office point to the package of support of £2million for helplines and online services, £76 million for charities supporting survivors of domestic abuse as well as campaigns #YouAreNotAlone.
The issue of additional funding is concerning particularly as two lockdowns have meant that those people in abusive relationships are not in a place where they can seek help. Also, for the Domestic Violence bill to have any real impact, it needs to have proper funding to alleviate years of financial cuts.
If there are issues in your relationship which are causing you concern during these uncertain times and the present lockdown situation, please do contact me for a discussion on how I can help.
My telephone number is 07958 028069 or email email@example.com