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Government announce new support for children affected by domestic abuse

Julie Waring

The Government have announced a funding boost specifically supporting children affected by domestic abuse.

The Home office has announced this week (Tuesday 28th April) that £3.1 million will go to specialist services for children who have both been directly and indirectly affected by domestic abuse.

This can include one-to-one and group counselling sessions to improve the mental health of children affected and early intervention schemes.

The new funding will be split between local authorities, children’s charities and Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.

Head of domestic abuse at Morecrofts, Julie Waring said: “This is a welcome announcement from The Government. It’s not acceptable that some children witness abuse carried out in the home.”

Minister for Safeguarding Victoria Atkins said: “This funding will go towards supporting these children, healing their emotional scars, and ensuring they can move forwards and have a positive future.”

Barnardo’s is included in the recipients of the funding.

The news comes as The Domestic Abuse Bill heard it’s second reading.

The Bill will introduce a wide range of measures to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse as well as ensure perpetrators are punished.

Some of the measures included in the Bill include:

  • create a statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising it can be more than just physical violence
  • establish the role of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner in law
  • provide police with new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders and Domestic Abuse Protection Notices
  • place a statutory duty on local authorities to provide support to victims of domestic abuse
  • prohibit perpetrators from cross examining witnesses in family courts in England and Wales
  • ensure victims of domestic abuse receive special measures in criminal courts, such as allowing them to provide evidence by video link

In addition to the funding and measures in the Bill, the government has provided additional support to help those at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this month, the Home Secretary Priti Patel launched the #YouAreNotAlone domestic abuse public awareness campaign, and pledged a further £2 million to bolster domestic abuse charities online support services.

You can read more about this in our previous story here

 

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