Stop Domestic Abuse shares in £15 million emergency coronavirus fundingfor domestic abuse charities.
Stop Domestic Abuse, a local charity, supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse has secured £276,967 from the Ministry of Justice. Victims of domestic abuse are benefiting from £15 million of emergency funding during the pandemic to help domestic abuse charities provide remote services and expand their support. Social distancing measures mean that charities may not be able to offer face-to-face support for some of its services and this means that they must transfer to deliver remote services to provide victims with the practical and emotional help they need. Stop Domestic Abuse will now receive funding to maintain their life-saving services. It will allow them to employ more staff, keep helplines open longer, as well as fund the technology needed for other forms of contact with victims - such as video calls.
The pandemic could not have come at a worse time for specialist domestic abuse services who have faced years of funding crises and are now operating in a 'perfect storm' of lost fundraising income, additional costs of remote working, increasing complexity of caseloads, and staff shortages.
This funding will ensure that Stop Domestic Abuse can ensure that life-saving community-based support to women, children and men affected by domestic abuse continues to be delivered during the COVID-19 emergency. This funding success follows the award of £291,608 from The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation: MHCLG COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund which is also part of the Government’s package of support for the most vulnerable in society.
The Government recognises the need to protect specialist domestic abuse services such as Stop Domestic Abuse which provide trauma-informed services to those affected by domestic abuse.
This funding will help resource Stop Domestic Abuse’s community-based services until 31 October 2020
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 66% increase in calls in May 2020 calls and 950% increase in website traffic compared to pre-COVID
- Self-referrals to Stop Domestic Abuse are 88% higher in June 2020 than in March and April 2020 as government restrictions are eased
- In June 2020 calls to Stop Domestic Abuse Advice Lines are 57% higher than in March and April 2020 as government restrictions are eased
- In June 2020 35% more adults are being supported by Stop Domestic Abuse on a one to one basis at any one time compared to February 2020 (pre-lockdown).
Stop Domestic Abuse expects referrals for help and support to continue to increase as there are more opportunities to leave the home: schools re-open, A&E and GP visits return to normal levels, Health Visitors and Social Workers resume home visits and other agencies resume services.
Claire Lambon CEO says: “I am delighted to that we have secured Government COVID-19 funding to support our services. Whilst these funding resources are vital, they are only short-term, and we desperately need longer-term funding to continue to support the increase in demand for our services.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the lack of protection and support for survivors of domestic abuse. As a specialist organisation we want the government to make the prevention of abuse, protection and support for survivors, and pursuit of perpetrators central to the COVID-19 response.
It was foreseeable that the mass experience of isolation, and the closure of many routes to safety and support, would be used as a tool of coercive control by perpetrators and increase physical and emotional harm. The impact on victims and their children will last for years.
I am grateful to my colleagues at Stop Domestic Abuse for their incredible response to support those affected by domestic abuse during this pandemic. Many have remained in client facing roles in order to keep the refuges open and to deliver services to vulnerable adults and children. Colleagues have been flexible, particularly where their role is not suitable for home working, and they have been re-deployed or re-trained to deliver other roles within the organisation. Stop Domestic Abuse will continue to work to ensure that we meet the needs of all affected by domestic abuse. We are continuing to deliver services across Portsmouth and Hampshire and our refuges are still open. Please do contact us for help and support. Our vision is a world without domestic abuse. We will not stop until domestic abuse does”.
All of Stop Domestic Abuse’s Refuges remain open and can be accessed 24 hrs by calling 033 0016 5112 and following the answerphone instructions.