The Isle of Wight Council has been awarded £292,000 to best support victims of domestic abuse and their children within safe accommodation.
The council said the extra funding, allocated as part of the government’s 2020 Domestic Abuse Bill, would help ensure the right level of support was being provided to those who need it.
Safe accommodation is an essential function within the package of support available.
Mosdell: We know that the right service is essential
Councillor Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and housing needs, said,
“Tackling domestic abuse is an important issue for the Island and a priority for the council and our partners.
“We recognise the significant impact it has on not only victims, but their wider families too.
“Providing an Island specific provision for victims and their families is important and we know that the right service is essential to enable families to be able to access safe support if the situation arises with a safe place to go if needed.”
Peace: First-hand experience of trauma caused to lives of victims
Councillor Gary Peace, Cabinet member for community safety, said,
“As a Metropolitan police officer, I worked for four years in a community safety unit investigating domestic violence and other hate crime.
“I have first-hand experience of the trauma and damage caused to the lives of victims, family, and friends. The experience lives with me to this day.
“The workload was one of the highest of any investigative department. And domestic abuse is also one of the most high risk and fraught crimes and experiences that victims can suffer.
“The money secured through the hard work of officers is vital in supporting the approach we currently take and mean we will be able to constantly improve our response to this heinous crime. It will go a huge way to supporting all of our combined efforts to protect victims and their families.”
What funding will support
The funding will support the continuation of commissioned services currently delivered by the council’s support provider, You First.
It will also help fund a new duty on councils to ensure victims and their children are able to access life-saving support in safe accommodation – a key part of the 2020 Domestic Abuse Bill.
The duty will come into effect later this year, subject to the bill becoming law.
Review of response to domestic abuse
In anticipation of these additional responsibilities, the council is undertaking a review of its response to domestic abuse and assessing the need of victims as part of the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government guidance.
Teresa Brimble-Brennan, the council’s domestic abuse project officer, said the Island was in a good position to undertake these duties with a well-established Domestic Abuse Forum (DAF) providing leadership in this area of work.
“The council and the DAF will be central to ensuring the Island sets out a robust strategy for tackling domestic abuse based on an assessment of the needs of victims.”
If you are suffering because of domestic abuse or know someone who is, call the Island support provider You First via their freephone helpline: 0800 234 6266 or email: [email protected]
In an emergency, call 999.
For further information on domestic abuse, visit the Website.
News shared by Isle of Wight council press office, in their own words. Ed