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Cambridgeshire receives £1.1m funding boost to support domestic violence victims

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A range of support to help victims of domestic violence to stay safe in their own homes will continue across Cambridgeshire thanks to a funding boost from the Government.

Cambridgeshire County Council, working in partnership with Peterborough City Council, has been awarded £1,143,474 by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The money will be spent on supporting victims of domestic violence to stay safe in their own homes and to meet the duties set out in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which came into force in late April 2021.

Stock image domestic abuse (55094118)
Stock image domestic abuse (55094118)

The Act places a statutory duty on local authorities regarding the provision of support within safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence.

The money from Government will be spent on:

Refuge Accommodation – There are three refuges in the county (including one in Fenland), providing space for 32 women and 55 children at any given time. These will continue to be available to those fleeing from out of area, and within area if there is a significant distance and this is deemed to be safe

Domestic abuse. (55094129)
Domestic abuse. (55094129)

Mobile advocacy – Outreach support which can be accessed by anyone regardless of level of risk, to enable them to remain safe in their own home or to find alternative accommodation. Outreach support would also include access to increased security in accommodation, in conjunction with work across all housing providers to improve the options available for those being abused by their partners. These services are available to everyone over the age of 16 regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation. If someone is suffering domestic abuse from a current or ex-partner, or a family member, there is support available in the Peterborough area.

Dispersed safe accommodation - As set out in the council’s Safe Accommodation Strategy, this accommodation is primarily for residents who are being abused, in conjunction with the Independent Domestic Violence Adviser Service. It will provide an additional option for safe accommodation for various groups of people, including victims with teenage children, those with complex needs or with no recourse to public funds. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors will support them to move back to their own homes, or alternative accommodation, with a range safety measures in place such as additional security and legal remedies such as Occupation Orders and Non Molestation Orders.

Councillor Tom Sanderson, chair of the county council’s communities, social mobility and inclusion committee, said: “Domestic abuse comes in many different forms and happens to all types of people from very different backgrounds. We also know that cases of domestic abuse have increased because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so this additional investment to help us provide services to keep people safe is very welcome.

“Working with partners and the community, we are committed to tackling domestic abuse in all its forms. This includes preventing it, supporting people experiencing domestic abuse and during the prosecution of offenders.

“If you need help, please visit our website at www.cambsdasv.org.uk which has lots of information and routes to get support.”

In further news, libraries across the county have signed up to be safe spaces for people who are suffering domestic abuse. Each library will allow access to a private room and a phone line for people who need to make a phone call to access support.

Cambridgeshire County Council is part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership.

The partnership is made up of key agencies in the county that have a role in preventing, and providing services and support to survivors of, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The key aim of the partnership is to reduce the harm, risks and costs associated with domestic abuse and sexual violence and to prevent these crimes occurring across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

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