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Funding boost for victim support services

New funding

26 February 2021
Funding boost for victim support services

The government has announced a £40 million funding boost for specialist services offering support for victims of rape and domestic abuse. The funding will be available from April 2021 and is in addition to a £99.5 million funding commitment for victims’ services during 2021-2022.

Charities have reported a 200% increase in requests for help since the first lockdown, with some victims feeling at greater risk of harm or deciding to report abuse for the first time.

The new investment will allow specialist support services to recruit more staff, keep helplines open for longer and adapt to remote counselling where necessary in order to ensure help remains available for those who need it. It includes:

  • £20.7 million for local, community-based sexual violence and domestic abuse services, helping to reduce the amount of time survivors have to wait for support. Male specific services will see a 60% funding increase following a significant increase in demand for support from men and boys
  • £16 million to recruit around 400 more independent sexual violence and abuse advisers. They provide emotional and practical support for victims while guiding them through the often-daunting criminal justice process
  • £2 million for smaller specialists organisations helping BAME, LGBTQ+ or disabled victims
  • £1.3 million for remote and online services, allowing more victims to access support from home. £800k of this will go to Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors, a digital tool that helps victims of domestic abuse to apply for emergency protection from the courts

The government has also launched a new advertising campaign, #ItStillMatters, to raise awareness of these services and to ensure that victims of rape and sexual abuse know where to get help.

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