Domestic abuse and rape victims to get extra help under new £11million support package

VICTIMS of rape and domestic abuse will get extra help under an £11million support package to be announced this week.

The money will let organisations recruit more staff, adapt remote counselling sessions during the pandemic and keep helplines open longer.

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The funding was approved by ministers yesterday after charities reported a 46 per cent increase in calls for help during lockdown.

The money comes on top of £76million pledged by the Government in May to help the most vulnerable in society.

It builds on measures in the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “Now more than ever victims should know they are not alone, and this Government will always strive to ensure support is there when they need it.

“This funding will boost services over the challenging months ahead.”

Ministers will also unveil a set of rights for crime victims, promising it will give them confidence they will get the support they need.

The Victims’ Code sets out 12 key rights, which are said to be clear, concise and easy to understand.

It will come into force on April 1.


HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:

Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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