The Coronavirus crisis has seen a huge surge in people contacting domestic abuse helplines, with over 40,000 calls and contacts made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of the national lockdown and Domestic abuse charity, Refuge said they received 80 per cent more calls than usual in June. The Domestic Abuse Bill which is currently before Parliament, will come into force in April 2021 and it is expected that thousands of victims of domestic abuse and their children will be helped by this new landmark piece of legislation.
Once the Domestic Abuse Bill is passed, the new law will make it the legal duty of local authorities in England to assess and provide support and safe accommodation to domestic abuse victims and their children.
The Government also recently announced (Monday 5th October) immediate funding of £6 million will made available to enable councils to prepare for the new law.
The new £6m Local Authority Capacity Building Fund will mean councils can plan accommodation and specialist services ahead of the Act coming into force. It will enable councils in England to commission additional support for those victims of domestic abuse and their children who might currently be turned away from refuges and other safe accommodation because their needs cannot be met. Councils have been told they can also prepare by linking in with other agencies, such as police or health commissioners, and ensure their staff receive training in the new duty.
Minster for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Kelly Tollhurst, who made the announcement said:
“Survivors of domestic abuse need safe refuge in order to escape this heinous crime, and support to start to rebuild their lives.”
She added: “The funding I am announcing today will help councils prepare for this new duty that will see thousands more survivors helped and a generation of their children able to grow up safely and free from fear of abuse.”
Domestic Violence solicitors
Our specialist domestic abuse solicitors at Larcomes have the knowledge and expertise required to deal with sensitive domestic violence cases. We can provide advice and guidance on matters such as injunction proceedings or occupation orders and are on hand to guide you through the law and your legal rights. Regardless of the complexity of your case, our family law solicitors in Portsmouth and Waterlooville, have the knowledge, empathy, and expertise to help.
Remember you can talk to us in complete confidence and gain reassurance from speaking to someone who understands your situation.
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To speak with one of our specialist family law team Please call on 023 9244 810 or make an online enquiry
Please note that this article is not intended as legal or professional advice, it is for general guidance only and updates to the law may have changed since it was published.