Stop Domestic Abuse shares in £15m emergency coronavirus funding for domestic abuse charities

DOMESTIC abuse support services are being boosted by a share of £15m government money, as a Havant charity boss calls for ‘longer-term funding’.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 3:08 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 3:09 pm
The Stop Domestic Abuse team in October last year when they launched a £1m bid to raise needs funds for a new refuge 
Back from left, senior independent domestic violence advisor Nikki Day, service manager Sue Harrower, operations director Rachel Windebank, business support and development director Jo Eamey and community development worker Helin Khan, with front, from left, outreach adults project worker Becky Roper, CEO Claire Lambon and  children's and young person worker Marcus Ward
Picture: Sarah Standing (021019-7904)
The Stop Domestic Abuse team in October last year when they launched a £1m bid to raise needs funds for a new refuge Back from left, senior independent domestic violence advisor Nikki Day, service manager Sue Harrower, operations director Rachel Windebank, business support and development director Jo Eamey and community development worker Helin Khan, with front, from left, outreach adults project worker Becky Roper, CEO Claire Lambon and children's and young person worker Marcus Ward Picture: Sarah Standing (021019-7904)

Havant-based Stop Domestic Abuse has secured £276,967 from the Ministry of Justice, which is helping domestic abuse charities provide remote services and expand support.

This funding boost, which follows an award of £291,608 from The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, will allow the charity to employ more staff, keep helplines open longer, as well as fund the technology needed for contact with victims such as video calls.

With this funding set to support the charity until October 31, chief executive Claire Lambon said: ‘While these funding resources are vital, they are only short-term, and we desperately need longer-term funding to continue to support the increase in demand for our services.

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‘The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the lack of protection and support for survivors of domestic abuse. As a specialist organisation we want the government to make the prevention of abuse, protection and support for survivors, and pursuit of perpetrators central to the Covid-19 response.’

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There was a 66 per cent increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in May, and 950 per cent increase in website visitors compared to before the pandemic.

Self-referrals to Stop Domestic Abuse were 88 per cent higher in June than in March and April as government restrictions were eased, and 35 per cent more adults were supported by the charity in June compared to February.

Stop Domestic Abuse expects referrals for help and support to continue to increase as schools reopen, A&E and GP visits return to normal levels and health visitors and social workers resume home visits.

Claire added: ‘It was foreseeable that the mass experience of isolation, and the closure of many routes to safety and support, would be used as a tool of coercive control by perpetrators and increase physical and emotional harm. The impact on victims and their children will last for years.

‘I am grateful to my colleagues at Stop Domestic Abuse for their incredible response to support those affected by domestic abuse during this pandemic.’

If you are affected by domestic abuse, contact Stop Domestic Abuse on (023) 9206 5494.

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