More than £17million in funding to support children affected by domestic violence

Funding will help develop early intervention strategies to prevent violence against women and girls, the Minister for Protection announced today [4 January].

More than £10million has been allocated to organizations that provide vital support to child survivors of domestic abuse, such as counseling and one-on-one support. These projects include Welsh Women’s Aid, The Children’s Society and SafeLives.

It will be released through the Fund for Children Affected by Domestic Violence. First created in 2018, this fund has already supported thousands of children and families.

Safeguard Minister Sarah Dines said:

The impact of domestic violence is devastating and it is particularly heartbreaking that children are affected by this horrific crime. That’s why we’ve invested extra funding in vital support services for affected children.

We are also proud to invest more in projects that identify the most effective ways to intervene early and prevent these crimes from happening in the first place, protecting those most vulnerable to abuse. »

The Minister for Children and Families, Claire Coutinho, said:

“Instead of having a safe and stable family life, child victims of domestic violence grow up with illness and domestic strife as the norm. This investment will provide essential support such as individual counseling and support work for those affected by domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Act 2021 legally recognizes children as victims of domestic violence in their own right where they see, hear or experience the effects of domestic violence and relate to the perpetrator or victim.

This latest iteration of the Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Fund will provide up to £10.3m over 3 years and go to 8 organisations, including over £2.5m for Welsh Women’s Aid.

Welsh Women’s Aid Chief Executive Sara Kirkpatrick said:

“Welsh Women’s Aid is delighted to secure this vital funding through the Home Office Children Affected by Domestic Abuse Fund in partnership with 15 of our specialist member organizations across Wales. This much needed funding will help us strengthen our capacity to work with and support children and young people affected by domestic violence. Together we will evaluate a range of trauma-informed interventions and create a clear evidence base of what works. »

Of the £17.8m, up to £7.4m will be invested over 3 years in programs that prioritize early intervention and finding the most effective ways to prevent abuse .

It will set out how to prevent violence against women and girls, marking a commitment to the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy.

These include projects ranging from raising awareness of VAWG, through youth prevention work, to researching possible links between increased use of online sites and sexual exploitation. Projects include Changing Lives, which will use the funding to prevent online sexual abuse and exploitation, and Surrey PCC, which will develop a public campaign to increase young people’s understanding of stereotypes, misogyny, sexism and sexual offending. to enable them to fight violence against women. and the women.

Laura McIntyre, Manager of Women and Children’s Services at Changing Lives, said:

Changing Lives offers support to adult women who have been targeted, treated or exposed to sexual abuse for over 15 years.

During the time of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we produced a report called Net-reach, where we observed a disturbing number of young women and girls (18-25 years old) advertising services online, raising concerns about the sexual exploitation of children and continued vulnerability to abuse in the elderly.

With funding, this project will allow our team of specialists to connect with women in a growing environment, where we can offer support to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation. We understand that not all women are abused online, but at the organization we see an increasing number of women accessing our services after being hurt online, traumatized and suicidal. »

This funding is part of the government’s commitment to address violence against women and girls.

In March last year, we published the Intergovernmental Plan to Combat Domestic Violence, investing over £230million in tackling these heinous crimes. This includes more than £140m to support victims and more than £81m to deal with perpetrators. The plan will transform society’s entire response to prevent crime, support victims and prosecute perpetrators, as well as strengthen the systems and processes needed to achieve these goals.

The Home Office also launched the groundbreaking ‘Enough’ campaign for long-term behavioral change. The campaign aims to provide bystanders with a range of safe ways to intervene if they witness an incident of violence against women and girls, from sexual harassment on the street, on public transport or in work, to unwanted touching, sharing intimate photos of someone without their consent and coercive control over a relationship.

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