Home Secretary announces support for domestic abuse victims

Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) today announces its support for the Government’s new public awareness raising campaign, #YouAreNotAlone.


The campaign reassures victim-survivors that they are not alone and that support services remain available. It also seeks to highlight that domestic abuse will not be tolerated and that perpetrators will be held accountable for their behaviour.


Alongside the campaign, the Home Secretary has announced an additional £2m to bolster domestic abuse helplines, as well as online support which is needed now more than ever. 


The announcement comes days after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £750m would be made available to support frontline charities across the UK  – including those supporting domestic abuse victims. Whilst this additional funding is welcome, it is not yet clear how it will be allocated or whether it is enough to fund these life-saving services. National domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid is asking the government for an emergency cash injection of at least £48.2 million to protect the work of groups based in England alone. 


Frontline services have reported a surge in demand since the social distancing guidelines came into force. Calls to the guidance line funded as part of the Domestic and Economic Abuse Partnership (SEA and Money Advice Plus) have increased by 60% since lockdown, with traffic to SEA’s website increasing at the same rate. Services expect to face even more pressure when the current safety measures are lifted.


Alongside other groups, SEA wrote to the Prime Minister last week identifying the following priorities for urgent action: 

  • Resourcing the specialist support sector
  • Crisis response planning and coordination involving VAWG and abuse experts
  • Equal protection for migrant survivors

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, CEO of SEA said: “Increased public awareness of domestic abuse is welcome at a time when it is harder than ever for victim-survivors to reach out for support. SEA urges family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours to look out for those who might be at risk of or experiencing domestic abuse, find new ways to remain socially connected with them and signpost them to support. SEA is also calling on the government to make a firm commitment to protect all frontline services – big and small – so that victims-survivors do not face a postcode lottery in accessing support when they need it – this includes BME women, migrant women, disabled women and LGBT survivors. High level response planning to Covid-19 must also include steps taken to protect women’s economic independence and stability since this underpins physical and psychological safety.”

SEA has produced a number of resources in light of Covid19. These include the following and can be found on our resources page:

  • Economic abuse and the coronavirus outbreak
  • How banks can help during the coronavirus outbreak
  • Spotting the signs of economic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak – for family, friends, neighbours and work colleague

For further information:
https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/resources/


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse