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Domestic abuse support for Second City receives welcome boost


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Birmingham’s support for victims of domestic abuse will benefit from more than £3.2m in Government funding, according to a report due to be discussed by Cabinet next week (12 October 2021).


Under the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021, local authorities have to ensure adults, young people and children at risk, who reside in safe accommodation, get the proper support they need.


In April, the Ministry of Communities and Local Government (now the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) awarded Birmingham City Council £3,263,007 to meet this duty during 2021-22.


Smaller specialist organisations will also have the opportunity to bid for grants from the remaining funding to help address gaps in support provision arising from the needs assessment on domestic abuse that is currently being carried out.


Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “The incidence of domestic abuse has been shocking during the lockdown and unfortunately many organisations and charities are not seeing this abate, so the need for enhanced support will remain.


“This is why we are continuing to press the Government for additional resources for future years, so we can sustain services for those who need them and ensure that we drive domestic abuse out of our city.”


This one-year funding will help Birmingham’s commissioned providers ease pressure on existing services with £2,160,401 earmarked for more staff – from helpline and family support workers to specialist therapists and children’s refuge workers.


Services providing domestic abuse support have seen the number of calls to their helplines rise significantly during the pandemic – Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid received over 19,200 calls to its helpline. They have held 1,150 webchats since 1 April 2021.


Cabinet will be live-streamed on the council’s YouTube channel from 10 am on 12 October 2021.


Written by: David Watkins

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