Funding boost to help support victims of domestic violence and abuse

Published: Wednesday 22nd February 17

Support for the most vulnerable victims of domestic abuse across Richmond and Wandsworth has been given a boost, thanks to a £244k government grant.

Richmond and Wandsworth councils have been awarded the funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government to help establish a new outreach service to support victims of domestic abuse across both Wandsworth and Richmond and to continue to develop a successful specialist service supporting homeless women experiencing domestic abuse. 

The councils, together with the national domestic abuse charity Refuge, and the homelessness charity SPEAR, applied for the funding to help to improve support services for those suffering from domestic abuse.

SPEAR is a charity working with homeless people in South West London. They offer services to street homeless and vulnerable people, to enable them to find secure accommodation. The funding will mean the continuation and expansion of the specialist service they currently provide to homeless women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

Refuge have worked in Richmond since 2011 providing high quality free, confidential, and independent support to people experiencing domestic abuse. 

This funding will help Refuge establish a new outreach service that will work closely with the SPEAR specialists service to support victims of domestic abuse across the two boroughs, Including those who are homeless.

It will provide a range of services, including; flexible, individually tailored outreach support for victims living in their own home. It will also work with SPEAR and other housing providers to support women with complex needs who are unable to access mainstream accommodation services because of their high support needs. 

Cllr Jonathan Cook, Cabinet Member for Community Safety in Wandsworth, said: 

"This funding will enhance the support and protection we offer to domestic abuse victims and is another example of effective joined up working between Wandsworth and Richmond councils and our charity sector partners. 

"These services will support some of the most vulnerable members of our community and will be delivered on an outreach basis, seeking out those most in need." 

Cllr Stephen Speak, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, added: 

“I know from evidence I heard at the Council’s Scrutiny Committee this week that domestic abuse is an appalling crime that often goes unnoticed and unreported. It shatters the lives of residents in this borough and we are determined that victims get the support they need.

“I am therefore delighted that this new funding will help Richmond and Wandsworth councils, working alongside local and national specialist charities, to provide the specialist support required to keep victims safe. It will help them to rebuild their lives, away from violence and fear.”

Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: 

“Refuge is delighted to be expanding its work to support victims of domestic violence in Richmond and Wandsworth. Working together with the two London boroughs, Refuge has secured Government funding to establish a new community outreach service which will cover both areas. The service will support domestic violence survivors with additional needs around mental health and substance misuse, who might otherwise struggle to access the support they deserve. 

“This is fantastic example of two boroughs working in partnership to ensure no woman or child falls through the cracks. Domestic violence affects one in four women and kills two women every week in England and Wales alone; joining up services is essential to ensuring women and children are protected and do not become homicide statistics. Refuge looks forward to empowering more women and children to escape domestic violence and rebuild their lives, free from fear.”

Stuart Nevill, Chief Executive of SPEAR, added: 

“This new funding will enable SPEAR to continue our work with Richmond and Wandsworth councils, and other partners, to provide the specialist support that will make a critical difference in the lives of homeless women who have experienced domestic abuse”

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