Vulnerable victims of domestic abuse are to continue to benefit from increased support across Maldon District and the north-east Essex, after the government announced more funding for refuges and specialist accommodation-based support services.
The announcement followed a successful joint bid by Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Maldon District Council, to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), for additional funding to help meet priorities for domestic abuse services in each local authority area.
This will enable the continuation of a project set up following a successful bid in 2016 which secured £212,782.00 to ensure women and their families from the Gypsy, Roma, or Traveller community and other hard-to-reach victims are able to access specialist refuge provision and support to keep them safe. Hard-to-reach victims include older people, people with disabilities, people from black, minority or ethnic communities and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Councillor Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities said: “Domestic violence and abuse remains all too prevalent in our society. Whilst awareness has been raised in most communities for certain sections of society it unfortunately is largely a hidden crime. We are working hard to take every opportunity possible to tackle this so that victims and their children can rebuild a life free from abuse. This funding will aid our refuges and provide support to those most in need.”
Cllr Bob Boyce MBE, Chairman of Community Services, said “As a rural district with no accommodation based services for those at risk of domestic abuse, the government’s grant of funding to enable this service to continue is vitally important. Especially as it is aimed at reaching and supporting those who are more at risk of being isolated, such as older people and those with disabilities. This supports a number of the Council’s priorities in particular tackling the causes and fear of crime and prevention of homelessness.”
Beverley Jones, Chief Executive for Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge said: “We are delighted to be successful in securing some additional funding to enable us to continue this vital project which focuses our support toward our hard to reach communities. Whilst great strides have been made in raising awareness around domestic abuse, the rising numbers of individuals accessing the support we provide demonstrates that we still have a long way to go in our work to ensure that women, men and their children are able to live a life free from domestic abuse.”
The successful bid provides an additional £14,573 for the provision of specialist help in the community and refuges, strengthening awareness and early intervention, and developing long-term sustainable expertise and support models to share across Essex and beyond.