New Domestic Abuse Plan is a start in addressing the gap in funding for victims but much more needed says Solace  

The Home Office has today published a plan to tackle domestic abuse.  

Responding to the plans, Rebecca Goshawk, Head of Public Affairs and Partnership said,  

“We welcome the £47.1 million dedicated to community-based services and we particularly welcome the Home Office’s commitment to fund service led ‘by and for’ minoritised communities and increased funding for children affected by domestic abuse. To ensure future funding and to improve commissioning across London and the rest of the country, the Ministry of Justice should put community-based services on a statutory footing in its forthcoming Victims’ Bill.  

“For too long vital life-saving services like ours have lived hand to mouth facing year-on-year uncertainty about future funding and sustainability. We are therefore pleased that the Home Office and Ministry of Justice have committed to medium term funding for specialist services, and we hope that this commitment to funding will be renewed and will continue for as long as our services are needed.  

“The register of domestic abuse offenders is an important step and we supported the campaign for its inclusion in the Domestic Abuse Act as it was going through Parliament. The details for implementation are key, particularly when only 8% of current domestic abuse crimes result in a charge or summons leaving many serious violent offenders without police records or convictions. We are pleased to see the £75 million funding commitment to tackling perpetrators – finally focussing on the problem, and the importance given to prevention in the plan.   

“While training for police and improved data is important, rooting out systemic misogyny and racism in forces across the country will be vital to improve survivors’ trust in the criminal justice system and for this plan to be successful. Issues around police perpetrators are not addressed in the plan, and in addition to seeing this problem acknowledged and tackled, we also need a commitment to ensuring forces respond to victims and survivors in a trauma-informed and culturally competent way.  

“There continues to be a gaping hole in the Government’s commitments in relation to migrant victims and survivors with no recourse to public funds and/ or insecure immigration status. While the Home Office has announced that funding will continue for the pilot scheme run by Southall Black Sisters, they are continuing with implementation of the Immigration Enforcement Victims Protocol, which will treat vulnerable victims as suspects instead of implementing a firewall between public services and immigration enforcement as needed. 

“Solace submitted written evidence to the Home Office last year and contributed to focus group discussions. We were pleased to see some of our recommendations included in the plan and will continue to campaign for the thousands of women and children we work with each year”