Funding boost for Rotherham groups supporting domestic abuse victims

Extra funding is available to organisations that provide support to victims of domestic abuse in South Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 10:19 am

The Ministry of Justice has announced funding to support domestic and sexual abuse support services, through police and crime commissioners – including £474,000 for South Yorkshire.

Domestic abuse services already commissioned by Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire PCC, will receive 50 per cent of the total, with DA services not currently commissioned by Dr Billings and sexual violence services will receive 25 per cent each.

A report to Rotherham Council’s improving lives select commission provides members with an update in relation to the response of DA services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Domestic Abuse

The report states, while the number of incidents have remained ‘broadly consistent’ over the last 10 weeks, there was a slight drop in demand for support during the first weeks of the pandemic.

However, this has now returned to pre-incident levels.

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The report continues: “The number of DA applicants presenting and accommodated by the homelessness team during Covid-19 has increased.

“Since March 30, the council has received 272 new homeless presentations, and 53 of these are due to DA. This equates to 19.5 per cent of all new applications due to DA.

“In order to complement the response to the demand, the council has recently supported a successful bid of £98,000 with Rotherham Rise for emergency accommodation relating to DA.

“To further support the council’s commissioned DA support service, the Safer Rotherham Partnership has provided an additional £12,000 of funding to expand the online and telephone contact offer and to ensure provision is delivered outside normal office hours.

“While demand did, for a time, fluctuate downwards, it is clear that in some cases it is stabilising and has returned to pre-Covid levels.

“There is concern the pandemic and related restrictions will have created further pressures within the home and may lead to increased levels of DA.

“Furthermore, with limited access to services, some victims or perpetrators, who may have come forward, may either not have had the opportunity to do so, or not felt they could come forward.

“Both these elements present a concern in relation to a potential surge in demand for DA services as restrictions lift.”

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