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Wiltshire Council sets out funding proposals to tackle domestic abuse

The council has been awarded the funding as part of a national government commitment to ensure victims can come forward with confidence

Published 8 September 2021
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Wiltshire Council has set out a wide range of proposals for how it will spend a £830k government grant to support domestic abuse victims and their children.

The council has been awarded the funding as part of a national government commitment to ensure victims can come forward with confidence to report their experiences, safe in the knowledge that they and their children will be supported.

Domestic abuse is seen as a hidden crime and has one of the highest under-reporting rates. It is believed the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to an increase in domestic abuse with many cases left unreported.

At a cabinet meeting on 14 September council leaders will be asked to approve a range of measures which meet the strict criteria for the government funding. The funding will be used to provide support for all victims of domestic abuse and their children, regardless of their relevant protected characteristics, within relevant supported accommodation.

Council leaders will be asked to approve a range of proposals including:

  • Additional counselling support for adults accessing refuge and places of safety
  • Therapeutic support across refuge and places of safety, including play therapy for children and arts and mindfulness for adults
  • Additional staff to help victims and their families who are moving on
  • Engagement work with communities such a LGBTQ+ male victims, gypsy and traveller groups to better understand domestic abuse and enable them to access appropriate support
  • Provision of additional support needs at an early intervention level
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) intervention to support change in mood, anxiety and stress
  • Specialist substance misuse support worker to support victims who are also experiencing a range of other issues
  • Provision of a sanctuary scheme to support victims and their families to stay safely in their own homes

The proposals have been put forward following a local assessment of health needs and feedback from domestic abuse victims.

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection said: "Domestic abuse has no place in our society and yet it is still out there - blighting and destroying the lives of many and having a terrible impact not only on the victim but family members as well.

"We have asked those who have experienced domestic abuse first-hand to help us formulate these wide-ranging proposals and we are grateful for their unique, and in many cases, heart-breaking insights. If agreed there will be swift actions to bring about these initiatives which we know will help those who need our help the most."

Cabinet is recommended to accept the £830,051 from MHCLG and approve the proposals for allocating the grant for the 2021/22 year. Anything not spent in year will be rolled over into an earmarked reserve and be used to support the continuation of work being delivered against this agenda.

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