The Government has announced that it is to increase its committed funding to £80m to protect women and girls from violence as part of a new Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy.
There will be a new VAWG Service Transformation Fund coming into effect next year, which will promote projects that are leading the way in preventing violence before it is likely to happen. It is aimed at preventing abusive behaviour from becoming entrenched and will establish the best ways to help victims and their families.
According to the government, the strategy will support a ‘transformation in service delivery’ and is a ‘step change in social action’ to achieve a sustainable, long-term reduction of these crimes. Meanwhile, for the first time, a new National Statement of Expectations (NSE) will set out a clear direction on what is expected from local councils.
A new fund from the Department for Communities and Local Government will support the provision of refuges and other forms of specialist accommodation. This money will be available to local areas that demonstrate they are taking steps towards meeting the NSE and will help them provide specialist accommodation based on an assessment of local need.
Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley said that no one should live in fear of these crimes, adding that the government is determined to stop women and girls from becoming victims in the first place, which means funding services that will provide support and will intervene as early as possible to stop the cycle of abuse.
The increased funding will include specific provision for women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as innovative services, such as body-worn trackers and GPS tracking for the most vulnerable victims