- £600,000 for charities to offer remote based support services
- helplines across the UK get funding boost to meet growing demand
- part of government action to ensure help remains available during this difficult time
Social distancing measures mean that some charities can no longer offer face-to-face support, and must transfer to mainly remote based services to provide victims with the practical and emotional help they need.
£600,000 will therefore be reallocated to services immediately, allowing helplines to stay open longer and employ more support workers to handle calls. It will also help fund the technology needed for other forms of contact such as video calls as well as a new online chat service and digital hub run by Victim Support.
Six organisations that together cover the whole of the United Kingdom will benefit from the funding, meaning victims of crimes, in particular sexual and domestic abuse, can still access this essential support.
Justice Minister, Alex Chalk MP, said:
Now more than ever victims need to know that they are not alone, and despite this challenging period help will always be there.
This cash boost will ensure that these vital services – which so many rely on – will continue to be available during this difficult time.
Victim Support Chief Executive Diana Fawcett:
We welcome funding from the Ministry of Justice to expand our online support services to every region of England and Wales, during a period which will be very difficult for victims of crime.
Our message to victims is very clear. Our trained supporters are here to offer you free and confidential support. It doesn’t matter where you live, what type of crime you have experienced, when it happened, whether you want support in the day or at night, or if you have reported the crime to the police. Victim Support is here to support you.
Today’s (23 April 2020) move follows a 50 per cent funding boost for rape support services which totals £32 million over the next 3 years for a range of services including tailored face-to-face support and counselling.
Alongside these measures, additional support is available to protect victims of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak. The government recently published guidance on applying for domestic abuse injunctions remotely and we are boosting domestic abuse helplines and online support with an additional £2 million.
Charities across the UK will also benefit from a £750 million package of support, announced earlier this month by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak
Notes to editors
- The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is reallocating £600,000 of existing funds to ensure helplines for victims and witnesses can deal with a surge in demand.
- The organisations benefiting from this include Safeline, The Survivors Trust, National Association for People Abused in Childhood, Rape Crisis England & Wales and Victim Support.
- MOJ funding for victim support services has almost doubled since 2012 to 2013. This year we awarded about £92 million on these services. In previous years this has been £96 million due to a £4 million MOJ contribution to the Home Office’s modern slavery contract – this funding has now been directly transferred to the Home Office.
- Information on Victim and Witness support provision can be found on GOV.UK.
- Information on specialist support for victims of sexual violence can be found on GOV.UK.