Maria Caulfield MP welcomes funding boost for rape and domestic abuse support

Maria Caulfield MP has welcomed funding increases to support victims of rape and domestic abuse, including funding specifically for Sussex.

Nearly £11 million will go towards a range of services offering practical and emotional help – allowing organisations to recruit more staff, adapt to remote counselling methods during the pandemic and keep helplines open for longer.

In addition Ministers have announced a further £7 million will go towards a range of innovative programmes aimed at perpetrators – designed to prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place.

It comes as charities have reported a sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, including a 46% rise in calls, with some victims feeling at greater risk of harm or deciding to report abuse for the first time.

The government is also giving £7.17 million for a range of innovative programmes aimed at perpetrators to last beyond the pandemic to help offenders change their behaviours and prevent these destructive crimes from happening in the first place. Independent research has shown these programmes cut risk of physical abuse, with the Drive Partnership, which is one of the programmes being funded, demonstrating an 82% reduction in risk. There are 29 funding awards totalling £7.17 million have been given to Police and Crime Commissioners working with perpetrators of domestic abuse, including in Sussex.

Maria Caulfield MP said “Rape and domestic abuse are abhorrent crimes and I welcome this funding that will increase support for victims and also look at innovative programmes aimed at preventing these crimes in the first place. It is vital that we tackle the root causes of violent behaviour which is why we are funding perpetrator prevention programmes to identify serial offenders, and work with them to change their behaviour.”