Labour proposes legislation to deliver a dedicated fast-tracked fund for domestic abuse services impacted by coronavirus crisis
The government urgently needs to put in place a dedicated fund, as part of the £750 million promised to charities, Labour says.
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Shadow Home Secretary, has set out plans to place amendments as part of the upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill, to force the government to take overdue action to provide urgent, emergency funding to domestic abuse charities. This comes as the National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and the Met Police have seen domestic abuse calls rise by around a third.
Labour has outlined a set of proposal that would ensure:
– A dedicated proportion of 10 per cent (£75m) of the £750m charity support announced by the Chancellor would be ring-fenced for domestic abuse charities,
– A system is put in place to fast track investment to the frontline, before charities have to close their door due to being oversubscribed or unable to pay their staff.
– An element of this support is earmarked for specialist services, such as men who are at risk of domestic abuse and specialist LGBTQ services.
Commenting, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“It is clear that domestic abuse is increasing rapidly during the lockdown and we need the government to act urgently to support front line services.
“Our society must not turn its back on some of the most at risk people in this crisis, too much time has already been lost and action is needed now. Labour’s plan would deliver £75m to the frontline rapidly, to help keep women and children safe from abuse.
“Labour will act as a responsible opposition, but the government have to move faster to get funding and support to the frontline, before vital services are forced to turn people away. That is why we are proposing that if no action is forthcoming, we will try to change the law, to guarantee fast-tracked funding to frontline, to support domestic abuse charities.”