£3.1m boost to help domestic abuse victims

Domestic abuse victims from Kent will receive more support over the next 12 months under multi-million pound plans.

More than £3 million will be invested by Kent County Council (KCC) to enhance safe accommodation for vulnerable people in the county, from 2022 to 2023.

Domestic abuse victims from Kent will receive more support under multi-million pound plans. Stock image

The government grant will be used to improve welfare support arrangements for domestic abuse victims, including refuges, home security measures and moving to long-term houses.

Kent county councillors voted in favour of using the grant to expand help services during a public meeting in County Hall, Maidstone, earlier today.

Cllr Anthony Hook (Lib Dem), one of the KCC opposition leaders, said: “Victims of domestic violence are incredibly vulnerable, both men and women and very often children. They deserve our support.”

Government chiefs say domestic abuse impacts more than 2.3 million people, who are aged between 16 and 74, in England and Wales over a 12-month period.

The Home Office estimates that between three to four million children are exposed to domestic abuse at some point in their lives.

More than £3 million will be invested by Kent County Council

In Kent, about 44% of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police were recorded as having a child present; within hearing shot or involving a victim or suspect with children in 2020.

England’s councils, like KCC, have a legal duty to provide safe accommodation services.

A package of government funding has been allocated to KCC, the local social care authority, to the tune of £3.1m over the next year.

Under this, extra cash will allow for the development of more support within safe accommodation services.

KCC’s total spending budget is around £1.2billion for April 2022 to April 2023.

Cllr Roger Gough (Con), who is KCC’s leader, said: “There are clear obligations put on us in relation to domestic abuse.

“We have already undertaken significant work and this is the next step.”

A progress report is expected to be published to KCC’s policy and resources committee over the next 12 months.

Kent Maidstone Ciaran Duggan, local democracy reporter


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