Plymouth gets national funding to improve access to domestic abuse services for BME communities

Plymouth City Council is receiving almost £50,000 from a government grant to enable victims of domestic abuse to get access to the support they need.

The funding will be used in Plymouth to help victims in local Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities – who make up 7% of the local population – to access domestic abuse victim support services. It is part of a wider £3.5m national fund awarded to 46 local authorities across the country to support victims of domestic abuse.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service, which is co-commissioned by the council to provide refuge, safe houses and allied domestic abuse services in the city and is managed by Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL). The service is also jointly funded by the Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner.

Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “We are pleased to be able to get this funding which will help improve access to domestic abuse services for victims. This will enable us to do some outreach work with local partners to help raise awareness of services and show people that help is available.

“Although it is initially only funded until the end of March we hope to be able to make progress in this area and ensure that people in these groups get the help they need.”

Sanctuary Supported Living Area Service Manager Debbie Hall said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with the council in using this funding to help support people from hard to reach groups in escaping domestic abuse.

“This will make a real difference to the lives of people who need our support in escaping abusive households but have traditionally had difficulties accessing the services.”

This funding boost in 2015/16 is in addition to the newly secured funding of £40million over the next four years to support victims of domestic violence, announced as part of the Spending Review.

Communities Minister Baroness Williams, who with Home Office Minister Karen Bradley, has already led a review of services working with women’s domestic abuse charities, local authorities and other local service providers to gain a much clearer understanding of the range of challenges victims and services are facing.

Baroness Williams said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime that shatters lives and this Government is determined to ensure that no victim is turned away from the support they need.

“This new funding will help Plymouth City Council and specialist charities provide a strong safety net for anyone facing the threat of abuse in their own home.”