Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has secured top-up funding worth almost £140k to help domestic abuse and sexual violence charities expand help services to victims during the pandemic.
The funding, which amounts to just over £137k, comes on top of the successful bid for £445k submitted by Lord Bach’s Office to the Home Office earlier this year. This much needed supplementary financial support will help service providers protect victims, survivors and their families at a time when calls for support are at an all-time high across the country.
Today, which marks the start of the #16Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Willy Bach welcomed the extra funding. He described it as a “lifeline” for domestic abuse and sexual violence support providers across Leicestershire who are likely to see further rises in calls during the second national lockdown.
It comes as charities nationally already report a continuing upward trend in demand – just over a week into the second lockdown.
“We know that the risk of domestic and sexual violence is heightened during lockdown with abusers able to assert more control over their victims,” said the PCC.
“Indeed, there have been increasing reports nationally of perpetrators using technology including smart locks, web cams and social media to harass their victims while the nation is subject to these restrictions. Suffice to say we fully anticipate further spikes in demand for help during the current lockdown.
“With victims and survivors living under the constant threat and fear of harm, it is vital our support services have the capacity to help everyone who reaches out for help.
“This extraordinary funding will help charities and support organisations adapt their services to help victims in the safest and most effective way possible including the recruitment of new staff, longer opening hours and improved IT and digital services.
“The challenges facing our service providers during the pandemic have been immense. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our support workers, counsellors and volunteers for the fantastic job they do under difficult and traumatic circumstances to save lives. Their intervention really does make a difference and I am grateful for their ongoing support.”
Leicestershire was previously allocated £445k in emergency funding in recognition of soaring demand for help during the pandemic. The grant formed part of a £76m package of extra funding to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, vulnerable children and their families as well as victims of modern slavery during the Covid-19 emergency.
To be eligible for the top-up funding, organisations had to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation or a social enterprise and provide support services that are designed to help victims of abuse cope and recover from the harm they have experienced.
It can be used to meet the additional costs organisations have had to incur to adapt their services during the pandemic including the design and delivery of new online platforms of help and to cope with the increases in demand brought on by Covid up to the period of 31 October 2020.
Funding can also be used to address short-term income disruption, meet essential costs of sustaining current activities including additional staff, and to respond to increases in demand.
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Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2020