AN MP has welcomed the government’s decision to give councils across England £125 million of funding to support victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Mims Davies, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex, said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that ruins lives, which is why this Conservative government’s commitment to empowering and protecting victims is so important.

“The £1,498,174 announced for West Sussex County Council will ensure that anyone who needs to access safe accommodation and the support services they need to recover and rebuild their lives will be able to do so, and is part of a wider package of support we have put in place for victims of rape and domestic abuse.

“In taking another big step towards helping break the cycle of domestic abuse and protecting some of the most vulnerable in our society, we are transforming our response to victims and will help them move forward with their lives.”

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The extra funding will help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation, including advocacy, counselling and therapy in safe locations such as refuges or specialist places where victims and their children can go to get away from their abusers.

In total, councils across England will share £125 million.

The funding, which was a key Conservative manifesto commitment at the last election, means councils will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.

It will come into force later this year with the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill, with funding announced in advance so local authorities know how much they will receive for the vital services and can begin to plan.

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The funding is part of a wider package of support for victims of rape and domestic abuse, with a £40 million funding boost for victim support services announced earlier this month, adding to £76 million pledged in May 2020 to ensure vital services including refuges, helplines and counselling remain accessible throughout the pandemic.

Burgess Hill East Councillor Anne Jones said: “This is fantastic news.

“I have been supporting vulnerable families in West Sussex for many years and the majority of the work I carry out as a county councillor are with families and children who are coping with difficult lives that involve domestic violence. This money will help create a centre for men and women who will then feel like they have a safe place.”