In his letter to the Commissioners, Minister Chalk sets out the government’s response to their joint calls for a second round of extraordinary COVID-19 and longer-term funding.
In their 3 November joint letter, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, called on the government to provide essential funding to support victims’ services through to the end of the financial year and longer-term.
The two commissioners highlighted the instability facing services and called on the government to guarantee longer-term funding of at least a year from March 2021 until March 2022.
In his letter of 18 November 2020, Minister Alex Chalk MP sets out that the government is making “over £10m available to domestic abuse and sexual violence organisations, to help them to continue to provide valuable support to victims during the pandemic.”
He writes that he is “aware that there are real concerns across the sector about sustainability of funding beyond this financial year”. The spending review settlement for the upcoming financial year “is still being negotiated,” he explains, “and allocations will be confirmed shortly after.”
He says the government recognises how support services “have innovated and adapted to continue delivering their vital and life-saving services in the pandemic” and adds that the government has “committed to developing a Victims Funding Strategy” as well as a new delivery model “that will place the sector on a more sustainable footing in the long-term.”
Importantly, Minister Chalk also makes clear that “those experiencing domestic abuse should not stay in danger, but should seek safety and support, as set out by the Prime Minister in his announcement of new national restrictions.”