"Tackling domestic abuse is an issue that councils take very seriously which is why we support further measures to improve work with local partners to help support more victims and stop this horrendous crime."
Responding to a report by the Home Affairs Committee on domestic abuse, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Tackling domestic abuse is an issue that councils take very seriously which is why we support further measures to improve work with local partners to help support more victims and stop this horrendous crime. This includes investing in more early intervention and prevention schemes that helps stop domestic abuse occurring in the first place.
“We need to work with perpetrators to understand and challenge their behaviour and support the proposal to raise awareness in schools to make sure that children and young people understand what a healthy relationship is.
“We further support the recommendations to increase the number of Independent Domestic Violence Advisers across the country, particularly in hospitals; the importance of addressing economic abuse, which can act as a barrier to domestic abuse victims seeking to leave an abusive relationship; and to increase the proposed Independent Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s resources and to ensure they are truly independent.
“However, as this report highlights, the ability of councils to fund services for victims is constrained by pressures on their budgets, with local authorities increasingly being forced to prioritise spending for those at immediate risk of harm, rather than on earlier support services to address harmful behaviours, including domestic abuse.
“With local government facing an overall £7.8 billion funding gap by 2025, any legislative changes in the Government’s forthcoming Bill must be matched with adequate resources and funding, which the forthcoming Autumn Budget needs to address.”
Budget 2018 - our submission
unprecedented funding pressures and demand for key services is pushing councils to the limit. Councils have strained every sinew to play a vital role in supporting local economies and communities through a difficult few years.