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Crimes of Violence: Females

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to his Department's Together we can end violence against women and girls strategy, from what budget the £5 million to be allocated to (a) independent domestic violence advocacy services, (b) sexual assault referral centres, (c) multi-agency risk assessment conferences and (d) local non-statutory support services for rape victims in 2010-11 will be drawn; whether the level of funding to other services funded from that budget will be changed as a consequence; and what plans his Department has for the level of such funding after 2010-11. (305312)

The Government's strategy: Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls committed the Government to a continuing investment of over £5 million in 2010-11 in independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs) and the further roll-out of multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs). This will be sourced from both Home Office and Ministry of Justice budgets. The Home Office budget has funded IDVAs and MARACs since 2008-09 and these have always been key initiatives.

Funding for Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) comes from the Department of Health and Home Office. Funding for local non-statutory support services for rape victims (Rape Crisis and Survivors Trust) from the Ministry of Justice Victim's Fund and from the Government Equalities Office.

Levels of funding to other services for violence against women and girls have not been affected as a result of these allocations which continue and expand on resources committed to the same priorities in 2009-10.

The strategy commits the Government to prioritising investment in these specialist services after 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to his Department’s Together we can end violence against women and girls strategy, how much his Department plans to spend on (a) Connexions and other services working with schools to ensure they assist victims, (b) establishing a stalking and harassment helpline, (c) developing a sexual violence helpline and (d) meeting the Government’s compact with the voluntary sector by moving to three-year funding arrangements in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) each of the subsequent three years; and from what budgets such funding will be drawn. (305314)

The cross-Government strategy Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls was launched on 25 November 2009.

(a) The role of Connexions and other services working with schools in tackling Violence Against Women and Girls will be informed by the Early Interventions Consultation which the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) will be launching in December 2009.

(b) The Stalking and Harassment helpline will be run in partnership by the three main charities who work in this area: the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Network for Surviving Stalking and Protection Against Stalking. The Home Office has awarded the partnership £47,470 for the 2009-10 financial year. This will cover initial set up of the helpline, staff and recruitment costs and the development of a multi-media website with personal safety advice and information. Funding for 2010-11 has been guaranteed by additional partnership funding.

(c) Plans for a new sexual violence helpline, including levels of investment, will be agreed in 2010 by a cross-departmental delivery board which will have oversight on delivery of all actions in the strategy.

(d) Officials across Government are working together to consider what more we can do to address the sustainability of the violence against women third sector. This will include looking at how the commissioning of voluntary services can be made Compact compliant.