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Independent Domestic Violence Advisers

Volume 620: debated on Thursday 2 February 2017

5. What discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on the Government's plans to continue direct grant funding to support independent domestic violence advisers after March 2017. (908518)

The Home Office has engaged closely with other Government Departments, through the violence against women and girls inter-ministerial group, to oversee delivery of the violence against women and girls strategy, including the commitment of increased funding of £80 million for the services. We have also engaged closely with commissioners and voluntary sector partners on the support provided for independent domestic violence advisers and our move to support better local collaboration and early intervention through the VAWG service transformation fund.

Some 84% of victims reported feeling safer with an independent domestic violence adviser, and just over 1,000 advisers are needed to support the current number of known victims, yet there are currently only half that number. What steps will the Minister be taking to increase the number of independent domestic violence advisers throughout the country?

As I just said, we have increased the funding to VAWG services to £80 million, and we are working with commissioners in local areas to make sure they can deliver the services that they understand are correct for their area and the women who live there.

I am proud that my local authority, Powys County Council, has become a white ribbon authority. Will my hon. Friend the Minister do all he can to encourage all local authorities to follow that example?

My hon. Friend gives a really good example of where local work is delivering really good local results in a way that others can look at. We have to get better, throughout this country, at sharing best practice, and that is a really good example that others can look at.