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House of Commons Hansard
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Refuges: Domestic Violence
11 November 2009
Volume 499
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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many refuges for victims of domestic violence have been opened in the last five years for which figures are available. [289335]

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The Government do not collect information centrally on the number of women’s refuges in England or the provision of staff within refuges.

The provision of services to victims of domestic violence is an issue for local authorities; decision makers in these authorities are best placed to assess the needs of their area. The majority of services are delivered through local providers who are supported and funded by local bodies, such as councils and health organisations.

On 19 March 2009 the Government Equalities Office announced a cross-Government £1.6 million special fund for the sexual violence voluntary sector which will keep open much-needed services to victims of rape and sexual abuse. In addition, the Government Equalities Office is providing £220,000 to the two umbrella bodies, Rape Crisis England and Wales and The Survivors Trust to help member groups build capacity.

The Ministry of Justice is investing £15.6 million over two years to help divert vulnerable women, who are not serious or dangerous offenders, from custody. The Ministry of Justice is investing in existing third sector organisations to enable them to work with courts, police and probation and other agencies to provide support and services to vulnerable women in the criminal justice system.