Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced new funding and measures to support the most vulnerable in society.
Mr Jenrick has announced that over £76m in new funding will go to charities to help survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and victims of modern slavery. He said that the funding was in addition to the Domestic Abuse Bill that is currently moving through the Houses of Parliament.
The bill will create the first-ever legal definition of domestic abuse, according to Mr Jenrick, and it had its second reading in Parliament last week. Mr Jenrick added;
“Today, I can confirm that through the domestic abuse bill, the government will also be ensuring that the victims of domestic violence get the priority need status that they need to access local housing services much more easily. This is a fully funded committment which will mean that no victim of domestic violence has to make the unbearable choice between staying somewhere that they know is unsafe or becoming homeless”
Calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline have risen by 49% during the Coronavirus lockdown, according to a report by MPs this week. Anyone who is in danger should call 999, and anyone who is in danger but can’t speak should phone 999 and press 55, the Communities Secretary said.
Furthermore, Mr Jenrick said that more than 5,400 rough sleepers have been offered temporary accommodation where they can ‘self-isolate in safety during the crisis.’ He said that this equates to over 90% of rough sleepers known to councils, adding that ‘this country is now viewed around the world as having taken one of the most intensive and successful approaches to protecting rough sleepers during the pandemic – this was the right thing to do’.
Food packages have been delivered to some of the most vulnerable with pre-existing health conditions as identified by the NHS, with the 1 millionth package expected to be delivered in the coming days, according to Mr Jenrick.
The press conference on Saturday came as 28,132 people are now confirmed to have died in all UK settings after contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Photo Credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)