Bexhill and Battle MP says ‘hidden domestic abuse pandemic’ is worsening

The ‘hidden domestic abuse pandemic’ is worsening amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman said.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 12:06 pm
MP Huw Merriman. SUS-200212-101415001

He made the remarks as the Government announced more than £1m of funding to support domestic abuse victims and their children in East Sussex.

The money will be used to help victims access support in safe accommodation, including advocacy, counselling and therapy.

As part of the fund, Hastings will get £31,843 and Rother, £32,450.

Mr Merriman said: “While we continue to battle Covid-19, the hidden domestic abuse pandemic is worsening with high stress levels and more of us spending the majority of our time at home. We must protect and empower victims, and I welcome that this substantial £1 million allocation will do just that while helping to rebuild lives.”

The MP is vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse and said he has worked with the Government to introduce a new duty whereby local authorities will be required to provide support to domestic abuse victims and their children within safe accommodation services, where needs have been identified.

More than 3,000 arrests were made for domestic abuse related crimes in the first national lockdown and in November, Sussex Police secured £402,000 from the Government to set up the first county-wide domestic abuse perpetrator programme.

In January, the Government also launched the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme, which provides victims of domestic abuse access to immediate help from the police or other support services from their local pharmacy.

* Got a story? Ring reporters Richard Gladstone on 07803 505794 or Stephen Wynn-Davies on 07393 754494.

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