The Home Office has announced a pilot Emergency Fund to support survivors of domestic abuse in financial hardship.
What support is available and who is offering it?
The pilot involves a fund of £300,000 from the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan to support survivors to escape their abusers.
The funds will be distributed by Women’s Aid Federation of England. This means that local services which are members of Women’s Aid in England and Wales will submit applications on behalf of the survivor. Such frontline services include ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised member organisations and caseworkers who specialise in supporting survivors affected by domestic abuse. You can find out more on the Women’s Aid website.
Survivors of domestic abuse who are eligible will receive payments of £250, or £500 if they have children or are pregnant.
Who is eligible for the funding?
The funding is available for survivors (of any gender) of domestic abuse in England and Wales, including those with no recourse to public funds, who have been referred by a Women’s Aid member service, and meet any of the following criteria:
- Cannot meet debt repayments
- Cannot replace/purchase essential goods for self/children
- Cannot access own money owing to abuse
- Cannot meet housing costs/rent repayments while in refuge
- Cannot access appropriate housing
- Cannot access or are waiting for benefits
- Cannot care for children or meet caring responsibilities for family members
Payments will initially be limited to one per person.
What does this mean for employers?
We recommend that you make your employees aware of this support by sharing the Women’s Aid page and the eligibility criteria.
All applications for the fund must be made by a Women’s Aid member service so be ready to signpost any employee who discloses that they are a victim-survivor of domestic abuse and need financial support to a local service by getting in touch with Women’s Aid or sharing their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage employers who are able to do so to provide financial support to their people who wish to leave an abusive situation. Not every organisation can do this, and so we particularly encourage those employers who cannot independently provide financial support to survivors of domestic abuse to signpost their employees to this fund.