The Home Office has launched a £2 million “flee fund” for victims/survivors of domestic abuse in partnership with Women’s Aid. The fund is intended to offer financial support to cover basic necessities, to help enable victims/survivors to escape their abusers, and can also be used for security measures such as locks and CCTV systems.
The fund is launched on the back of an initiative by the Home Office in early 2023, where a total of £300 000 was provided for 600 victims/survivors of domestic abuse. The pilot illustrated the clear need for sustained financial support for victims/survivors of domestic abuse – particularly given the cost of living crisis - as their economic independence is vital for them to escape their abusers and provide for dependants they may have.
Laura Farris, the Minister for Victims and Safeguarding, quotes:
“Women leave abusive partners at what is often the lowest point in their lives. The most common issues - kids, lack of money and confidence, fear of reprisal - keep so many victims locked into dangerous and harmful situations for far too long.”
How it works
Someone looking to escape domestic abuse can contact their local frontline support service (over 470 in England and Wales) and apply for an initial one-off payment of up to £500. This payment is intended to cover necessities such as groceries, clothing, nappies, and accommodation support. A further one-off payment of up to £2,500 is available to help the victim/survivor with longer term stability such as a rent deposit. The follow-up payment is designed to prevent victims/survivors from having to return to live with their abusers for economic reasons.
The funding is capped at ten applications per organisation for the £500 “flee fund” and three applications for the £2,500 “future fund”. The funds are open to anyone who didn’t access the original emergency fund in 2023. The funding is not means-assessed, it is granted based on the applicant’s individual circumstances.
This funding scheme will be rolled out until March 2025, with possibilities for extension.
Who is eligible for the Flee Fund?
Women’s Aid has provided a comprehensive guidance document, including full details of who is eligible for the two funds. Read here.