This week, plans are being set out to end the postcode lottery of support for survivors of domestic abuse, writes Ben Bradley MP.
Mansfield and Ashfield have the highest rates of domestic abuse in the county and among the highest in the UK, so this is a hugely important issue locally.
The Government is launching a consultation on a package of measures to support survivors of domestic abuse.
Councils will be legally required to provide life-saving support in secure accommodation for both survivors of domestic abuse and their children, guaranteeing a consistent approach to the support offered across the country.
This support will come with Government funding.
The Government will also require local authorities to work together with neighbouring councils to ensure domestic abuse services reflect the needs of local people.
This consultation builds on work already undertaken, including a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, which introduces the first ever Government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling non-physical abuse, which until now haven’t been recognised by UK law.
Across the country, the level of support service differs hugely, depending on local Government decisions as to what to prioritise.
But all local authorities must ensure that wherever people live, whatever abuse they have experienced and whoever they are, survivors of domestic abuse have access to the services they need to be safe.
Getting people mental health and counselling support as quickly as possible is also a priority.
There are some excellent local organisations working in Mansfield including NIDAS, and I’m looking forward to trying to help raise some money for them by running the Mansfield 10k this year.
Last week I also visited a charity supporting survivors of sexual abuse, called SHE UK.
I am pleased that, as a Government, we are increasing support for domestic abuse survivors and helping families to safely rebuild their lives.