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PCC announces funding boost for domestic abuse and sexual violence victims across the region

29th June 2020


VICTIMS of domestic abuse and sexual violence will get extra help from a £500,000 fund set to help local voluntary groups.

Extra funds secured by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness will ensure specialist support reaches victims by helping support services to cope with increased demand and ongoing financial pressures brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing.

Supporting victims of domestic abuse trapped at home during the Coronavirus crisis has been a priority across the region. Now, a wide range of charities and organisations are set to benefit from this money. Some have been previously commissioned by the PCC whereas others are newly on board working with the office. All funding will be used to help the vulnerable and those who are most in need across all communities.

Services welcoming this cash boost include Wearside Women in Need, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services, Streetwise, Community Counselling Co-Operative and Children North East.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We’ve been calling out for this money for victims since lockdown began and I’m beyond pleased that we are now in a position to get it out there and help some of the brilliant support services that need it the most.

“Sadly, for many victims lockdown has made them more vulnerable. The struggle and fear for those trapped at home with their abuser is very real and finding those who are suffering and reaching out to them with the right support can be difficult too. So this funding will help keep some of our valuable support services up and running, helping them to keep on doing all they can – supporting people and saving them from some of the worst experiences imaginable.

“Safe spaces, helplines, web chats – they can all be such an important lifeline. We need to be doing everything possible to make sure victims don’t feel alone, providing them with support and a ray of hope so they know they can escape from the abuse and recover from their experience.”

She added: “I hope this funding is the start of things to come. Supporting those suffering domestic abuse and sexual violence is absolutely crucial but it can’t stop there, there are many other victims who are getting caught up in this this health crisis who can’t get forgotten too. Some young people are being criminally exploited, some old people being subjected to scams – the list goes on. We need to ensure specialist support reaches all our vulnerable victims of crime and I will keep calling on the Government to help fund support in other areas too.”

Michele Deans, Children North East Operations Director, highlighted the importance of this funding after being confirmed as one of the successful beneficiaries of the funding. She said: “We know that there has been an increase in incidents of domestic abuse during this pandemic which is why this funding from the PCC is so welcome and also so essential. It will enable us to increase the range of help we offer to those affected by violence in the home, supporting those affected to find a lifeline for themselves and their children”

The money has been made available through the Ministry of Justice’s Extraordinary Covid-19 Fund.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can report an incident by ringing 101 or visiting Also in a non-emergency situation you can text the police on 07786 200814.

In an emergency, always call 999. If you dial 999 and are unable to speak, the emergency operator will ask you to dial 55 and to follow their instruction to quickly put you in touch with police.

Help is also available from a range of local support services detailed here.

More information on the fund can be found at