The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has awarded Victim Support £5 million funding to support victims of domestic violence. Victim Support will be running the first London-wide specialist service, with help from other organisations supporting domestic violence victims.

The announcement was made by the Mayor at a women’s refuge in London. While there, Boris Johnson spoke to one of Victim Support’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors along with North East London Divisional Manager, Jan Scott.

Victim Support is the biggest employer of specialist staff working with domestic violence victims in England and Wales. Its London team already helps a new victim of domestic violence or relationship abuse every day.

The need for the service is underlined by figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which said reported domestic abuse incidents rose last year in London by 23 per cent.
Victim Support has been running a specific programme that helps children who have experienced domestic abuse to understand this is not a normal part of family life. The You & Co website explains to young victims that domestic violence is a crime and answers questions they may have.

Jeff Gardner, Director for London for Victim Support, said: “Every day our team helps someone in London to get support or find safe refuge from domestic violence or relationship abuse. From supporting thousands of victims of this crime in the capital, many of whom are children, we know how much courage it takes for them to seek help.

“The physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial harm domestic violence victims suffer means the crime can easily go unnoticed. That’s why it’s critical that specialist help is there for them to turn to, to help them rebuild their lives and for them to get justice.

“Being chosen by the Mayor to run this new service for domestic violence victims in London recognises our expertise and track record of delivering innovative local services. We’re working with partners across the capital so that vulnerable people get the help they so desperately need.

“Victim Support offers practical support and advice to domestic violence victims and helps get families to safety. Our expert team can support them through giving statements to the police and testifying in court, if they want to press charges against their abuser.

Anyone affected by domestic violence or any other crime can get confidential advice from our Supportline by phoning 08 08 16 89 111.