The Ministry of Justice is reallocating a six-figure chunk of funding to better enable charities to remotely provide support to victims of crime during the coronavirus crisis.
A total of £600,000 is being diverted to allow charities to extend opening hours for helplines and invest, if necessary, in videoconferencing technologies. The money will also provide for the charity Victim Support to launch an online chat service and new “digital hub” for victims of crime.
The government said it is especially important that those that have suffered domestic violence or sexual abuse have a means of accessing support.
Victim Support chief executive Diana Fawcett said: “We welcome funding from the Ministry of to Justice to expand our online support services to every region of England and Wales, during a period which will be very difficult for victims of crime. Our message to victims is very clear: our trained supporters are here to offer you free and confidential support. It doesn’t matter where you live, what type of crime you have experienced, when it happened, whether you want support in the day or at night, or if you have reported the crime to the police. Victim Support is here to support you.”
Alongside Victim Support, other charities will be given money include: Safeline; The Survivors Trust; National Association for People Abused in Childhood; and Rape Crisis England & Wales.
According to the government, the £600,000 cash injection follows an extra £2m “boosting domestic abuse helplines and online support” for victims during the pandemic.
Justice minister Alex Chalk said: “Now more than ever, victims need to know that they are not alone, and despite this challenging period help will always be there. This cash boost will ensure that these vital services – which so many rely on – will continue to be available during this difficult time.”