THE government has given a grant of almost £1million to provide more safe accommodation and support across Lancashire for women fleeing domestic abuse.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the cash would help protect victims and their children from violent and controlling partners.
Lancashire County Council received £878,208 towards refuge provision of which £89,240 will go to Blackburn with Darwen Borough’s services to tackle domestic abuse, WISH and Humraaz.
The grant comes as Mr Jenrick reintroduced the Domestic Abuse Bill legally redefining the offence to include economic, controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.
The cash award has been welcomed by Colne’s John Clough whose daughter Jane was murdered by her ex-partner.
Barrowford’s Miss Clough has a specialist refuge for those fleeing abuse with addiction issues in Burnley – Jane’s Place – named after her.
Her said: “I am pleased. This is a significant amount of money. Refuges are more than just safe accommodation, they are about dealing with the trauma of domestic abuse. In 2016 we were fighting to keep these refuges open.”
Cllr Mustafa Desai, Blackburn with Darwen’s adult services boss, said: “This funding is much-needed and will no doubt help us to increase our support in both hard to reach areas and add more staff to our programmes, which will help to give victims of domestic violence, their children and families the support they need and make sure they have a safer and more secure future.”
Cllr Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s community services boss, said: “This is a one-off amount, which will support the equivalent of 25 full time jobs, directly with the local organisations who provide these services.
“This will directly help individuals and their children going through very difficult times, by providing better access to safe accommodation and the related support.”
The county council funds seven refuges in Burnley, Pendle, Hyndburn and Rossendale, including Jane’s Place.
Mr Jenrick said the £16.6m nationally makes provision across England consistent.
He said: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in their own homes – the place where they should feel most safe and secure.
“No victim of domestic abuse should have to struggle to get the right support, or wait months for help that they need."