Today, we have publicly released our letter to Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt stating that we are deeply concerned that despite previous correspondence with Welsh Government, there has been no ringfenced emergency funding provided to specialist support services to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Services providing violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) support across Wales are in urgent need of ring-fenced emergency funding. The funding that has been announced so far are existing funds announced in December, pre-allocated on pre-existing needs prior to COVID 19. This is hugely troubling, as a survey of specialist services in Wales has confirmed that at least 90% of services are incurring additional costs due the circumstances caused by COVID-19.
Additional flexible funding must now be provided to the VAWDASV specialist sector.
The letter sets out why the VAWDASV specialist sector requires:
- A ring-fenced pot of funding for VAWDASV specialist services at least equivalent to funding being invested elsewhere in the UK.
- A clear plan to replace the funding that has been repurposed to meet the impact of COVID-19.
- Funding that can be flexibly utilised for revenue and support costs – current funding only covers capital costs and not the additional costs to meet the support needs of survivors.
- Swift access to funding. In Scotland, £1.5 million was provided with immediate effect to invest in support needs as and when they developed, recognising that services have to be responsive to changing needs and do not have capacity to fill in endless application forms.
Read our letter and full press release outlining our concerns and recommendations here: