9% of survey complete.
1. Ensuring the safety of our citizens is the most basic task of government, and the Government believes that victims fleeing domestic abuse should be given as much assistance as possible to ensure they are able to re-build their lives away from abuse and harm.

2. A joint review by the Home Office and DCLG of domestic violence provision in 2015 highlighted the need for government to ensure that victims of domestic abuse get help earlier, before they reach a crisis, and that housing provision such as refuges are a key element of this support.

3. Many victims of domestic abuse are forced to flee their homes to seek safety, support and temporary accommodation in a refuge, often in another local authority area in order to put a safe distance between themselves and their abusers.  However, when they are ready to move on from the refuge into settled accommodation, they may experience difficulty. People living in refuges may have insufficient priority under the local authority’s allocation scheme; while those who have fled to a refuge in another local authority area may be unable to apply for social housing because the local authority’s qualification criteria include a residency or local connection test. 
4. This consultation supports a manifesto commitment to help victims of domestic violence to leave abusive partners.

Existing measures to assist victims
5. A number of measures are already in place to support victims of domestic abuse. These include the securing of a new dedicated fund totalling £40m over four years (2016 - 2020), building on the £13.5m provided between 2014 and 2016, to strengthen specialist accommodation-based services and support victims of domestic abuse. The funding will provide a mix of refuge and other accommodation-based provision, support for victims to access services, and stimulate better service commissioning and partnership working.  

6. On 3 November 2016 we launched a new £20 million, two year fund for specialist accommodation-based support and services.  Alongside the fund, we published our new ‘Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services’, developed with partners from the domestic abuse sector, which sets out for the first time what local areas need to do to ensure their response to domestic abuse is as effective as it can be.

7. As of 17 February 2017, 76 projects across the country will receive a share of the £20 million fund to support victims of domestic abuse, creating more than 2,200 bed spaces and giving support to over 19,000 victims.

8. The Government is commited to supporting victims of domestic violence and abuse, and have set in motion a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill and non legislative measures which will drive a culture change in public understanding of domestic abuse and the impact it has. It will provide enhanced protection for victims, and recognise the devastating impact of domestic abuse on children.