Jobcentre workers trained to identify and support victims of domestic abuse

Hundreds of Jobcentre workers are being trained to support victims of domestic abuse.

The Government announced that by the end of the summer, every Jobcentre in the UK will have a domestic abuse “point of contact”.

Around 600 Department for Work and Pensions staff across the UK are currently undergoing specialist training from Women’s Aid to help them identify and support the needs of anyone experiencing such abuse.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said new Universal Credit claims will receive automatic guidance directing payments to be made to the main carer’s account.

She said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable crime that often happens behind closed doors, making it incredibly difficult to detect.

“By ensuring there is a specially trained domestic abuse support officer in every UK Jobcentre, we are increasing the likelihood that someone will spot the tell-tale signs and get support to the victim quickly.

“And with the automatic recommendation that payments are to go to the main carer, we’re making it easier for women to build the financial independence they need to leave their abuser.”

Niki Scordi, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Advance, said: “For women escaping domestic abuse, help needs to be where they are – whether a GP surgery or a Jobcentre. Training like this can help change and even save lives.

“With Jobcentres and specialist services like Advance working together, women and children can be supported to rebuild their lives.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Ansell / PA Wire.