Boost For Domestic Violence Project

A domestic violence initiative aimed at helping victims hit by their partners is to receive a cash boost of almost £2 million, Home Secretary John Reid has announced.

The Government has marked the start of domestic violence month by providing £1.85 million to help increase the number of action teams across England and Wales who tackle the problem.

The money will allow the 40 Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) that have already been set up to continue operating and support training for a further 60 by March next year.

Mr Reid, said: “Domestic violence is a terrible crime that seriously affects too many people in our communities. Public protection is my top priority, on the streets or in our homes. The Government is committed to ensuring that victims are given the support they need and people who commit domestic violence are bought to justice.”

Domestic violence affects one in four women and one in six men.

MARACs involve key agencies, police, probation, education, health, housing and the voluntary sector, working together on an individual victim’s case to share information.

The action teams can build up a comprehensive picture of the abuse and agree action to best support and protect a domestic violence victim and their family.

In Cardiff, the first place to hold MARACs, the level of reported repeat victimisation dropped from 32% to less than 10% between 2004 and 2006, the Government said.

Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland said: “No one should have to live with the fear of violence and abuse in their own homes and throughout March the Government is looking to raise awareness of this terrible crime.”

The Government has introduced specialist domestic violence courts and there are already more than 60 across England and Wales.