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Portsmouth City Council has been successful in a Pan-Hampshire partnership bid to increase refuge provision for those suffering domestic abuse. 

76 projects across the country will receive a share of £20 million to support victims of domestic abuse, creating more than 2,200 new bed spaces in refuges and other specialist accommodation.

This will support more than 19,000 victims with somewhere safe to live and rebuild their lives, and provide further access to education, employment and life skills training.

A total of £661k has been allocated for four authorities in the area which include Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, the Isle of Wight, and Hampshire County Council. The money will allow the provision of safe accommodation, refuges, outreach services, and sanctuary schemes, which help those at risk of violence to stay safe in their own homes through improved security measures.

Some of this money will go directly to each local provider while other is to fund increased cross border provision. 

The approach of a pan-Hampshire bid was taken to maximise the benefits for people who use the refuge. Often victims of domestic violence and abuse have to move areas to keep themselves safe and this funding improves cross boundary support to reduce any impact and increase consistency of support for the victim.  

Southampton City Council wrote the Pan-Hampshire bid on behalf of the involved territories, and will be leading on the project, with all four areas equally involved in their contributions.

In November 2016 the government published a document called Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services, this identified implementations for local authorities to put in place to ensure sure their approach to domestic abuse is collaborative, robust and effective.

The funding now achieved will now deliver on these priorities by working together with other local authorities nearby, specialist domestic violence service providers, and partner agencies.

Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety Councillor Robert New said:

"Domestic abuse comes in many forms, not only physical as some assume, and it affects a very diverse group of people. Achieving this funding is a triumph for all involved, and will allow us to tailor the support services and refuge we provide to a wide range of people so that there is help on hand when needed."

"With local authorities facing tough challenges ahead in terms of the savings they need to make, this funding is very welcome so that together we can ensure a robust and effective support network across Hampshire. I'd like to say a big thank you to all who have contributed and worked hard towards making this successful bid become a reality."