Almost £100,000 of extra funding to expand support for survivors of domestic abuse on the Island has been secured by the Isle of Wight Council.

The authority, working in partnership with charities and other organisations, will use the grant for a wide range of services to help victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) rebuild their lives.

Today’s (Monday) announcement brings the total amount of additional funding secured from the government by the council’s housing and family support team to almost £700,000 in little over a year.

Jamie Brenchley, the council’s service manager for housing needs and homelessness, said:

“We are very pleased to receive further funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help us continue to tackle our local issues.

“Domestic abuse is an especially vile form of life-threatening abuse, which leaves victims including children living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their own homes.

“The funding will help reduce homelessness by enabling victims of domestic violence, where safe and appropriate, to stay in their own home and within the Island community.

“This will also enable You Trust to build on the success of The Dragonfly Project and develop a specialist counselling and therapeutic service offer for adults and children who are escaping domestic abuse.’’

In less than a year, The Dragonfly Project has trained more than 70 community champions across the Island. The project seeks to identify victims of DVA who are isolated within their own communities.

The project trains people to respond to disclosures of DVA in their communities and encourages people to work together to end any stigma that prevents people coming forward for help.

The grant will also provide for an additional specialist refuge and outreach provision to enhance the council’s service offer for adults and children.

In addition, the money will be used to ‘target harden’ properties to make them safe for victims and their families to stay there; free from abuse and violence.

Mr Brenchley explained:

“Many victims do not want to flee their homes or the area where they live as their support networks are there and their children are settled.

“The scheme aims to improve security by replacing locks, installing window locks and alarms and putting in measures to reduce the risk of fires.”

Leader of the council Dave Stewart added:

“This funding will help even more victims of domestic abuse and violence have access to the help they need, when they need it.

“Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of survivors and their families. It is our duty to ensure survivors can seek help by providing the support they need to restart their lives.”