MOJ to grant support to victims of domestic abuse in family courts

The Government has awarded £900,000 to two organisations who provide in-court support to victims of domestic abuse.

The announcement comes as part of the Governments Domestic Abuse Bill, where the Government announced its intention to improve support for victims of domestic abuse who are going through family court proceedings.

Now the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has announced they have awarded a grant of just under £900,000 to two organisations who provide help and support in court to vulnerable victims – The Personal Support Unit (PSU) and the Citizens Advice Witness Service.

PSU has been supporting litigants in person in family courts since 2001 and Citizens Advice has been supporting witnesses in criminal court proceedings since 2015.

Both organisations have extensive front-line experience of helping victims and witnesses navigate court processes and feel safe at court.

PSU plans to use the funding to invest in further training of their staff and volunteers and to share learnings on best practice with a range of family justice stakeholders, whilst Citizens Advice are looking to extend their current Witness Service to selected family courts to provide information and practical and emotional support to victims before, during and after the day of the hearing.

The funding runs through to March 2020 and means that up to 12 family courts across England will receive the Citizens Advice services and 24 courts across both England and Wales will benefit from the PSU services.