New government funding plans threaten to dismantle our life-saving national network of refuges and put the lives of women and children trying to escape domestic abuse at risk.
A Women’s Aid survey of refuge services showed that the proposed new model of funding could force over half of refuges responding to close or reduce their provision – resulting in 4000 more women and children turned away from the lifesaving services they desperately need.
Already there are not enough refuge spaces to meet demand; data from Women’s Aid shows that 60% of total referrals to refuges were declined in 2016/17. When on average two women a week are killed by a partner or ex partner across England and Wales the stakes could not be higher.
Under the new plans, rent money which would have in the past gone straight to domestic violence refuges would instead go to local authorities – effectively forcing refuges to compete for funding with other local services.
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