Women's Aid 'Save Lives Save Refuge Services' campaign
> Sign our e-petition to 'Save Lives Save Refuge Services' to protect life saving domestic violence services from the impact of welfare reform.
Women’s Aid is concerned that the rules for Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap could have a negative impact on survivors and refuge services, which we highlighted in our original response to the consultation on draft regulations. Since then the Department for Work and Pensions has announced that Housing Benefit for ‘exempt accommodation’ will be delivered separately from Universal Credit and these payments will be disregarded when calculating the Benefit Cap.
Women’s Aid remains concerned that not all refuge services would be covered by the current definition of ‘exempt accommodation’ – often because they provide support under contract to their local authority rather than on behalf of the landlord.
Read our briefing on the 'Impact of Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap on refuge services for survivors of domestic violence'.
There will be a Parliamentary debate on the regulations, possibly at the end of January or early February, and in the run up to this we are:
- taking legal advice about the definition of exempt and the options available to us to challenge this;
- raising awareness of the risks to refuge funding and therefore to survivors’ access to services;
- lobbying government for a specific solution for refuge services;
- briefing member services about what they can do to support the campaign and ensure they are considered ‘exempt’.
What you can do
Women’s Aid are lobbying government for a commitment to ensure all refuges are granted ‘exempt’ status so they are not negatively impacted by the implementation of Universal Credit and the Benefit Cap and we need your help with this.
To support this campaign you can:
- Sign our 'Save Lives Save Refuge Services' e-petition
- Send letters to your local MPs, see a template letter
- Arrange a meeting with your local MP
- Publish a press release to your local media, see a template press release
- Attend a campaign event organised by Women’s Aid, see below
- Retweet all campaign tweets from @womensaid
You can tell us about your campaigning activities by completing the campaign response form and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please watch out for further briefings and suggested activities on this page.
Read our letter to The Guardian on benefit cuts threatening refuge services.
Save Lives, Save Services is part of our ongoing Saving Survivors' Services campaign to stop cuts to specialist domestic violence services.