Funding specialist support for domestic abuse survivors
Funding life-saving specialist domestic abuse support, for every survivor who needs it, will cost £393 million per year. This investment would be a fraction of the estimated £66 billion annual cost to society.
This is the finding of Women’s Aid’s latest report, which examines the cost of fulfilling the previous government’s commitment to delivering a statutory duty on local authorities to fund refuge services, alongside sustainable funding for wider specialist domestic abuse services.
Women’s Aid recommends that:
- The next government commits to the funding settlement of at least £393,326,676 as set out in this report, working with the domestic abuse sector, local authorities and commissioning bodies to ensure it is delivered effectively, sustainably and secures the future of specialist provision for women and children escaping domestic abuse.
- The government and domestic abuse commissioner work in partnership with the ‘by and for’ sector – including providers working ‘by and for’ BME women, LGBT survivors and survivors who are disabled, deaf or blind – to develop the funding settlement, and model of delivery, required for specialist provision for groups with protected characteristics.
This report also sets out the following prerequisites for a sustainable specialist domestic abuse sector:
- Ring-fenced funding within the settlement for the ‘by and for’ expert sector.
- Availability of a full range of service types.
- Effective and sustainable funding of the wider support sector.
- Provision for women with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
- Availability of housing benefit to cover housing costs for refuge services.
- Funded coordination and oversight/monitoring.