Home Office refuses to grant Emergency Fund for survivors of domestic abuse
Following our six month campaign for an emergency fund for survivors of domestic abuse during the cost of living crisis, we are saddened and disappointed to share the news that we have been informed by Home Office that the fund will not be taken forward. Our Chief Executive Farah Nazeer:
Our Chief Executive Farah Nazeer:
“We are both shocked and devastated at this news, as there is such an urgent need for this emergency fund for women trying to escape domestic abuse.
This is more than just a financial issue, as women staying with abusers will likely mean an increase in domestic abuse offences, which is already one of the most common crimes reported to the police, and inevitably more homicides. A fund of £1 million would have been a drop in the ocean for the Home Office, yet the difference that £500 to a woman trying to leave an abuser with her children could be the difference between life and death. The prospect of leaving with nothing in your pocket for food, the bus or basic items for you and your children is utterly terrifying.
We know this is what stops women from leaving their abuser, and with three women being killed by a current or former partner every fortnight, we cannot tolerate more women to dying because they are scared of leaving for the sake a few hundred pounds each. An estimated 1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year, women from every background, and financial control is often part of the abuse – so women may not even have access to their own money. They are also likely to be cut off from family and friends by the abuser, as this is typically part of the pattern of domestic abuse, so they may not have a support network and feel completely alone.
Nearly three quarters of the women we spoke to about this told us that the cost of living crisis had either stopped them from leaving or made it harder to leave. Without this fund in place, there will inevitably be women and children killed this year because lack of money stopped them from making the decision to leave. We will continue to challenge this decision.”