Since September 2014, we have been calling on the government to Save Our Services (SOS) by committing to preserving the national network of specialist refuges.
Our national network of specialist refuges is at risk when still three women every fortnight on average, are killed in England and Wales by a partner or former partner. Women’s Aid is leading the SOS Campaign to secure a long-term funding solution for life-saving services.
The campaign so far:
Despite roughly £128 million awarded to local councils annually over the past three years, many specialist services, who provide life-saving support are seeing their services being decommissioned and having to rely on fundraising and external donors. 44.0% of services responding to our Annual Audit 2023, including community-based services, had been running an area of their domestic abuse service in 2021-22 without any dedicated funding at all. Specialist services in the community should include, but are not limited to: advocacy; outreach; support for children and young people; drop-in services; counselling and therapeutic services; group work and peer support; prevention, education and awareness-raising activities; and local helplines. We are calling for the victims and prisoners bill to improve commissioning processes for specialist women’s community-based domestic abuse and sexual violence support services.
Find out what our definition of a specialist service is by clicking the links below:
Domestic abuse services are at risk of closure. Councillors have the power to change that.
For the local elections in May 2023, we asked councils to do three things to tackle domestic abuse in their local areas:
Our SOS campaign continues until we secure a funding solution that works for the life-saving services women and children need. There are actions that can be taken at both national and local level to ensure we have a sustainably funded national network of refuges.
You can view our Local Election Manifesto here