Get involved in 16 days of action against domestic abuse
This #16Days, we’re calling on the government to better fund the life-saving services that help to keep women and children safe.
The future of refuges is under threat. Refuges are already operating on short-term, shoestring budgets and the government’s proposed plans will remove their last secure form of funding. This means that many will face the awful reality of either turning more women and children away or closing their doors forever.
Refuges are far more than just a ‘bed for the night’. They save lives, providing shelter, support and recovery for women and children. As our Survivor Ambassador Mandy Thomas has said, “if you don’t have a place to go, you back”.
Take action during #16Days
Help us to support more women and children to escape abuse
- £25 could help provide life-saving advice to women fleeing abuse
- £45 could help make sure women get the ongoing support they need to rebuild their lives
- £75 could help us to support more women to escape the torture of domestic abuse
Since September 2014, we have been calling on the government to Save Our Services by committing to preserving the national network of specialist refuges through exploring and securing a new model of national refuge funding and commissioning.
Between 2010 and 2014, we lost 17% of specialist refuges in England and third of all referrals to refuges are turned away, normally due to a lack of available space.
Our world-leading network of specialist refuges is at risk when still two women a week, 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.Learn more
- 1 in 7 children and young people will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood 
- Two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week. 
- Between January 2005 and August 2015, 19 children were killed by perpetrators of domestic abuse in circumstances relating to child contact. 
- Of the survivors supported by Women’s Aid specialist caseworkers, 53% were fleeing with children. 
- 94 women and 90 children were turned away from refuge services in England on just one day this year. 
- If government proposed changes to refuge funding go ahead, over one third fear they will be forced to close down. 
- The Guardian: ‘Every refuge will close’: what funding changes could mean for women
- The Independent: Nearly 200 domestic abuse victims turned away from refuges each day, charity finds
- The Guardian: I work with women facing domestic and sexual violence: it’s devastating to see how much progress is unravelling
- Refinery29: Domestic Abuse Refuges Are Under Threat, Says Leading Women’s Charity
- The Independent: 4000 women and children fleeing domestic abuse will be locked out of refuges under government proposals, warns charity
- The Times: Third of women’s refuges face closure in government funding reforms
- The Pool: Government plans to revamp supported housing funding puts women’s refuges at risk of closure
Femicide is generally defined as the murder of women because they are women, though some definitions include any murders of women or girls. Femicide has been identified globally as a leading a cause of premature death for women, yet there is limited research on the issue in Europe.
In December 2016, the Femicide Census Report was released covering seven years and bringing together information on 936 women in England and Wales killed by men.Download The Femicide Census Report
Our Child First campaign report, Nineteen Child Homicides, highlights what must change so children are put first in child contact arrangements in the family courts. We are calling on the Government, all family courts professionals, and involved agencies to make the family court process safer for women and children survivors of domestic abuse.
Get help and advice
Find out more about the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people
 Radford, L, Aitken, R, Miller, P, Ellis, J, Roberts, J, and Firkic, A, Meeting the needs of children living with domestic violence in London Research report Refuge/NSPCC research project Funded by the City Bridge Trust November 2011 (London: NSPCC and Refuge, 2011), p. 9
 Office for National Statistics, Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, Year ending March 2016, Chapter 2: Homicide (Published online: Office for National Statistics, 2017)
 Women’s Aid, Nineteen Child Homicides (Bristol: Women’s Aid, 2016), p. 22
 Women’s Aid, No Woman Turned Away, 2017, p.36
 Women’s Aid, Annual Survey, 2017
 Women’s Aid, emergency survey was sent to all refuge services listed on Routes to Support on 1st November 2017 following the government’s announcement to change the way supported housing is funded on 31st October 2017.