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. Women’s Aid had to fight off proposed welfare reforms that would have decimated refuges across the country.
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.
The campaign so far
Thanks to your support, the campaign has successfully secured a further investment of £33 million until 2018. This increased funding has supported many refuges to stay open and bolstered provision at many others.
But refuges are still lurching from crisis to crisis. In September, last year Women’s Aid opposed welfare reforms that would have forced two thirds of refuges to close down and we are continuing to raise awareness and call for urgent action on the impact of other welfare reform on survivors of domestic abuse. We have welcomed the Government’s decision to exempt refuges from the changes, and will now holding them accountable to their promise of a new, sustainable model of funding for these life-saving services.
The Government has shown great commitment to refuges, but unless a long-term funding solution is secured the millions of pounds invested to keep them open will be undermined.
Why refuges are so important: Real stories
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