SOS - Save refuges, Save Lives.

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.

On one typical day, 103 children and 155 women are turned away from refuges. There is no space for them.

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.

Take action

Sign the petition – Sign and share this petition to protect single parents with children under two from the benefit cap

Email or write to your MP – You can find details of your local MP and tips for writing to them at: www.theyworkforyou.co.uk

Send your SOS signal – Download the mySOS template (PDF) and  write a word or phrase that explains why you think we should protect refuges. Then tweet us a picture, tagging #saverefugessavelives

Download

 

Why refuges are so important: Real stories

Reports and resources

Women’s Aid statement (May 2017): “Women’s Aid ‘relieved and delighted’ by cross-party support for separate funding model for refuges”

Why we need to save our services (PDF)
Women’s Aid data report on specialist domestic violence services. – Download Report

Tackling domestic violence toolkit for MPs (PDF)
We want to help MPs support their constituents who may be experiencing domestic abuse. We have produced a toolkit with key data about domestic abuse and information on how MPs can support their constituents. – Download toolkit

SOS Success

Read our statement

New £20 million fund for refuges from 2016-2018

Read our statement

Women’s Aid Briefing on Local Housing Allowance Cap (PDF)
This document explains more about why planned welfare reforms would have been disastrous for refuge services. – Download briefing

GET INVOLVED

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Support our national campaigns on a local level, give survivors of domestic violence a voice and help to ensure that politicians and other key decision makers are listening.

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© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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