Women’s Aid responds to government announcing £76 million support package for charity and community organisations
Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, comments:
“The announcement of the £76 million Cost of Living Fund is very welcome news, especially as the funding can be used by domestic abuse services, which provide vital, life-saving support to survivors across the country. The cost-of-living crisis poses an ongoing danger to women who find it even harder to leave an abuser due to financial constraints. We are encouraging domestic abuse services and other violence against women and girls organisations to apply to the fund, as they provide critical support in their local areas to women and children facing severe pressures from the rising cost of living.”
“Our research has also shown that domestic abuse services have been pushed to breaking point in the current economic climate. Last winter, over 80% of Women’s Aid members told us they were struggling to recruit vacant roles at the salaries they could pay, and one in five had staff who were using foodbanks. Specialist services run ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women are at the sharpest edge of this crisis; 85% told us they would have to reduce the support they can provide or close altogether without funding help.
“Survivors have nowhere to turn if these life-saving services cannot support them. Whilst this crisis funding is therefore welcome, it has to be spent by March 2024 and this is not a sustainable solution. We continue to urge the government to commit to fully funding specialist domestic abuse services for women and children in England, at £427 million per year. The economic case for this is clear; for every pound invested in domestic abuse support services we will see a saving to the public purse of at least £9.”