Women’s Aid has responded to the Chancellor’s budget


27th October 2021 – updated statement

“We are disappointed to not see the level of investment needed to prevent domestic abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in today’s budget. The government has stated that tackling these crimes is “a top priority”. Whilst we welcome the announced £185 million which will increase the number of Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Advisors to over 1,000 and fund other key services such as helplines – this is not enough to see the cultural shift that women urgently need. 

“Women’s Aid estimate that at least £409 million is needed to run the specialist domestic abuse services across England, including ring-fenced funding for specialist ‘by and for’ services. Despite the introduction of the statutory funding allocated in the Domestic Abuse Act, domestic abuse services are still chronically underfunded, and today’s announcement still leaves a significant shortfall.  

“Whilst the Safer Streets funding will continue to increase CCTV and street lighting, the absence of funding to address the drivers of VAWG is concerning in light of the recent, tragic cases of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard, as well as so many women and girls before them. The announcements also do not match the response called for in last month’s report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which stated that VAWG should be treated with as much importance as acts of terrorism.  

“There are aspects to welcome from today’s budget, however questions remain about how the current VAWG strategy and forthcoming domestic abuse strategy can be delivered, without the necessary investment in prevention and sustainable funding for specialist domestic abuse services.”

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