Women’s Aid responds to the government’s
Farah Nazeer, chief executive at Women’s Aid, said
“The £19m announced in the budget today is not enough. Even with the £165m for next year, these figures are nowhere near the £393m needed to keep refuges and community-based services running sustainably.
Specialist women’s domestic abuse services continue to face a funding crisis, with funding cuts and poor commissioning decisions failing to keep them secure. Women’s Aid estimates that £393m is required for lifesaving refuges and community-based services in England, alongside ring-fenced funding for specialist services led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women, disabled women and LGBT+ survivors.
However next year only £165 million will be delivered, with an additional £19 million announced today for work with perpetrators and ‘respite rooms’ for homeless women. We urge the government to provide further details of this funding, as it’s unclear what ‘respite rooms’ are.
This shortfall of over £200 million will mean that women and children will be turned away from the lifesaving support they need.
Whilst funding for working with perpetrators is important, it must never come at the expense of funding lifesaving support for survivors. Women-only services deliver tried and tested support that survivors and their children continue to desperately need. They are likely to face even further pressure and demand once lockdown finally lifts, and more women and children are able to reach out for help. It remains more urgent than ever the government securely funds the national network of specialist women’s domestic abuse services and ends the poor local funding and commissioning processes that risk their very survival.”