Women’s Aid responds to Women’s Health Strategy
Today, the government published the Women’s Health Strategy.
In response, Isabelle Younane, head of policy, campaigns and public affairs at Women’s Aid said:
“We know from our work with survivors that the effects of domestic abuse on women’s mental health can be both severe and long lasting, which is why we have urged the government to prioritise this issue through our campaign, Deserve To Be Heard. We are therefore disappointed that the Women’s Health Strategy does not explicitly recognise violence against women and girls as a fundamental driver of ill mental health.
“We are concerned that the funding pledged to improve access to mental health services falls short of what is needed: Women’s Aid estimates that at least £409 million is needed per year for specialist domestic abuse services to meet women’s mental health needs or work with the NHS to support their recovery. Without any dedicated funding for specialist mental health support, the strategy fails to tackle the obstacles it highlights.
“In order to tackle violence against women and girls as a public health issue, the government must commit to ensuring that all healthcare professionals receive training from specialist services on domestic abuse. This training must include improving understanding of perpetrator tactics in weaponising mental ill health, the impacts of domestic abuse on Black and minoritised survivors and the barriers that marginalised women may face when getting support.
“Women’s Aid will continue to campaign and work alongside government to ensure all survivors receive the mental health support they need.”