Women’s Aid statement on Budget 2016
Wednesday 16th March 2016
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“We welcome the Government’s efforts to support women’s services, but it’s crucial that other cuts and welfare reforms do not undermine this progress. We can assume that further cuts and welfare reforms, such as capping housing benefit, will impact upon many women’s opportunities to escape and overcome domestic abuse.
“Whilst it is positive to see that there will be further opportunities for smaller specialist domestic abuse services to apply for tampon tax funding through Comic Relief and the Rosa Fund, this will be difficult for many services. This is because of limited resources, due to previous funding cuts. Women’s Aid launched a Sustainability Partnership with Imkaan, funded by the Lloyd’s Bank Foundation, to strengthen the capacity of these smaller domestic abuse services, and help them to survive.
“We welcome the Government’s shift towards earlier intervention work. £2 million from the tampon tax (as announced in the Autumn Statement) has already been invested in our new domestic abuse early intervention project, Sooner the Better, with SafeLives. Our work in this project aims to empower communities to bring down the barriers to disclosing abuse. It will make it possible for women to seek help, secure in the knowledge that they will be believed, supported – and above all not blamed for the abuse they have experienced. The goal must always be long-term independence, not passing women from pillar to post.
However, while early intervention is very important and we are grateful for funding, this cannot be to the detriment of refuges and other crisis-response domestic abuse services. These are still vital, lifesaving services, and early intervention is no use to a woman who is running for her life. This is why the £100 million to help people move on from emergency hostels and refuge is really important; it’s crucial that women leaving refuges and rebuilding their lives have somewhere safe and suitable to do so.”
Women’s Aid position on funding women’s services from the Tampon Tax has not changed. Read our statement from November in response to this news.
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