Women’s Aid welcomes domestic abuse funding – but warns of continued threat to refuges
Friday 17th February 2017
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Women’s Aid has been campaigning to protect refuges since 2014 – so today’s announcement from the Government is welcome step in the right direction. The creation of more beds space in refuges means more abused women and children will have somewhere safe to go, and ultimately, lives will be saved. On just one day in 2015, 92 women and 75 children were turned away from refuge, putting their lives at risk. However, as we revealed at the start of this week, due to the proposed new funding model for the supported housing sector, refuges are once again facing crisis. This threat to the future of refuges comes less than six months after we successfully campaigned to have refuges exempted from changes to the housing benefit cap.
“The £20 million will make a huge difference to the projects that won funding – but without a long-term funding solution to secure a lasting future for refuges, these projects will be put at risk again. Many of the refuges that have been able to increase the number of beds they have, and the number of women and children they support, will be forced to close. This investment in them will have been meaningless. We urge the Government to be accountable to their promise in its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy: that, by 2020, they will ensure ‘no victim is turned away from accessing critical support services delivered by refuges’. The Government made a promise that refuges would be protected. For the safety of thousands of women and children that flee domestic abuse every year across the country, this promise must be kept.”