Women’s Aid welcomes new fund for refuges in response to Give Me Shelter campaign but calls for commitment to long-term national funding solution
Tuesday 7th July 2015
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“We warmly welcome today’s news of a new £3.2 million fund for refuges: a direct response from the government to our Give Me Shelter campaign with The Sun. We are grateful that the government has listened to the voices of women in crisis. This money will help refuges continue to save lives – but with so many women and children needing refuge spaces to escape domestic violence, this fund will be exhausted in a matter of months.
“What we must have now is a commitment from government to a new and different funding system for refuges, in which they are no longer vulnerable to local authorities who decide they will only protect women and children from their local area, or that they’d rather buy cheaper homelessness hostels instead of domestic violence refuges.
“A Whitehall-wide review of domestic violence services is welcome but we need to know that the specific issue of refuge funding will not be lost. We call for a new system to be in place by the start of the next financial year, so that from the 1st April 2016 we have a long-term plan in place that protects our national network of lifesaving refuges. The short-term funds announced today will only forestall the crisis until then.
“Each homicide in Britain was last year estimated by HM Treasury to cost £1.8 million. On average, 2 women a week in England and Wales are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. The economic sense of refuges is obvious.”