Domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has launched an SOS campaign, calling on the Government to commit to a national funding solution for specialist refuges for women survivors of domestic violence.
The charity is highlighting that England’s network of women’s refuges is facing a crisis because specialist domestic violence services are currently experiencing devastating budget cuts.
New research released by Women’s Aid in conjunction with its campaign launch has revealed a severe shortfall in the number of refuge spaces available, as well as broad public support for a national response to close the gap. The research found that:
- England currently needs 5,387 refuge bed spaces, but has only 3,660: a shortfall of 32%.
- Six in 10 (61%) voters feel the Government should do more to preserve the national network of domestic violence refuges for women and children.
- Nearly six in 10 (59%) voters feel the Government should do more to ensure funding support for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.
“Perpetrators of domestic violence will do everything they can to control their victim, which is why specialist support services are essential to help women escape and build independent lives,” explained Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid.
“A national network of support services, which allows women to get help locally or escape the area as they need, is essential to protecting women and children,” she added. “This is why we are sending out an SOS signal on behalf of abused women and children, urging Government at every level to act now to preserve funding for these vital safe spaces.”
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