“Shocking gaps” in funding mean domestic violence shelters for women are turning away hundreds of victims a day, Women’s Aid has claimed.
Following its annual survey of refuges and domestic violence services, the charity claims 112 specialist jobs have been lost over the last year, thanks largelty to funding cuts. On a single day in June, 155 women and 103 children were turned away from overstretched refuges.
Overall, more than 9,500 women and in excess of 10,000 children were placed in refuges over the year.
The charity’s Chief Executive, Polly Neate, said:
“Specialist gender-specific domestic violence services are reaching a breaking point. Over 1.2 million women were estimated to have experienced domestic violence last year and two women a week are killed by perpetrators.”
The government must ensure “ensure adequate funding for the sector” in “the immediate future”, she insisted.
“If [they do] not, the safety net for women experiencing domestic violence in England will fall through, leaving even more women and children to be harmed and killed by people they should be able to trust.”
A spokesperson for the Home Office responded to the claims:
“Domestic violence shatters lives and we need to do everything possible to prevent this dreadful crime. This government has ring-fenced nearly £40m of funding for specialist local support services and national helplines to help people escape abusive situations. We have also rolled out Clare’s Law, domestic violence protection orders and extended the definition of domestic abuse to include 16 and 17-year-olds.”