Demand urgent funding for specialist domestic abuse services
Home is not a safe place for everyone. For women facing abuse, the act of staying home to save lives potentially puts their own life in danger. The government is asking these women to risk so much, but have chronically underfunded services - particularly specialist services - to the point that the majority of women seeking refuge are turned away when they need help the most.
We are almost a year into this pandemic and the situation is only getting worse.
Across the country, women and children are being turned away from refuges and specialist services. There are not enough beds, not enough accessible spaces for disabled women and not enough specialist support for LGBT+ or minoritised women. However, just 5% of the emergency funding for abuse services this year has gone to specialist services, and the Government has made no moves to give domestic abuse services the sustainable, long term funding they need.
Nearly 60% of women and children are already turned away refuges in London - equivalent to 2,000 women and their children every year. That number is expected to rise as cases increase, and refuges are forced to reduce or suspend services during COVID. We can and must do better. WE are calling on the Government to urgently release additional funding directly to specialist services, and to agree a long term funding settlement to guarantee everyone who flees abuse can access the support they need.