Women in the UK can no longer afford to pay the price of abuse. Current funding for violence against women services is unsustainable and short-sighted, and this is costing lives. Vital services are closing and nearly a quarter the total referrals made to women's refuges are declined due to the lack of available bedspace.
We are calling on Theresa May to commit to supporting specialist services to tackle violence against women and girls.
We are calling for sufficient, sustainable funding and for greater accountability. The government must ensure money is spent where it’s needed so that support is provided by specialist services.
Polly Neate, CEO Women’s Aid, says: "Having worked with Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary, we know she is committed to ending violence against women. We urge her to seize this opportunity to make a step change in both the protection of women and the prevention of domestic abuse."
We need the government to rethink commissioning models to provide adequate support to specialist services that are for and led by women, including BME women and disabled women. This calls for a holistic, inclusive funding approach that actively supports smaller organisations with specialist expertise, and also enables agencies such as Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis to provide services to all women, including those with uncertain immigration status and adult survivors of child sexual abuse.