Extra Funding For Domestic Violence Refuges

But charities warn it may not be enough to deal with the crisis

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The £10 million funding pledged by Home Secretary Theresa May towards refuges to help victims of domestic violence is "a drop in the ocean" according to a charity dealing with victims of abuse.

Sandra Horley of Refuge, the charity that grew out of the Chiswick Women's Aid centre which started in 1971 , said that as local authorities faced a 'tsunami' of funding cuts, the charity feared the money could be cut in two years.

Local MP Mary Macleod has welcomed the announcement of the extra funding while Labour's Parliamentary election candidate Ruth Cadbury commented ; "The crisis facing domestic violence refuges today is in danger of taking us back forty years. 

"The government timed this to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, but already major charities are warning it’s not enough.The government needs to replace the current patchwork of local funding with a UK wide framework".

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said: "We urge the Government to build on this first step and begin developing a sustainable long-term solution to refuge funding, as without such a solution this fund will be little more than a sticking plaster.”

Mary Macleod said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement of £10 million extra funding to support victims of domestic violence. It is so important that there is a safe home for them to go to and this funding will really help to expand the much needed provision. This funding follows the London Domestic Abuse Summit which we held in Chiswick with the Home Secretary, the Metropolitan Police and Refuge. Given the world’s first ‘safe house’ for women and children escaping domestic violence was opened in Chiswick in 1971, it was appropriate for the summit to be here."

Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge, the charity that grew out of Chiswick Women's Aid, said, "£10 million is just a drop in the ocean when we consider the scale of the problem. Local authorities are facing a tsunami of funding cuts – this pot of money may plug some of the gaps for now but what will happen when it runs out in 2016? There have never been enough refuge spaces in this country – finding a bed space in a refuge is like finding gold dust."

She added:"Domestic violence is a national problem – it needs a national response.”

Ruth Cadbury added; “Support for vulnerable women should not be a postcode lottery. Central Government should commit to a national funding solution for specialist domestic violence. We need to replace the current patchwork of local funding with a UK wide framework.  Until then too many women and children will be at risk”

November 27, 2014