60% of women turned away from refuges last year – now almost 40% are to close

In little-remarked news shared last weekend by the Guardian and elaborated on by the National CAN network, it has been revealed that plans announced by the government will result in the closure of 39% of women’s domestic violence refuges, according to a survey by Women’s Aid – with another 13% having to reduce the number of places they offer.

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The Tories are planning to exclude refuges and other short-term supported housing from eligibility for the housing benefit of the people who stay there – which currently forms 53% of refuge funding.

The net effect of the Tory changes will be well over 4,000 more women and children being unable to find refuge in desperate need.

And under the current, pre-change system sixty percent of women and children referred to refuges were already turned away.

Penny-pinching, callous Tories, out of touch with the harsh realities of life faced by millions under their regime of senseless cuts, are setting up vulnerable women and children for a disaster.

Chief Executive of Women’s Aid Katie Ghose said:

Demand for refuges already far outstrips supply and the proposed funding model could be the breaking point. Refuges will be faced with the awful reality of either turning more women and children away or closing their doors forever.

Over the last year – before the implementation of the mooted changes – almost two million people suffered domestic violence, 1.2 million of them women. Two women a week are killed by current or former partners.

Those numbers clearly mean little to a party that likes to boast of having had two women leaders – yet whose policies hammer women far harder than men.

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  1. This is the problem, there is no regulation of the charity sector and most are newly created small for a particular government purpose or large modernised ones doing the government’s business .

    Blair made sure of this by passing the Charities ACT which promoted an administrative body to Charity Commission, able to end the life of any charity by saying they did not comply with the ‘public benefit’ criteria .

    The tribunal system replaced the courts and effectively the executive took over charities.

    Woman Aid 25 years ago would not let a social worker into a Refuge they are common assessment framework assessors paid for by the government, assessing children for abuse, hence most abused woman have lost their children to care.

    Refuge came over from USA and many Refuges closed down and were replaced by advice packages for how to make your home safe.

    So much for all the governments money and initiatives to supposedly help abused woman.

    They have nowhere to run, and when they do, there is a very real risk, shown by statistics, that they will lose their children and any future ones for ever.

  2. Hang on a minute. Didn’t Teresa May say last year that the VAT that they were unable to remove from the sale of women’s sanitary products would instead be diverted to funding women’s refuges? Maybe someone needs to remind the government of this.

    1. But we cannot control what any charity does with its money, and it appears that Womans Aid and Refuge HAVE been political beasts for at least the past 10 years.

      And because of this we have seen more care orders for removal of babies/children on the mere witnessing physical/.emotional abuse or risk of it.

      Even when woman escape they are often not allowed to keep their children or even future babies because of the risk that they may get back with abusive partner or are deemed to have a propensity for abusive relationships.

      Womans Aid campaigned and succeeded in having the definition of ‘harm’ in the Childrens Act 89, used by LAs to obtain care orders to include the ‘financial and emotional harm of another’

      Woman already are not going to Refuges, even when they exist because their children have been, and are being taken into care on the evidence from these woman and children of abuse given to Womans Aid/Refuge..

      And upon the basis of this change of law.

      So through these organisations woman have, and are increasingly losing their children to the state. And child protection by adoption and fostering is now big private business making millions.

  3. “Two women a week are killed by current or former partners.”

    Internal tory response: “That all? We’re killing three a day with welfare sanctions & WCA’s…Must go further”

    Internal UKIP/Britain first/ knuckledragger’s response: “Bloody refuges – should never have let them in in the first place; kick em all out.”

    Seriously though, it wouldn’t surprise me if the toerags came up with some sort of ‘refuge bnb’ policy next.

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