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.
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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