Refuge is delighted that the Government has announced plans to keep housing benefit in place for all those living in supported housing – something that Refuge has long championed for.
Sandra Horley, CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge says:
“Today’s announcement follows much lobbying by Refuge to protect funding for women’s refuges; emergency accommodation which provides a lifeline to women escaping domestic violence, a crime which claims the lives of around two women every week in England and Wales alone.
“Refuge has worked closely with MHCLG to ensure the survivors of domestic abuse are at the centre of decision-making.
“Housing benefit is an essential source of income for women’s refuges – previous proposals would have devolved this critical funding to local authorities which have no obligation to fund refuges. This could have led to the collapse of refuge provision across the country; a national travesty. Thankfully this disaster has been averted. And yet the reality remains that there are still too few places of refuge accommodation to meet the ever growing demand.
“Refuge urges the Government to ensure that its ‘once in a generation’ Domestic Abuse Bill commits sufficient, long-term, sustainable funding for specialist services, including providing enough refuge provision to meet the needs of survivors in the country today.
“As ‘Sarah’ told me ‘after years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from my partner, I finally escaped to a refuge with my two children. Without this safe haven to flee to, I would still be with him. Or worse, not be here’. We must ensure that all women, women like Sarah, have access to emergency safe accommodation; in so doing we can protect the lives of thousands of women and children who live in fear of violence across our country every day.”
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 395 7731 | 07970 894240 (out of hours)
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