New statistics from Women’s Aid England and Welsh Women’s Aid show 67% of abuse refuges in England and 69% in Wales could be closed down unless they are exempt from the housing Benefit Cap to the Government’s welfare reforms.
The charities say Housing Benefit covers up to 90% of rental costs and service charges at some refuges and the cap would see this money reduce from around £300 to £60 per room per week.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid England, said: "This latest crisis is just one crisis too many. We urge the Government to make a public commitment to securing the future of refuges with a sustainable long-term funding solution.
"With an average of two women a week being killed by a partner in England and Wales, this also makes economic sense: each domestic homicide costs society £1.8 million, meaning that the loss of women’s lives due to domestic abuse costs the country over £14 million a month. These women and children have been through enough and they deserve better than services which are continually on the brink of closure.’
If you have experienced sexual violence or abuse
If you are in immediate danger, phone 999 and ask for the Police.
If you need information, advice and support on sexual abuse/violence and what help is available, the charities listed at the end of this news article can advise further.
Money to start a new life away from your abuser can be a key factor if you have experience domestic abuse of any kind. You can use our free Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits. Even if you have checked before it is worth checking again, particularly if your circumstances have changed.
Our “Your Situation” information pages include the following sections which you might find helpful, depending on your situation:
Some charitable funds listed on our free Grants Search might also be able to be provide support, if you meet their criteria.
Charitable funds can include those attached to an occupation or industry you work in or used to work in. For instance, for anyone who works in or has worked in the banking sector, whatever their job, the Bank Workers Charity offers support if you have experienced abuse of any type. Or those that help individuals and families on low incomes who are living in difficult situations. Many charities also help the dependents of people their fund supports.
If you need advice on your particular situation, our Find an Adviser tool can help you find local experts.
Charities that support people who have experienced domestic/sexual violence or abuse
Read more on this story: Local Government website article: Housing Benefit Cap could force two-thirds of women's refuges to close