Domestic abuse services hang by a thread – we can’t waste any more money by Polly Neate
The £20m domestic abuse fund, announced by the government on International Women’s Day, is so desperately needed that of course it’s to be welcomed.
Frankly, it came not a moment too soon. On the ground, despite successive injections of government funds, the situation facing domestic abuse services is reaching breaking point. Much like domestic abuse itself – a slow but steady chipping away of a person’s self-esteem and autonomy – the progressive erosion of specialist domestic abuse services has created a terrifying situation.
Both refuges and community-based services for women and children escaping or recovering from domestic abuse are under intolerable pressure. Since 2010, we have lost 17% of specialist refuges in England and a third of all referrals to refuges are turned away. Women’s Aid’s most recent national survey found that over a third of domestic abuse organisations were running a service with no dedicated funding at all – in other words, of the services that remain, many are on a knife-edge. On just one typical day in 2015, 92 women and 75 children were turned away from refuge. ...
This article first appeared in the Guardian on 13.3.17. You can find the full text here.
Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.
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