Refuge responds to government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy

Refuge, national domestic violence charity, response to the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls strategy announcement – embargoed 00:01 25 November 2009

Sandra Horley OBE, Chief executive of Refuge, the national domestic violence charity, says, “Whilst we welcome the Government’s new strategy, which addresses all forms of violence against women and girls, Refuge is disappointed that it is not underpinned by sufficient funding to make a real difference to abused women and girls.”

“The Government needs to provide more support services. Many refuges and other women’s services are at risk of closure because of new commissioning processes, and a third of local authorities provide no domestic violence services whatsoever. The Government isn’t putting enough pressure on local authorities to change this figure. On top of this, the police response is still woefully inadequate – leaving thousands of women and girls at risk of violence and even death.”

“We are pleased that the strategy focuses on preventing violence against women and girls through education. As part of the End Violence Against Women coalition we have been lobbying the Government hard to address this issue. But to create a seismic change in social attitudes the Government needs to commit significant funding every year, not just on an ad hoc basis. Refuge fears this will not happen. Furthermore, the Government must be aware that more women and girls may come forward for help as a result of increased awareness. There must be enough services to meet this demand. Until then lives will be ruined and lost to violence.”

To receive a comment from Refuge please contact the Refuge press office, press@refuge.org.uk , 020 7395 7731