Refuge welcomes £3.2 million budget boost for refuges but says more needed to protect all women fleeing abuse

Refuge welcomes the news that George Osborne will tomorrow (8 July) announce an additional £3.2 million to support women fleeing domestic violence, but warns a long term funding solution is still needed.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive, Refuge“Refuge is pleased that in this time of austerity the government has announced an additional £3.2 million to support women and children fleeing domestic violence. Over the last few years local funding for these vital, life-saving services has been severely cut. Since 2011, Refuge has experienced a reduction in funding across 80% of its service contracts.

“Whilst the new funding is welcome news, this money is only a stop-gap and a more long-term, sustainable funding solution is urgently needed. There have never been enough refuges in this country to meet the need and recent local authority spending cuts and short-term contracts have left many existing women’s refuges on shaky ground. Some authorities are only willing to provide services to local people, ignoring the fact that many women have to flee across local authority borders in order to stay safe.

“Domestic violence is a national problem, occurring on a huge scale – one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. This is why which it needs a national funding solution. Domestic violence is estimated to cost the country £16billion per year, investing in services makes economic sense, saving money in the long run.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to supporting those experiencing domestic violence but urge them to recognise the need for a long-term, sustainable and national solution to funding specialist domestic violence services.”