£15 million from ‘Tampon Tax’ for women’s charities – Refuge responds

Today’s (25 November 2015) announcement that £15million will be ear-marked by the Government for women’s charities is welcome news, but it is disappointing that this money comes from the ‘Tampon Tax’ – argues national domestic violence charity Refuge.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge says:

Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014“Refuge is pleased that the Government has announced £15 million in today’s Autumn Statement for women’s charities. Charities like Refuge provide vital support and a safe-haven for women escaping domestic violence and abuse. Support which literally saves lives. And, this money is desperately needed. Over the last few years funding for these life-saving services has been severely cut. Since 2011, Refuge has experienced a reduction in funding across 80% of its service contracts.

“However, Refuge is disappointed that this money has been allocated from funds raised from the ‘Tampon Tax’. Perversely this is a tax on women to pay for their own protection. A protection which should be their right. The patronising implication, yet again, is that issues like domestic violence are just ‘women’s issues’. But we know that domestic violence must be dealt with by society as a whole if we are ever to see real, lasting change.

“We hope that this funding will be part of a longer-term sustainable funding solution to tackle violence against women and look forward to seeing how the funds will be distributed in due course.”