Refuge responds to Queens Speech and Domestic Abuse


Responding to the Queens Speech, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

“We are pleased that the Domestic Abuse Bill remains firmly on the Governments agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session. This is testament to the hard work of many across the sector and to the many survivors of domestic abuse who have been willing to talk about the horrific abuse they have experienced, in anticipation of helping to secure change.

The Government’s commitment to transform the approach of the justice system to victims of domestic abuse is encouraging.  We hope this transformation will include the proposed statutory funding for refuges, in direct response to the chronic shortfall we have seen following years of funding cuts. Refuge has experienced cuts to 80% of its services since 2011. This includes an average cut of 50% to refuges which provide lifesaving accommodation and support for women escaping abuse and violence. Additional funding would show a commitment to ensuring that no woman or child fleeing abuse is turned away from finding safety. We also hope to see new commitments on reforming the benefits system, increasing access to housing and offering greater protection to migrant survivors of domestic abuse.

Two women every week across England and Wales are killed by a former or current partner. This Bill, several years in the making, has the potential to create real change in the response to domestic abuse, providing the protection and support that women and children need and deserve. We look forward to working with the Government to strengthen the bill and ensure it becomes law with minimal delay. Women’s lives depend on it.”

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