Refuge responds to homelessness statistics

Responding to the release of statistics on homelessness, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of national domestic abuse charity Refuge said:

‘Between April 2018 and March 2019, more than 22 thousand survivors had to leave their homes as a result of domestic abuse. This is a shocking statistic and one which reaffirms what we already know: that statutory funding for refuges must increase, and those fleeing domestic abuse must be granted priority housing status.

As the law currently stands, fleeing domestic abuse does not automatically qualify you as being in urgent need of rehousing. This is unacceptable and in some cases can mean a survivor of domestic abuse having to choose between staying with the perpetrator or facing homelessness. This is not a choice any survivor should be forced to make.

There is a straightforward way that the government can ensure domestic abuse survivors are not faced with such a choice. The Domestic Abuse Bill, currently on hold while Parliament is suspended, must, as indicated by the Prime Minister today, be prioritised in the Queen’s Speech, and a clear timetable for its passage into law with minimal delay must be laid out.

The Domestic Abuse Bill has the potential to save lives and transform the response to violence against women and girls. But it must ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are recognised as being in priority housing need and get access to the housing they desperately need to stay safe. We look forward to working with the government to make this a reality.’

For more information, please email or call 0207 395 7731.