Forty percent of groups working with victims of domestic violence have cut either staff or services during the past year – an extremely worrying figure considering the high number of victims being forced out of their homes due to abusive relationships.
According to recently released figures, near to 19,000 women between the ages of 15 and 88 required assistance from the state between 2008-09 to help them find emergency housing. Of those victims, approximately sixty per cent were able to find a place in a women’s shelter – though many are currently extremely overstretched and are facing cuts.
In a further study, it was revealed that two fifths of organisations offering help to victims have had to let go of staff during the past 12 months, whilst 28 per cent have had to cut important services such as children’s workers just to keep refuge beds available.
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Yvette Cooper has described the Governments current approach to domestic violence services as ‘dangerous’.
“Ministers need to commission an urgent audit to assess the impact on women’s safety. And they need to explain urgently how they will ensure that women whose safety is at risk will still get the help they need.” She said.
In March 2012, The Independent revealed that local authority funding for domestic violence and sexual abuse organisations fell quite dramatically from £7.8m in 2010-11 to £5.4m during the last financial year – a reduction of 31 per cent in total. However, these cuts do not correlate with a fall in victims or the need for such services, with an average of 230 women being turned away from refuges on a daily basis.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, or you know somebody who is – seeking help is an important step. A good place to start is to get in touch with a domestic violence helpline or organisation who can help you to establish how to move forward. Contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for confidential support and advice.
In addition to practical support and advice, domestic violence is also likely to have a huge impact upon your emotional well-being. Many victims have found that discussing their experiences in a confidential setting with a counsellor to be hugely beneficial – helping them understand and explore their feelings so that eventually they are able to move forward.
For information about domestic violence, please visit our fact-sheet. Alternatively you can visit the homepage of this website and use the search tool to locate a qualified counsellor in your local area.
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