The national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid is highlighting the number of mothers and children living in domestic abuse refuges, releasing startling new statistics from its Annual Survey 2016.
The Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2016 found that:
● On a typical day, two thirds of women in refuges had their children with them
● On a typical day, 78 women and 78 children were turned away from refuge
● More women and children were turned away from refuges than were let in
Refuges provide life-saving support, shelter and the chance to rebuild lives. However, the long-term future of refuges is in jeopardy due to changes to ‘supported housing’ funding. Refuges are bearing the brunt of local authority funding cuts; the Women’s Aid Annual Survey found that a third of domestic abuse services run part of their service with no dedicated funding at all.
The Government has stepped in with emergency funding several times, but a long term commitment to funding is vital to save refuges and save lives.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“We found that, on one typical day in a refuge, two thirds of the women there have their children with them. The horror of domestic abuse – of fleeing your home and running for your life – means that these mothers often struggle to support their traumatised children, who have nothing left of their old lives except for mum.
This is a hugely stressful and painful time. But, the specialist support provided by refuges means that these women and children have the expertise they need to rebuild and recover. They are the lucky ones: due to a lack of space, 78 women and 78 children could be turned away from a refuge on any given day.
In fact, throughout the year, more women and children were turned away from refuges than were able to get in, showing just how huge the demand is for refuges.”