William Eichler 29 November 2022

Domestic abuse survivors face ‘postcode lottery’

Domestic abuse survivors face ‘postcode lottery’   image
Image: panitanphoto/Shutterstock.com.

Survivors of domestic abuse face a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to accessing support services across England and Wales, a new study has revealed.

New research by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs has found that many victims are unable to access the support that they want or need due in large part to insecure and insufficient funding for services.

Access to counselling showed the biggest disparity between different parts of England and Wales, with a 21-percentage point difference between the highest area (where 58% of survivors in the Northeast of England could access it) and the lowest (37% in Wales).

The commissioner’s research also found significant variations in accessing mental healthcare with 47% able to access it in the Northeast of England compared to 31% in the Southwest of England.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Office engaged with more than 4,000 victims and survivors, more than 500 service providers and over 150 local commissioners.

Our research showed Black and minoritised victims and survivors found it particularly difficult to access the support they needed to feel safe and supported. Of Black and minoritised survivors, 78% felt safer when they had accessed a ‘by and for’ service compared with 48% who had received support from another kind of organisation.

Just 30% said that they felt safer compared to when they first thought about accessing help if they had received no support at all.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner set out 26 recommendations for change to improve services for domestic abuse survivors, including long term sustainable funding.

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