Councils have cut the amount they spent on women’s refuges by nearly a quarter (24%) since 2010, an investigation has revealed.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found thousands of vulnerable women and children have been turned away from domestic violence refuges in six month due to budget cuts.
Freedom of information requests also showed that over three-quarters of councils in England have reduced the amount they spend on women’s refuges since 2010. At the same time, the number of domestic violence cases registered by councils has risen dramatically.
Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, told the Bureau: ‘Refuges provide a vital service and need to be protected.’
She called for the Government to place a statutory requirement on local authorities to ensure there is a sufficient supply of refuge places in their area.
The investigation revealed that 50 local authorities received no money from the government’s new £20m domestic violence funding pot.