Safe At Home

This section of the OBRUK campaign covers the threats to their personal safety women and girls can experience within their own homes and through intimate relationships.

Current campaigns on this theme:

Urgent: Domestic Violence Services at Risk!

Take action now: Protecting Refuges from Changes to Universal Credit

Did you Know?

  • On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. (Department of Health 2005)
  • The cost to the economy of domestic violence and abuse is estimated £3.8 billion (Sylvia Walby 2009)
  • Domestic violence is more likely to involve repeat victimisation than any other ‘criminalised behaviour’ (British Crime Survey 2009)
  • In any one year, there are 13 million separate incidents of physical violence or threats of violence against women from partners or former partners. (Walby and Allen, 2004)
  • 31% of the funding to the domestic violence and sexual abuse sector from local authorities was cut between 2010/11 and 2011/13, a reduction from £7.8 million to £5.4million (Walby 2011)
  • According to the 2010/2011 Women’s Aid Survey, on a typical day 3410 women and 2502 children are living in refuge accommodation. However, 230 women, just under 9 % of those seeking refuge, were turned away due to a lack of space

With local authority budgets being hit by a 27 per cent cut, and funding from local authorities to the domestic and sexual violence sector taking a 31 per cent cut, it appears that services that protect women from violence are being hit disproportionately hard. Research conducted by Sylva Walby into the scale of the cuts has shown that funding cuts are also being distributed unevenly, for example Devon council has cut the domestic violence services budget by 42 per cent within an overall budget reduction of 27 per cent whereas other local authorities such as Coventry have pledged to protect services as far as possible.

Cuts in service provision are expected to lead to increases in violence:

  • Organisations with smaller budgets from local authorities had more substantial budget cuts than larger ones: among those with local authority funding of less than £20,000, the average cut was 70% , as compared with 29 % for those receiving over £100,000 between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
  • The number of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) has been reduced: in 2011, among 8 major IDVA service providers supporting 13,180 clients, 2 faced cuts of 100 %, 3 cuts of 50 %, 3 of 40 per cent and 2 of 25 %.
  • IMKAAN, who run services for women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups report the closing of two of six specialist refuges and cuts to local authority funding for two more.
  •  Statutory provision, including those police and court services that involve specialised expertise, has also been reduced, following cuts. This includes cuts in the operating levels of Domestic Abuse Officers, a unit on female genital mutilation and domestic violence courts.

RESPECT services working to reform male perpetrators of domestic violence suffered budget cuts so that between 2010 and 2011 78% of services reduced the number of clients they were able to assist.

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