The UK Home Office report sadly reinforces the call to respond to the often ignored long lasting and devastating impact of domestic abuse and trauma affecting women and girls, beyond the risk of murder by abusers. They have been and continue to be the silenced victims of our community. Yet we tell them they are not alone.
In December 2020, following 6 months of Covid-19 impact, Advance Charity shared evidence of a 700% increase in suicide deaths of women affected by domestic abuse, including those in contact with the criminal justice system.
We highlighted these concerns to government and local authorities and called for urgent increase in long-term wrap-around holistic support through specialist women’s services and centres. We recommended specific responses and safeguarding practices to women at higher risk due to worsening mental health.
In May 2021 (and then May 2022) Advance Charity research highlighted further concerns to womens mental health, exacerbated by the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis which disproportionately affected women.
We called for actions to specifically and urgently address these needs of women and children survivors
- wraparound holistic specialist services for and by women and children, including safe spaces and women’s centres
- access to longer term emotional and mental health support beyond the current approach to short-term risk/crisis support
- statutory duty to provide sufficient funding
>> for every woman and child,
>> for £2,000 per survivor, compared to the current £450 per woman per year provided for IDVA /crisis services
A commitment to prioritise VAWG and women by the government, and the Labour party requires ensuring vital life-saving support is funded and delivered.
Anything short of this will result in women’s lives being lost – we cannot continue to let women down, sending them the message their lives don’t matter – that they are in fact alone.