Commenting on the Spring Budget today, focussing on investment into vital services for women and girls affected by domestic abuse, Niki Scordi, CEO of Advance, said:
“Violence against women and girls has never been higher on the public and political agenda and this is a critical time to make a difference to the millions of women and girls who experience domestic abuse and other forms of violence every year.
“Currently women face a postcode lottery in getting help, with many areas having little or no specialist support. Without greater investment in specialist women’s services, the government’s commitment to tackling this issue risks being nothing more than warm words. Domestic abuse has continued to rise throughout the Covid pandemic, with police-recorded crimes rising by 6 per cent compared to last year. Yet CPS referrals decreased by 3 per cent over the same period and charges for domestic abuse-related crimes fell for the third year running.
“Without support, women’s experiences of violence and abuse – whether at home or on our streets – can leave them traumatised and with nowhere to turn. For some, it can be the start of a devastating and traumatic journey resulting in homelessness or in prison. We know that at least 60 per cent of women in prison have experienced domestic abuse. Last year, the government found money for 500 more prison places for women, but can find little to help them at their greatest hour of need – before they reach the criminal justice system. We simply are not seeing the actions needed in order to see government aspirations on violence against women and girls become a reality.
“At Advance, we focus on the whole woman or girl, recognising how their gender affects their experiences, building long-term trusting relationships with them and helping to make them feel safe. We take a trauma-informed approach – taking account of the violence and trauma they have experienced – and ensuring we are giving them in-depth wrap-around support. We know this approach works and is crucial in helping women and girls rebuild their lives after abuse, as well as preventing further trauma.
“The government’s failure to invest in vital support services is nothing less than a failure to support women and girls when they need it most. We need to see a firmer commitment, backed up by investment, to ensure all women and girls can get help when and where they need it.”
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For more information, please contact Lisa Jones, Press Manager at Advance
- Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
- As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
- For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact