Commenting on the Government’s passing of the Domestic Abuse Bill, which criminalises domestic abuse for the first time, Niki Scordi, Chief Executive of Advance, said:
“While we welcome many aspects of this bill that will help keep women and children safe, we believe it fails to ensure life-changing support for the majority of domestic abuse survivors, 70% of whom, when receiving support, stay in their homes rather than fleeing to refuges.
“Community-based support can ensure women and children are safe in their own homes and communities. While the bill provides much-needed additional funding for refuges, it offers no commitment to the vital community-based services most survivors use.
“We eagerly await the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report into the needs of community-based services – a duty not included in this bill – but in the meantime, the Government’s decision to overlook the majority of women and children survivors will devastate lives and risk more deaths.”
Notes to editors
• Domestic abuse community-based services provide a range or practical and emotional support. Services include counselling, drop-in services providing housing and legal advice, Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) and more.
• To find out more about services provided by Advance, please visit: https://www.advancecharity.org.uk/what-we-do/domestic-abuse-services/
• 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 https://www.advancecharity.org.uk/get-help/.
• For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit https://www.advancecharity.org.uk/who-we-are/our-impact/.