Women’s Aid has released new data from Survival and Beyond: the domestic abuse report to bring to light the lifesaving work that is often hidden away within our communities.
Through their work with member services in England, refuge workers provided an estimated 13,414 women and their 14,353 children fleeing domestic abuse with a place of safety, while an estimated 154,306 survivors were supported in community-based support services during the year 2016/17.
This lifesaving work was achieved despite the challenging environment domestic abuse support staff work in. As the Survival and Beyond report shows, survivors are being referred to domestic abuse services with increasingly complex needs set against the backdrop of funding uncertainties for these services and the resultant decrease in staffing levels.
The service users
- An estimated 3,557 women with 3,919 children stayed in refuge on the Day to Count (4th July 2017) across all services in England
- An estimated 25,727 women were using community-based services in the Week to Count (3rd – 7th July 2017) across all services in England
- Services supported an estimated 13,414 women in refuge services and 154,306 women in community based services throughout the year 2016 – 2017
Demand exceeds capacity
- 24.3% of referrals in 2016/17 to community-based services responding to the annual survey were declined
- 60.0% of referrals in 2016/17 to refuge services responding to the annual survey were declined, one in five of all referrals were declined due to lack of space in the refuge
Access to services is more challenging for some groups of women
Of the 11,187 vacancies listed on Routes to Support during 2016/17:
- only 1.7% (n=195) had wheelchair access with a further 1.3% (n=150) being suitable for a woman with limited mobilit
- only 766 out of 11,187 vacancies (5.4%) posted on Routes to Support would accept applications from women with no recourse to public funds
- Less than half could take a woman with two children, this reduces to less than one in five for a woman with three children
- 46.3% (57 services of 123) of organisations responding to the Women’s Aid Annual Survey 2017 were running an area of work without dedicated funding during 2016/17
- 20.3% of organisations (24 organisations) received 25% or less of their funding from the local authority.