STRIPPING a domestic abuse charity and refuge of £5million funding because it is not gender-neutral puts lives at risk, say campaigners.
The cash had been earmarked for Rise — mostly a women-only service.Women's refuge Rise's £5million cash funding will be pulled in April, after councils ruled that more support was needed for straight, gay and trans menCredit: Getty - Contributor
But East Sussex and Brighton & Hove councils ruled that more support was needed for straight, gay and trans men.
But Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “For the last few years we have seen women’s domestic abuse services replaced by generic providers chasing contracts. Yet, women escaping violence need specialist services. Removing them is dangerous.”
Women’s Aid said: “We are deeply concerned about the overall picture. Councils are making decisions that could cost lives — we know that if women don’t trust services, they will not leave their abusers.”
Rise is having its funding pulled after 26 years in April.
The £5.1million, seven-year contract will instead go to charity Victim Support and social housing provider Stonewater. They cater for all genders.
Services in Scotland and Newcastle have also been hit. The Sun on Sunday’s Save Our Shelters campaign aims to protect the UK’s refuge network from funding cuts. Research has found that more than nine in ten domestic violent crimes that cause injuries are against women. One in four women are affected by domestic abuse during their lifetimes.Labour MP Jess Phillips said the decision was 'dangerous'Credit: Alamy Women’s Aid said: 'Councils are making decisions that could cost lives'Credit: Getty - Contributor
A spokesman for Brighton & Hove city council insisted its decision would not affect the women-only refuge.
If you, or someone you care about, is experiencing domestic abuse, you can phone The National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 to discuss your options.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service from 10am-4pm weekdays, and 10am-12pm on weekends, free support information and a directory of local domestic abuse services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with women from the domestic abuse charity Safe Lives, who have pioneered the ‘ask for ANI’ codeword scheme
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