In February this year Coventry Women’s Voices brought together local agencies and women survivors of violence and abuse to share their experiences about the impact of the cuts on women’s safety for the Everywoman Safe, Everywhere consultation led by Vera Baird QC.
Vera has now published her report and has written:
“I have campaigned against violence against women for many years and played a role in the significant advances made by the last Labour Government in tackling it. However, the Commission’s first evidence session shocked me. Twelve national women’s organisations, ranging from Mumsnet to Women’s Aid, shared their recent experiences and painted a grim picture.
“Refuge providers facing unprecedented financial pressure. 230 women fleeing violence being turned away on a typical day because of a lack of beds. Experienced Domestic Violence Co-ordinators being lost. Specialist Courts are under pressure. Streetlights are going out to the concern of women coming home late from work.
“And most worryingly, a Government that doesn’t seem to have noticed the impact this is all having on the lives of ordinary women because it hasn’t conducted any analysis of the changes it is making.
“Like many of the women who came to talk to us, I thought the time had long passed when the need for women’s safety services could be called into question or their provision put into reverse. Women should never be trapped in a violent relationship or in a cycle of sexual abuse because of a lack of support; nor should they be worried walking home.
“But our findings make me concerned that the clock is being turned back and women are now less confident that their needs are even understood let alone being pursued by Government now.”
You can download a copy of the report here