DOMESTIC abuse campaigners are making a last ditch plea for Theresa May to safeguard long term funding for cash-strapped refuges – claiming two in three are having to turn away victims.
Women’s Aid said one in ten refuges are now limping on with no funding from local authorities.
The plea came ahead of an announcement by ministers next week on the future of supported housing and how it’s funded.
Housing benefit covers a vast amount of many hard-up refuges’ rental costs.
Earlier this year ministers pledged their support to The Sun’s Give me Shelter campaign to protect women’s refuges from closure.
But Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister John Healey has said cuts to support with housing costs for vulnerable people risks closing women’s refuges.
And Labour MP Jess Phillips said the issue must be addressed because refuges do not have a specific and sustainable form of funding.
She added: “We need a specific funding model for refuge, because without it people die.
“What I want to see on Tuesday is a sustainable, long term, more than five years in a term, like we have all voted for us to all have an extra five-year term, how about we give that to them?”
It came as new figures showed 60 per cent of total referrals to refuge services in the last year were declined.
At least 13,000 women escaped to the safety of a refuge last year and two women a week on average are killed by their partner or ex partner.
Sian Hawkins of Women’s Aid called on the PM to do everything she can to support women and their children.
She said: “Only by protecting refuges in their forthcoming supported housing reforms and committing to the long-term and sustainable funding of these lifesaving services, recognising the unique role these services play and the very specific challenges they face, will the Government be able to effectively tackle domestic abuse and help women and children escape domestic abuse.”
The Government will publish its future model to support and sustain supported housing next week.
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