WOMEN fleeing domestic abuse are being left homeless because of a dire shortage in support, a leading charity yesterday warned.
In a blow to The Sun’s Give Me Shelter campaign, Women’s Aid said 309 victims they worked with last year ended up sleeping rough, sofa-surfing or in B&Bs.
These women faced the “terrifying prospect” of having to return to their abuser just to keep a steady roof over their head, the charity said.
They found 19 per cent of these women experienced further abuse from their spouses while waiting for a refuge place.
While some women were left so traumatised they became suicidal.
The charity found that across England there was a shortage of 1,715 refuge beds.
Women’s Aid said the alarming findings in their annual report, No Woman Turned Away, should be a wake-up call to No10.
They urged the Boris Johnson to find more cash to fund refuges.
Adina Claire, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “It’s scandalous that, in 2019, women fleeing domestic abuse still face the terrifying prospect of either returning to their perpetrator or facing homelessness.
“We are facing a chronic shortage of bed spaces in specialist refuge services, and this is causing unimaginable suffering for women at a time when they are most in need of support.
“Survivors fleeing domestic abuse should not have to sofa-surf.
“Our report tells the story of women who have endured unsafe living arrangements, overcrowding, broken friendships and further abuse while sofa-surfing.” The charity is calling on the PM to fund more refuges and change the law so domestic abuse victims are a housing priority.
The Sun Says
IT is scandalous that four years after The Sun launched our Give Me Shelter campaign, domestic abuse victims are still being left homeless.
Successive Governments have backed us. Yet 309 women last year ended up sleeping rough. Some had to go back to their partners and were abused again.
Chancellor Sajid Javid has loosened the purse strings. It is time this Government fully funded refuges women need.
How about it, Saj?
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The Sun’s Give Me Shelter campaign calls on the Government to end the domestic abuse scandal and properly fund refuges.
A spokesman for the Housing Department said: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and has no place in our society.
“We have invested more than £55 million helping more than 47,000 survivors with a safe place to rebuild their lives since 2014 and have consulted on changing the law so councils are required to provide support and somewhere safe to stay.”