A high increase in energy bills is leading some domestic abuse services to the brink of ruin. Most domestic abuse services are struggling to support those who need it, due to much higher energy food and transport costs which depletes funding.
A survey by Women’s Aid found 96% services face financial issues; 67% said without additional funding they would have to stop providing support for survivors by turning them away, reducing service provision or closing; 73% of staff in financial difficulty; 20% of DA service employees using food banks.
This means there are fears survivors will be put on waiting lists that may lead to deaths. In response a Government spokesperson said that there was £140 million allocated for the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan.
🏃♀️ TSB Launches ‘Emergency Flee Fund’ for DA Survivors
Existing TSB customers affected by domestic violence will be provided up to £500 to help them leave (assessed on an individual basis). They are the first bank to launch an initiative of this kind.
The funds are paid into a safe TSB account that only the client can access and in collaboration with Women’s Aid, TSB will allow DA survivors to open bank account and access it without standard documentation.
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner says whilst this is an excellent scheme, this only benefits TSB customers. So she is calling on the government to offer a fund that is accessible to all survivors of DA.
🌡️ Climate change increases DA risk
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has discovered a link between extreme weather events and increased domestic violence.
Domestic violence rose by 60% in areas that experienced extreme weather in Kenya according to a 2021 study. Public Health expert from Columbia University said “Heat waves, floods and climate induced disasters increase sexual harassment, mental and physical abuse and femicide of women and girls”.
It’s important to emphasise that extreme weather doesn’t cause domestic or gender based violence but exacerbates existing pressures and is easier for perpetrators to carry out.
Your weekly domestic abuse news roundup was curated by our volunteer Ellie Arnott
Sources: TSB, The Independent, The Washington Post, ITV