Welfare reforms could make it harder for domestic violence victims to leave their homes
An expert has said that changes to housing and benefits are leaving many advice services for domestic violence victims stretched to their limits.
Service director for Newcastle Women’s Aid Elaine Langshawe has said that welfare reforms are making it harder for domestic violence victims to leave their partners, reports the Chronicle Live.
Ms Langshawe believes that changes to benefits and housing could be making it more difficult for victims to leave their partners.
“We have seen a rise in the number of people wanting support from our outreach services. There could be many reasons for that, but possibly because welfare reform has made it more worrying for people to leave their homes. I think some women are more frightened to leave now because they are worried about money or that they may not get another house because of the cuts in services. Cuts in benefits make it more difficult for women to walk out on their old lives. Our outreach services are at capacity all the time now so we have to be very proactive with our fund-raising. There will always be women that need the safety of the refuge, but I believe welfare reform is making the hard decision to leave even harder. Getting legal orders in place is the fastest way to protect someone and may mean the difference between a woman having to leave their home or being able to stay. But now with the cuts in legal aid not all women can get these safety orders.”
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