UK Policy Briefings
Spring Budget 2022: Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
Date Posted: Wednesday 9th March 2022
“More than one in four women will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, and 20% of women have suffered sexual assault since the age of 16.”
More than one in four women will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, and 20% of women and 4% of men have suffered sexual assault (including attempts) since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million women and 631,000 men.
Services are severely stretched and underfunded. 65% of local councils cut funding for refuges in real terms between 2010 and 2018; 59% of local authorities cut their funding in real terms in 2019/20. In the same year, 57.2% of referrals to refuges were declined, with the main reason being lack of space or capacity. Black and minoritised women, LGBT+ people, and disabled women face even greater barriers when trying to access support.
“In 2019/20, 57% of referrals to refuges were declined.”
Over the last year, the government’s emergency funding for VAWG has been unevenly distributed, and insufficient to cope with increased demand. There was no ringfenced funding for specialist ‘by and for’ services, which support women who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Additional funding was announced in the Autumn Budget 2021, to over £185million by 2024/25, but this still falls significantly short of the £409 million that Women’s Aid estimate is needed for specialist domestic abuse services across England.
The Women’s Budget Group is calling for: secure, long-term grant funding for specialist VAWG service provision, including ringfenced funding for ‘by and for’ services