Refuge services for survivors of domestic violence have been decimated by the public-sector funding cuts, UNISON’s women’s conference heard.
Data provided by 131 refuges in 2016 demonstrated that, on one day, 78 women along with their children were turned away from refuges because they could not be accommodated.
A member who works for a Women’s Aid organisation said: “I have seen first hand the impact of the cuts. We have had to cut our beds from 15 to 10.
“Last year we had 120 referrals including 84 children, the most common reason we couldn’t accept someone was we didn’t have the space.”
Another member told conference how she and her five children escaped an abusive relationship 22 years ago, and found support in a refuge.
“I ended up volunteering for Women’s Aid for 18 years,” she told delegates.
“I work in the hospital, I’m an elected UNISON rep, and all of that is down to the fact that I was able to go to the refuge. I don’t even want to think about what the alternative for me would have been.”