The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed plans to remove refuges and other short-term supported housing from the welfare system. Vulnerable women will no longer be able to pay for placements in a women's refuge using housing benefit. Refuges, who count on housing benefit for about 50% of their revenue, express deep concern. The refuges fear they will have to close down and let down women looking for a safety. On average, two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales.
Charlotte Kneer, a survivor of domestic abuse and chief executive of the Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid refuge: “If this goes ahead, every single refuge will close and every woman who presents herself to a refuge is at risk of murder.”