End Means Testing for Women in Need of Safety

All women suffering domestic violence should have a right to safe (Refuge) accommodation when at risk of harm.

Currently, employed women are means tested at the point they try to access safety resulting in many women expected to self fund in refuges at a cost of between £100 – £250 a week. As domestic violence often includes financial abuse, women frequently do not have access to money and may have financial responsibilities such as a mortgage, utility bills and debts to pay. Many women are advised to give up their jobs to access state benefits as this is a gateway to housing benefit and safety. This is a gross injustice that puts women’s lives at risk and undermines their choices and independence.

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