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Live webchat with Women's Aid about the impact of cuts on vulnerable women and children, Thursday 13 December, 1.30pm

(70 Posts)
AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Dec-12 13:11:27

Hi,

This year, we're going to be featuring the 'Saving Survivors' Services' campaign from Women's Aid over the Christmas period.

As many of you will know, Women's Aid is a national domestic violence charity, which helps up to 250,000 women and children every year, and supports over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact cuts and welfare reform will have on vulnerable women and children.

A recent survey of their member organisations revealed that 1 in 5 is facing financial difficulties that will result in the reduction or loss of local refuge services.

Their Policy and Services manager, Deborah McIlveen, will be answering general questions on domestic violence, on Women?s Aid work in protecting women and children, what funding cuts mean for services, and how Mumsnet members can help to protect them.

So please join us here on Thursday 13th Dec at 1.30pm for the chat. If you can't make it then, as ever, please post up your advance questions here.

Thanks,
MNHQ

flippinada Tue 11-Dec-12 19:49:57

What a great idea for a webchat

I've got a couple of questions. What can I do on a local level to help

flippinada Tue 11-Dec-12 19:53:21

Sorry, pressed send too soon.

As above, plus - I have stuff which us like to donate, what sort of things are useful/what's not needed?

Also, are there any volunteering opportunities or other ways I could help?

Thanks.

LineRunner Wed 12-Dec-12 17:50:42

Sorry I'll miss this but I'll be at work. I think you all do a tremendous job, and thank you so much for that.

How do keep the addresses of refuges a secret?

(And would also like to know what are the best things to donate.)

LineRunner Wed 12-Dec-12 17:51:41

Sorry, that should read:

How do you keep the locations of refuges a secret?

elfbambinos Wed 12-Dec-12 17:52:53

I'd second flippanda , what can I do do help

Is this an appeal for funds?

Personally I feel Womens aid is one of the most 'deserving' causes in the UK.

Where does the funding come from ....is it gov't baed, national lottery based

I'd like to help and will join the chat tomorrow

LineRunner Wed 12-Dec-12 17:57:14

I think if funding comes through local government - facing a cut of 28% across the board thanks to Eric Pickles - then that will mean bleak days ahead.

elfbambinos Wed 12-Dec-12 18:05:44

Eric Pickles has a questionable past no?

flippinada Wed 12-Dec-12 19:43:19

Yes sorry forgot to say that I can't be here as I'll be at work.

And only a few queries so far - I'm really surprised. Still I'm sure it will pick up.

Best wishes for a successful web chat, Deborah.

AbigailAdams Wed 12-Dec-12 20:06:31

Hi Deborah. Thanks very much for coming. I also think that Women's Aid performs such an important job.

My question is do you know how many women who need help.get turned away due to lack of funding/space in refuges? And a follow-on question of how on earth do you deal with these women who can't be housed? It must be heart-breaking.

I'm interested in how you can donate and what to donate.

Meglet Wed 12-Dec-12 20:08:30

Hi Deborah,

I am concerned about the planned charges for the CSA, even for domestic abuse victims. My XP has kept out of our way and paid every month without fail via the CSA but when they increase his monthly payment he may well flare up again.

Did you have any involvement in the campaign against CSA charges, and if so are you still involved? Although sadly I think the government are hell bent on going through with it sad.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Wed 12-Dec-12 21:08:32

I think woman's aid is a pile of shite tbh, I lived in one of their refuges for about 4 months and it was terrible. The staff and the way they behaved was awful. I can't even begin to describe how awful it was ran and not just in the refuge I was in.

The only only good thing was the counselling sessions once a week with an outside counsellor and the other women in it.

I hope another decent charity steps up and takes over.

flippinada Wed 12-Dec-12 21:17:55

I'm really sorry your had such a bad time brandybutter, that wasn't my experience at all and I know others have found their help invaluable.

I think the sad truth is, like a lot of charities and third sector organisations they are really under-funded and are limited in what they can do with the resources they have. It shouldn't be like that but it is.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Wed 12-Dec-12 21:28:12

flip I can't even articulate coherently as it still makes me so upset 2 years down the line. It wasn't to do with funding it was a staffing problem, one woman got kicked out over a comment her ds made they didn't even wait for her dc to be at school before proceeding to evict her.

I wouldn't advise anyone to go in a refuge, a council B&B would be far better IME.

flippinada Wed 12-Dec-12 21:34:35

Yeah I can totally understand why that would be upsetting. I'm really sorry you had such a horrible time - I didn't mean to sound dismissive.

calamitySammy Wed 12-Dec-12 21:37:12

Hi guys,

I attend the freedom programme in Bath. We are looking at raise funds for the freedom programme and would welcome any ideas. Currently looking at doing a sky dive in the summer. The more the merrier in my opinion.

On another note, I've found any help I've had in relation to my abusive relationship invaluable and cannot sing their praises enough. I'm sure that, like most things, people have positive and negative experiences but I think it should be noted how strained these services are.

Sammy x

InNeedOfBrandyButter Wed 12-Dec-12 21:41:58

No you didn't sound dismissive, I do understand the organisation does have it's heart in the right place but I would of been better off never ever of going there.

calamitySammy Wed 12-Dec-12 21:42:47

Aw man, I stayed in a B and B and was very lucky to be staying with a lovely couple who didnt seem to mind my 1month old screaming in the night and if customers complained they never said anything to me. Ive heard horror stories about B and B stays tho and have to say that the temporary accommodation we had was awful, at the top of a large block to flats with no lift, full of mould and had evidently had a family with a dog staying in it that had clearly deficcated all over the floor. People in the block were awful, the couple below regularly had screaming matchs (pretty sure he hit her too) and alot of violence and drug related stuff going on. Grass isnt always greener, not being dismissive either just saying.

IvanaNapAfterChristmasDinner Wed 12-Dec-12 22:08:48

Hello Deborah,
I have recently been in contact with some refuges and have had an insight into the work you do (forming the impression that it is very hard, varied and worthy!)

I have set up a small initiative/organisation whereby new books are chosen for, and donated to, children housed with their mothers in refuges.

This has been with the help of some very generous Mumsnetters - funds have been collected and then books/toys from an independent shop have been hand-picked for each child. This has been successful so far and I have been amazed at both the willingness of people to give to such a cause as well as the gratitude of the recipients (the admin at the refuges). Our background is rooted in education, children's literature and a desire to do a little bit of good smile

My question is whether you think this initiative is a practical and worthwhile one? I type, tentatively...! do you think providing something which is probably viewed as a luxury item is useful or could it perhaps detract from the more basic, immediate needs that you have to address? Could it be better channelled elsewhere / with a different focus, or do you think books are a useful addition to have available to the mothers, babies and children you support?

If you have a chance, at a later date perhaps, to look further into what we have been doing - this is the StorySenders blogspot and here is the most recent MN thread. Any advice or comments would be most welcome I have been fumbling in the dark at times blush thanks

neuroticmumof3 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:46:21

Hi Deborah
can I ask your views on non DV organisations (such as housing associations) winning contracts to provide DV services such as refuge and outreach?

MadameOvary Wed 12-Dec-12 23:50:09

Hello Deborah,
As someone who was helped massively by Women's Aid, their refuge and their subsequent counselling, I would now like to help in any way I can. I am the Chair of a recently set up Community Trust which has now been granted Charitable Status and was wondering how best to approach Women's Aid to see if their was any way we could compliment their services without competing with them for funding? The last thing we would want to do is encroach on your territory with such drastic cuts already biting. If there is a way we could work with you, preferably without requiring too much in the way of time and energy on your part, please let me know. Thank you.

olgaga Thu 13-Dec-12 08:28:08

Also want to add my thanks for the work done by WA. The grim DV statistics tell their own story.

Suggestion:

Encourage local WA contacts to set up a presence on Mumsnet Local, especially re suitable items for donation and how people can help.

Question:
In a recent case I'm aware of a woman was offered a place in a refuge 40 miles away, which would have meant it was impossible for her to continue to work and for her children to attend their school. She was told this was the "policy" to remove her from potential danger. Needless to say she had to refuse the refuge place, and ended up sleeping in her car while her child slept at a friend's house. Because she had refused a refuge place this created problems with the local Housing Office who withdrew their initial (suitable) offer of emergency accommodation and instead offered her a room above a pub.

I urged her to go to her local MP and only after he intervened did the Council offer her somewhere more suitable.

Is it common practice for WA to insist that women uproot from their locality? That would surely add insult to injury!

Also it seems to me that making more demands on local MPs might help to highlight the effect of funding cuts.

I hope I can be here at 1.30.

helpyourself Thu 13-Dec-12 09:56:17

thanks
What advice would you give young women and girls to 'DV proof' themselves? I'm thinking of red flags to look out for before they get involved with men who will be violent. And behaviours and patterns in themselves to be aware of.

helpyourself Thu 13-Dec-12 09:58:14

That question has nothing to do with the impact of cuts confused blush

I'd like to ask about support for children and families who have gotten out of an abusive relationship but are still subjected to their ex partners attempts to abuse and control via issues such as child contact, and maintenance.

I know so many amazing strong women in this situation. Only one of them has been receiving post split support, and thank god she was as the ex was even more calculating than anyone could have thought. Her support worker will be being made redundant.

The focus seems to be on getting women out, with little long term support and that seems a shame as women who have had children with an abusive partner find it very hard to fully disengage from them no matter what they try.

I had support from WA, was offered a place in their refuge, had emotional support and help filling in forms. It made things SO much easier during an extremely scary time. thanks

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 12:01:32

testing

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 13-Dec-12 12:50:25

Is there any campaign we can join to try and ringfence the funding for dv services? I am lucky to have never experienced dc, but would happily join in.

AbigailAdams Thu 13-Dec-12 12:55:24

Sorry I have another question!

Given this recent report from EVAW, Equality Now and Object do you think the media downplay of violence against women & children directly leads to problems with funding either from a local (more individual) level or from a state level?

DecktheHallswithTroughsofBolly Thu 13-Dec-12 13:24:57

I'm at work but as I work for the police supporting victims of DV and other crimes through the court process I'm justifying my presence as work related !!!

We are struggling to get victims referred for counselling, both pre trial and post trial. Our IDVA service has been cut from 3 to 1 person for the whole county; she covers both magistrates and crown court and also covers domestic sexual abuse. Our local refuges are threatened with closure. It is a bad, bad time for women victims. Places on IDAP courses are becoming few and far between as there are simply no teachers to take them (or funding). Court cases have to be abandoned because of a lack of support for victims leading them to return to the offender and retract their support. This is costing millions of pounds in wasted resources, quite apart from failing to help women, children and pets escape abuse.

How do you think that we, as members of the public and criminal justice professionals, can get the Government to take violence against women seriously ?

AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Dec-12 13:27:19

Sorry everyone Deborah is slightly delayed, but should be with us shortly!

DecktheHallswithTroughsofBolly Thu 13-Dec-12 13:28:19

- how much does it cost to run a refuge for a year ?
- what is the current shortfall of places to women seeking placements
- what do you think of the public consultation on new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences ? Would you support minimum tariffs ?

I am very grateful to Women's Aid (as well as the police and two GPs - other doctors were useless) who helped me and my daughter get away from my nasty piece of work ex. I was also in the pilot IRIS scheme which was excellent.

My questions is: 'do you think the change from domestic abuse to domestic violence puts off those people who have not been physically hurt but experience emotional, sexual, financial abuse?'

Offred Thu 13-Dec-12 13:40:29

We've been today to drop off some toys for our local WA for their children to have Christmas presents at their Christmas grotto, another thing threatened by cuts. What has struck me is that because of the stigmas and difficulties discussing violence against women and children it is very difficult to get people talking and helping. We had hoped other parents at school would have liked to donate too but this was not met with enthusiasm because of WA being for domestic violence and people not wanting their children to be introduced to this concept. It meant that it was only us who did it and although my daughter was praised for her kindness (it was her idea to give toys mine to give to WA) in school they would only mention that the toys were for "a charity". It really frightens me that actually WA is going to find it much much harder than more popular charities to make up funding cuts because of these issues, I'd like to know whether this is happening more widely than my small anecdote and if so are there things we can do to help?

AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Dec-12 13:48:57

Sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience, we are currently unable to contact Deborah but are assured she is on her way. I'm sure she will be here soon...

AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 13-Dec-12 14:03:29

Deborah will be here any moment, she's had a bad luck on the underground which I'm sure many of us can sympathise with. Thanks again for your patience

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:09:50

Hello I'm here, so sorry I'm late- but great to be here.

I would like to know if you are seeing a rise in victims of EA

I was a victim of EA and did not feel able to approach a refuge because I felt there were women suffering physical violence there much worse than me and also because I was afraid of the authorities being called.

I know my other question has been asked but I would also like to know how to help on a practical level.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:13:41

LineRunner

Sorry, that should read:

How do you keep the locations of refuges a secret?

Confidentiality is critical for domestic violence survivors, survivors prefer confidentiality in order to feel comfortable about telling somebody whats happening to them. It os vital that the location of refuge services is kept secret for the saftey of adult and child survivors. Refuge services generally use a PO Box address or an address in a different location. Safety and security are a top priority for refuge service and refuge residents agree not to tell anybody the address of the refuge service as part of their license agreement..

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:18:46

LineRunner

I think if funding comes through local government - facing a cut of 28% across the board thanks to Eric Pickles - then that will mean bleak days ahead.

The 28% cut has already been passed on to local authorities as part of the comprehensive spending review. However, some local authorities have cut their services by more than 28%. Bleak days are ahead not just because of cuts to local authority funding but also because many survivors in refuge services claim benefits and the government welfare reform proposals particularly the introduction of universal credit, the housing benefit cap and local housing allowances may well prevent victims leaving their home and seeking refuge.

Women won't be able to afford refuge rents and without the income from rents refuge services won't be able to maintain their service. Because the rent is quite a significant part of their income

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:20:31

AbigailAdams

Hi Deborah. Thanks very much for coming. I also think that Women's Aid performs such an important job.

My question is do you know how many women who need help.get turned away due to lack of funding/space in refuges? And a follow-on question of how on earth do you deal with these women who can't be housed? It must be heart-breaking.

I'm interested in how you can donate and what to donate.

A Women's Aid snapshot survey conducted earlier this year showed that on one day in June 320 women were turned away because of lack of space.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 13-Dec-12 14:22:05

320 in one day shock

That is awful.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:22:47

AbigailAdams

And a follow-on question of how on earth do you deal with these women who can't be housed? It must be heart-breaking.

Refuge services support women until they are housed, however, some women and children can wait up to two years to get a home allocated and this sadly blocks up spaces. Services can't leave a woman on the street

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:24:19

elfbambinos

Eric Pickles has a questionable past no?

I don't know about it, but please do send on any info about this!

AbigailAdams Thu 13-Dec-12 14:27:02

320 in one day! Wow the problem is immense isn't it. Good to know that they continue to receive support though.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 13-Dec-12 14:27:30

What happens to those 320 who had to be turned away?

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:28:20

Meglet

Hi Deborah,

I am concerned about the planned charges for the CSA, even for domestic abuse victims. My XP has kept out of our way and paid every month without fail via the CSA but when they increase his monthly payment he may well flare up again.

Did you have any involvement in the campaign against CSA charges, and if so are you still involved? Although sadly I think the government are hell bent on going through with it sad.

Yes Women's Aid is very concerned about the planned charges. Women's Aid is working with the Department of Work and Pensions working group, that is looking at the implementation of the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CMEC) to secure the best conditions for domestic violence survivors seeking maintenance from ex partners/spouses who are the fathers of their children.

We agree that the charges are inappropriate and unless this situation changes more children will be left to grow up in poverty.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:31:33

IvanaNapAfterChristmasDinner

Hello Deborah,

My question is whether you think this initiative is a practical and worthwhile one? I type, tentatively...! do you think providing something which is probably viewed as a luxury item is useful or could it perhaps detract from the more basic, immediate needs that you have to address? Could it be better channelled elsewhere / with a different focus, or do you think books are a useful addition to have available to the mothers, babies and children you support?

Yes! I think it's a fantastic idea. Women and children in refuges need books as we all do, but will have far less access.

Offred Thu 13-Dec-12 14:38:19

I wanted to add about child maintenance that the issue isn't simply poverty but ongoing abuse. The qualifying domestic abuse definition discounts the vast majority of abuse victims. I'm left in the position of having been very badly sexually abused but never reported, the children and I still being emotionally abused, which is not something which can be reported, and so anything which includes help for women suffering domestic violence or who have children with a man who has/is abusing them still whether they are with them or not does not apply to me. The charges for CSA will kick start more abuse for me and my children, I am apoplectic to be told they are a punishment for my inability to behave reasonably when that is all I have done, the problem is I'm dealing with an abuser that I haven't/can't report.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:38:30

Whistlingwaves

I would like to know if you are seeing a rise in victims of EA

I was a victim of EA and did not feel able to approach a refuge because I felt there were women suffering physical violence there much worse than me and also because I was afraid of the authorities being called.

I know my other question has been asked but I would also like to know how to help on a practical level.

There are very few victims (I don't think I've come across any actually) who have not experienced emotional abuse. Domestic violence is about power and control and perpetrators that use physical abuse generally use it to back up their other controlling behaviours. Similarly with threats of violence.

Women's Aid services, wether refuge or outreach, prioritise provision of support to address the EA that perpetrators use. Women in refuge services find that being together with one another and sharing their experiences of EA contributes to their recovery process.

In regard to authorities - Women's Aid services are completely independent from any authorities and recognise that confidentiality is critical to women escaping DV

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:42:20

Offred

We've been today to drop off some toys for our local WA for their children to have Christmas presents at their Christmas grotto, another thing threatened by cuts. What has struck me is that because of the stigmas and difficulties discussing violence against women and children it is very difficult to get people talking and helping. We had hoped other parents at school would have liked to donate too but this was not met with enthusiasm because of WA being for domestic violence and people not wanting their children to be introduced to this concept. It meant that it was only us who did it and although my daughter was praised for her kindness (it was her idea to give toys mine to give to WA) in school they would only mention that the toys were for "a charity". It really frightens me that actually WA is going to find it much much harder than more popular charities to make up funding cuts because of these issues, I'd like to know whether this is happening more widely than my small anecdote and if so are there things we can do to help?

Women's Aid is concerned that all children are introduced to the concept of DV from preschool through all stages of education. It is very common. One in Four women will experience it at some point in their lives and current research with teenagers shows that 40% of young women are experiencing DV in their teenage relationships.

Schools can and must play a key role in helping children and young people grow up to have healthy relationships.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:43:32

To continue my last point. Schools can provide support and sanctuary to children that have DV going on in their homes.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:44:53

A pack for working with children and young people called 'Excpect Respect' is downloadable from the Women's Aid website (for any parents who may want to raise it in their local schools)

Offred Thu 13-Dec-12 14:46:10

That's great Deborah, thank you. I will raise it maybe with my local council rather than my individual school.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:49:27

Offred

It really frightens me that actually WA is going to find it much much harder than more popular charities to make up funding cuts because of these issues, I'd like to know whether this is happening more widely than my small anecdote and if so are there things we can do to help?

Yes you are right. We find that a lot of people prefer to give to Donkey sanctuaries than to DV charities. However, we keep on going and fortunately for Women's Aid fantastic young men such as Jahmene (X-factor runner up) are prepared to speak out about their experiences of growing up with domestic violence and campaign to support us.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:53:54

NormaStanleyFletcher

What happens to those 320 who had to be turned away?

They may have to wait. As a point of interest local authorities have a duty to accommodate anyone in fear of violence. If refuge spaces are not available a local authority should provide in an emergency. However, I think that many domestic violence survivors (nor the general public) are aware of this duty.

Local authorities do not advertise this fact because it costs them money to provide this temporary accommodation. But the law is clear that they do have to provide emergency accommodation in the short term, and in the longer term if they are satisfied that the person is fleeing violence/ at risk.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 14:55:36

YourHandInMyHand

I had support from WA, was offered a place in their refuge, had emotional support and help filling in forms. It made things SO much easier during an extremely scary time. thanks

That's great to hear, glad you found it helpful. I hope things are better now.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:03:54

YourHandInMyHand

I'd like to ask about support for children and families who have gotten out of an abusive relationship but are still subjected to their ex partners attempts to abuse and control via issues such as child contact, and maintenance.

Yes Women's Aid is exceedingly concerned by the numbers of ex partners who use child contact as a way to perpetuate the abuse and control. Women's Aid is working with government and lobbying to get family court proceedings to provide appropriate safety and protection when issuing contact orders where there is DV.

Despite Women's Aid campaigning and lobbying that resulted in Lord Justice Walls issuing a practice direction to ensure safety and protection for adult and child survivors in family proceedings. We are concerned that current government proposals seem to be overlooking the priority of the safety and needs of the child with their proposals on 50:50 shared parenting.

Women's Aid believes that of course children should have relationships with both parents but only so long as it is safe. Feedback from the national network tells us that this is not the case.

AbigailAdams Thu 13-Dec-12 15:08:46

So the Government (and the Law) are still not making the connection between abuse of spouse and abuse of children.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:09:45

To add one more point to my last response; Women's Aid research showed that 70% of women experienced post separation harassment. Whilst it is really important that survivors are enabled to leave violent relationships it is also vital that appropriate safety and support is available from all agencies involved in responding to domestic violence survivors.

Professionals in health services, the police, criminal and civil courts, education, housing, welfare, must be trained to understand the needs of adult and child domestic violence survivors and how to manage the risk posed by perpetrators in order to provide appropriate service responses when working with their different client groups.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:13:58

AbigailAdams

So the Government (and the Law) are still not making the connection between abuse of spouse and abuse of children.

No they are not! We are working with various organisations such as: Rights of Women, Legal Aid lawyers, The Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children, to try to change this.

Things are looking quite gloomy under this government, for children in particular. It's not fair.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:18:29

DecktheHallswithTroughsofBolly

- how much does it cost to run a refuge for a year ?
- what is the current shortfall of places to women seeking placements
- what do you think of the public consultation on new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences ? Would you support minimum tariffs ?

There is no one answer to this question as there are so many factors. For example who owns the property? How many rooms are there? What level of service is provided?

Women's Aid will be responding to the consultation on the new sentencing guidelines for sexual offences and will post a draft response on the website as soon as we've had time to consider it properly

Offred Thu 13-Dec-12 15:19:15

I think the govt are not even attempting to adequately provide for abused partners actually nevermind making the connection between abuse of spouse and abuse of dc. My experience in family court was that my dc had to be put through abuse again in order for it to be proved to the court because they hadnt seen how my xp had previously abused them. This was supposedly so that they could then be protected in the court orders which is utterly ridiculous and damaged my little boy hugely because I was effectively made to put him into a position where he would be harmed. Redefining domestic abuse to include 16 - 17 year olds and adding things about coercion is needed but pointless when nothing except the stuff that has been reported and followed through (out of only the small groups of things which are reportable) triggers eligibility for dv provisions, just like putting provisions in place to help partners but assuming that children will not be victims is stupid. It seems to be all about reducing the level of help available and not about helping victims of abuse, a lot of the punitive reforms like universal credit, workfare, CSA charges etc will very badly effect dv victims.

WomensAid2012 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:22:47

Thank you all for all of your questions and interest in this issue! Please do come on our website whenever you want for further information about how to get support for adult and child survivors, or information about Women's Aid campaigns, and information on relevant government issues. Really good to speak to you all here at Mumsnet, and it's great to know that there are people out there who are interested and doing stuff about it!

InNeedOfBrandyButter Thu 13-Dec-12 15:46:12

How will universal credit and the cap on benefits effect WA? I know with my experience I had double HB on my flat and the refuge as if I had given up my flat I wouldn't of escaped that awful place supposedly a refuge the council would have seen my case as intentionally homeless.

FivesGoldNorks Thu 13-Dec-12 18:40:45

sorry i missed this, bookmarking to read in full later

neilthecarpetcleaner Thu 13-Dec-12 22:04:57

hi all

Springhasarrived Fri 14-Dec-12 09:02:38

Very sad to see how few posts there are on this thread. Perhaps it would have been better to hold it in the evening? It's a bit of a contrast to Hugh Grant the other night. sad
In my experience of accessing services related to DV there are too many organisations who are not "joined up" and victims are left floundering around trying to find help when what they need is the first point of contact to take hold of the situation for them.
In many many times of trying I never got through to Womens Aid, Vicitim Support were worse than useless, and the Police try their best but are hampered by organisational limitations.

Offred Fri 14-Dec-12 09:13:09

Yes, I agree. The bloody Hugh grant (user of prostitutes=abuser of women) web chat hype really bothered me. As far as issues go phone hacking of celebrity's phones is really small compared to the massive problem of domestic violence. I feel sorry for milly dowler's family but I also feel angry that celebrity rights have pushed those issues to the back of the press surrounding leveson.

NettleTea Fri 14-Dec-12 14:04:44

Out of interest i would be keen to find out what proportion of divorces or seperation is down to DA/DV.

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