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Refuge Crisis

(54 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

CaptChaos Mon 04-Aug-14 23:36:13

This article explains that, because of the way some councils have been allocating money to deal with the problem of DV, many women's refuges are or will be closing down. I think that this could maybe be the next MN campaign.

We have a great reputation for helping women to understand that some relationships are abusive. I have witnessed women posting, telling us terrible things their DP/DH has done, but not believing it to be 'that bad', who have, with gentle coaxing, come to see how dangerous their situations are. These women have been encouraged to gain rl help from Women's Aid and similar places and to have an exit strategy ready, just in case. When the refuges close, where do we send these women?

I understand that there will be people answering this with, what about men? They are in DV situations too, where do they go? And I get that. There should be provision for men, especially gay men, who need space and time in a refuge with other men to heal from their abuse. However, this should never be at the expense of women's spaces.

At the moment, and average of 2 women a week are killed by their partner or ex partner. How many will die now, if there is nowhere safe for them to escape to? How many more children will grow up seeing their father degrade and assault their mother?

I know a lot of people will be writing to their MP, but it would be great if the power of MN could be invoked in this as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 04-Aug-14 23:42:23

Seconded. We really need this. I can't say better than what you've said in the OP. Especially about MN's reputation, which I think comes from so many posters being aware on a personal level of how necessary refuges are.

PetulaGordino Mon 04-Aug-14 23:51:54

Agreed. Just the news that there may be fewer refuge places may have led numerous women to resign themselves to continued abuse because there is no realistic alternative for them.

We have to do something

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 05-Aug-14 00:05:26

Please back doing something about this MNHQ!

The loss of women only refuges would be horrendous.

I've never met my grandmother because the brain damage she suffered eventually killed her leaving her children alone with an abusive parent. Access to a refuge could have saved her life.

Scarletohello Tue 05-Aug-14 00:09:29

Thanks for this, was so incensed that wanted to start thus too. We have to harness the power of MN to put pressure on the powers that be (Theresa May) to stop this. Ring fence funding for refuges for example?

Will link the article about the impending closures of women's refuges for those of you who haven't seen it.

Scarletohello Tue 05-Aug-14 00:11:13

This is the link

OutsSelf Tue 05-Aug-14 00:21:55

This must be a MN campaign. How many times have MNers talked women into safety through enabling women in dangerous situations contact a.refuge? How many MNers have been in refuges? How many of the rest of us have lurked and willed those women to survive? This campaign should be at the heart of MN.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 05-Aug-14 05:40:09

I would like to add my vote for this being an MN campaign.

PetulaGordino Tue 05-Aug-14 08:49:13

there was the recent guest post by yvette cooper - could that be tied in somehow?

rumbleinthrjungle Tue 05-Aug-14 09:00:02

Please take this up MNHQ. One of the things MN can be really proud of is that three are threads here where a woman has been injured, locked in a house with her attacker partner, and has signed into MN and had the help and support to report the assault and get herself and the children to safety. Many of the women in these threads used a refuge and it was their only possible safe place. The man even if charged was usually freed a few hours later to go home and police have told the woman involved there was nothing they could do to keep him out of his own house. Staying in the home is usually not an option.

The idea of supporting women in their own home is so naive it's frightening. The refuges were set up by women for women, to destroy them in the name for equality is appalling. They are not outdated - they will not be outdated until there are no women using them.

Tanacot Tue 05-Aug-14 09:06:26

Please support this! And here are threads popping up sitewide: AIBU, Relationships, FWR for anyone wanting to join the discussions.

I'm really, tbh, enraged by this. I want to scream.

AnnaLegovah Tue 05-Aug-14 09:07:29

I agree. A campaign from MN would be very timely. It's disgraceful that this is allowed to happen.

BertieBotts Tue 05-Aug-14 09:36:42

I would support a campaign.

Refuges don't just help those who pass through them. Outreach or "floating" services are valuable, yes, but meaningless without the solid foundation of refuge.

Please do not underestimate that feeling that whatever happens there is somewhere you can go. Would you climb a building without a safety net?

juliascurr Tue 05-Aug-14 09:43:05

agree - MN campaign please

bibliomania Tue 05-Aug-14 09:56:03

Another voice in favour of an MN campaign. I've used a refuge and have advocated them on Relationships threads. I can't think of a more compelling by women/for women issue.

FairPhyllis Tue 05-Aug-14 11:32:52

There are many posters on MN who have been in refuges. We get a lot of posters who are in dangerous, abusive relationships and who go to a refuge as a result of posting on here.

Refuges are critical for the safety of women and children in abusive situations. You can't provide what a refuge does in any other way - floating services alone aren't secure enough for most women leaving an abusive relationship.

And to suggest that to be "fair" to men you have to take provision away from women, rather than providing something extra for men, is utterly perverse.

Campaign please.

CinnabarRed Tue 05-Aug-14 11:35:54

Count me as a yes vote too.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Tue 05-Aug-14 11:38:24

Yes please I would wholeheartedly support a MN campaign on this. It's horrifying what's happening.

Darkesteyes Tue 05-Aug-14 14:06:24

I also support a campaign on this MN

"Andto suggest that to be "fair" to men you have to take provision away from women, rather than providing something extra for men, is utterly perverse."

Almost like blackmail!

JaneGarveykeepsmesane Tue 05-Aug-14 14:13:05

I would support a campaign. I would actually get involved - I have great skills as a lawyer going to rot whilst I sit at home waiting for a new job.

Women need to support women in need.

Sign me up!

ArtisanBaps Tue 05-Aug-14 14:24:22

Read the article last night and immediately thought "Mumsnet campaign".

I was particularly unamused by the story from a refuge who'd been forced to set aside accommodation for men even though they'd never ever had a referral for a man. Not saying it doesn't ever happen anywhere, but WTF?

And the arbitrary 20% limit on out of area referrals rule. Why? The first thing some women need to do is to leave the area.

Tanacot Tue 05-Aug-14 14:57:04

I completely agree, Artisan. The out of area limit is a consequence of localism. There are totally upsides to localism but there are real problems with local funding and approaches for national/societal level problems and this is one of them.

Just like it's madness to have each city set its own train-track gauge, or have a witness protection programme that relocates you within your own postcode, it's absolutely self-defeating to restrict fleeing women to their local area.

CaptChaos Tue 05-Aug-14 15:38:56

Another article about it here

LapsedPacifist Tue 05-Aug-14 16:04:26

Please support this, MN. I worked in a refuge for a while over 30 years ago and we still need refuges. Victims of DV and their children need a great deal of support when they first escape from their abusers. Refuges provide an essential 'one stop' service with skilled and experienced advisers to hand. They also provide vital outreach assistance to women unable to leave violent relationships.

elportodelgato Tue 05-Aug-14 16:07:18

Agreed, so many times on the relationships board we see women and children who are literally saved by having a refuge to go to. This is critical and definitely something mn should be campaigning about

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