Press release: New study shows 19,000 domestic violence victims flee homes every year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANew London Metropolitan study reveals 19,000 women ask English authorities for refuge from domestic violence in 2009. Help WaveLength equip the centres they go to.

Press release: New study shows 19,000 domestic violence victims flee homes every year

 Today, WaveLength is sad to hear how many domestic violence victims turn to the state for refuge. During our trial women’s aid centre project in 2009, we knew that 16,570 women were living in refuges in England[1]. Today, a London Metropolitan University study discussed at the British Sociological Association conference shows that 19,000 women fleeing violent partners asked the state to rehouse them in the year 2008-2009. More than 9,000 women took children with them.

Our 2009 trial project – which we hope to continue as a long-term commitment – provided TVs and radios for women’s aid centres in Liverpool and Wales. We’ve been told that this equipment helps to foster an atmosphere of normality and community at a very difficult time. For many victims of domestic violence, who have been systematically isolated for years, entering a refuge is the first step towards rejoining a community. A TV provides a window to the outside world, a chance to socialise with other women and children, and to build structure into family life.

Kelly, a mother of two, says: “The boys are used to watching TV at night before they go to bed and having the TV made it a real home for them. I can’t tell you what bliss it was to have the kids settled, just heaven. Sometimes in the day, the kids would watch CBBC in the main lounge with the other kids. It was good for them to play with the other kids and it meant that I could get on with jobs like the washing and cleaning our room. It was a big, big help.”

Sadly, today’s study also shows that only 60% of those applying for help secured accommodation at women’s residences. Since 2009, local authority cuts have led 40% of UK refuges to lay off staff and shut down beds, forcing them to turn away 230 desperate women every day. If we succeed in finding enough funding to support a full long-term scheme, we’ll help these amazing centres to free up money to keep staff employed and beds available. Please help us reach our goal of providing much-needed companionship, comfort and contact tools for centres across the UK, through donations or raising awareness.


[1] Estimated figures from 2008/9, provided by Women’s Aid. Extrapolated from 75% response rate to annual questionnaire, with 75% response rate.