BASW has responded to comments made by home secretary Theresa May that the Government “can only do so much” and that people must speak out against violence against women and girls, with a reminder that cuts to services are leaving many unprotected.
With Citizens Advice reporting a worrying rise in incidents of domestic violence, notably 13,500 people last year – 80% of them women, reporting incidents to advisers, prompting the charity to provide a specialist service for victims in ten of its UK offices, BASW is concerned by the lack of resources being provided by Government.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Nushra Mansuri, BASW professional officer said: “It takes more than speaking out in the face of cuts to legal aid, cuts to court budgets, Independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs), as well as vital specialist third sector provision like the refuges provided by Women's Aid.
“Chipping away at all these services is having an effect by taking away the safety net needed by women and children when they do speak out. In truth, we need to do our utmost to bolster preventative services to reduce the incidents of domestic violence.
“At the other end of the spectrum, we do not have enough specialist resources such as domestic violence perpetrator programmes to deal with abusive men and specialist risk assessment at the court's disposal. All the rhetoric in the world cannot paper over these critical cracks in services.”